A retired couple enjoys wine with chips and salsa beside a fire pit outside their A-frame home in Colorado.

Settling in the Centennial State: The Best Places to Retire in Colorado in 2024

Retirement Colorado

by Matt Lyons Posted on December 7, 2023
If you’re looking to retire to a place with stunning natural beauty, easy access to world-class healthcare, and an affordable cost of living, then Colorado could be the place for you. When you’re looking for a place to spend your golden years, you want to make sure you choose a safe area that has all the amenities that are important to those 65+, and Colorado seems to be the spot many seniors choose — especially if they plan to stay active!
Planning a move to Colorado? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

With all kinds of small towns, cities, and senior communities to choose from, it may seem overwhelming at first. But, rest assured, you’re not alone in making the choice to retire in Colorado, as its 65+ population is the state’s fastest-growing segment. In fact, over the past decade, the senior population has grown by 317,000 and now stands at more than 800,000 people.

Want to know the best places to retire in Colorado? Here are 12 of our favorites.

Pros and Cons of Retiring in Colorado

Choosing an area to retire is a big decision, which is why it’s essential to know both the pros and cons of retiring in a place like Colorado. Although the state, as a whole, would make a great home for seniors, you should be aware that, depending on where you live, you’ll likely experience some not-so-fabulous aspects. For example, you can expect extreme weather (snow, ice, and sometimes hail) in the mountains and heavy traffic in the large cities of Denver and Colorado Springs. Colorado is also a major tourist destination — especially those mountain towns! — so you’ll need to factor that into your decision.

However, we think the pros outweigh the cons. A few examples include:

  • An average of 300 days of sunny weather each year (no joke!)
  • Low retirement taxes
  • Fantastic healthcare options
  • Lots of senior communities across the state
  • Beautiful scenery
  • High quality of life

Where To Retire in Colorado — FAQs

Q: Where is the best place to retire in Colorado?
Evergreen is considered one of the best places to retire in Colorado.

Q: Is Colorado a good state for retirees?
Yes! In fact, WalletHub ranks Colorado the third best state for retirees.

Q: What is the cheapest place to retire to in Colorado?
Eaton, Pueblo, and Grand Junction are some of the most affordable places to retire in Colorado.

Q: How much do you need to retire comfortably in Colorado?
That depends on your specific lifestyle, of course, but according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, an individual should have around $40,000 before taxes each year to live comfortably.

Best Cities and Towns To Retire in Colorado

Without further ado, let’s get to our list of the best places to retire in Colorado, in no particular order.

It’s a clear day at Estes Lake in Colorado. Between the lake and the mountains lies the community of Estes Park, Colorado.

Estes Park, Colorado
(Source: Estes Park, CO via Facebook)

1. Estes Park, CO

When it comes to the best small towns in Colorado to retire, you can’t go wrong moving to the mountains of Estes Park! This is a great part of Colorado if you’re looking to find a quiet place where you can enjoy being outdoors daily. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy the sites of Rocky Mountain National Park every day? 

Head over to Lake Estes and get out on the water and fish or canoe to your heart’s content. Or stay on land and walk the Lake Estes Trail and see all kinds of natural wildlife. The Estes Park 18-Hole Golf Course is a favorite of retirees looking to improve their golf game, and Moraine Park offers lots of trails ideal for all levels of abilities.

You’ll love stopping into Snowy Peaks Winery at happy hour to try out new varieties, or making Notchtop Bakery and Cafe your morning go-to stop. And we’re sure visiting friends and family will love how close you are to the historic Stanley Hotel!

2. Columbine Valley, CO

Ranked as the #1 best place to retire in Colorado by Niche is the town of Columbine Valley, located right outside of Denver. It’s a quiet area, full of friendly residents and surrounded by natural beauty. And if you’re looking for a slower pace of life that still has easy access to big-city amenities, then Columbine Valley could definitely be the place to spend your retirement.

Cooley Lake, South Platte, Chatfield Reservoir, and the Lee Gulch Overlook are right in your backyard and offer beautiful green spaces to enjoy walking or biking. The Littleton Golf and Tennis Center is a stone’s throw away and a great way to stay active in your retirement years. And you can always pop over to Denver and enjoy fun with the grandkids at:

3. Palmer Lake, CO 

The affordable Palmer Lake area has been deemed the best suburb to buy a house in Colorado, according to Niche. In addition to the surrounding natural beauty that Colorado is famous for, you can enjoy staying active in the Palmer Lake Recreational Area or hiking one of the many local trails there, including the Palmer Lake, Creekside, and Limbaugh Canyon. You can also learn more about the local history at the Palmer Lake Historical Society or the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. And keep an eye out for planes, as the U.S. Air Force Academy is in the area, as well.

Locals stroll along 1st Street in Salida’s vibrant downtown on a sunny summer day.

Salida, Colorado
(Source: Salida Chamber of Commerce via Facebook)

4. Salida, CO

One of the best towns to retire in Colorado, Salida is located right in the Arkansas River Valley. The downtown area is very accessible and full of local shops, like the Brodeur Studio Gallery, restaurants, and the Riverside Park. Here, you can easily enjoy concerts or picnics with the grandkids in the summer. Retirees also love how close both the Backbone and Tenderfoot Trails are, which makes it easy to stay active. Looking for another way to keep fit? Check out the swimming options at the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center.

Visit Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop when you’re craving a bite, or head over to the Woods High Mountain Distillery to sample local spirits.

5. Evergreen, CO

Named the best place to live in Jefferson County by Niche, the picturesque town of Evergreen is just 40 minutes outside of Denver. There’s a vibrant senior community in this town, and it’s easy to see why. With lots of trails, like the Meadow Loop Trail and at Three Sisters Park, you’ll be able to stay fit and get in daily walks or bikes. The Evergreen Golf Course is very popular, as well. Evergreen Lake is also a great place to go boating or fishing, or you can choose to hang on the shore and enjoy the scenery. When you need a bite, be sure to stop into the Wildflower Cafe or Murphy's Mountain Grill.

6. Montrose, CO

Another great Colorado town in the western part of the state for retirees is Montrose. This is also the 13th best spot in the entire state to retire in, according to Niche, so if you’re looking to stay active and be a part of a tight-knit community (including lots of retirees), this might be your perfect place. Its location on the Colorado Western Slope protects it from a lot of the severe winter weather you might see in other mountain locations. This gives you ample opportunities to explore the Buzzard Gulch Trails, Riverbottom Park, or the Electric Hills Trailhead at your leisure.

If golf is your thing, you can’t go wrong practicing your swing at the Bridges Golf & Country Club or Black Canyon Golf Course. And you can learn more about local history at the Museum of the Mountain West or admire the native flora at the Montrose Botanic Gardens.

A retired couple, dressed in full ski gear, poses for a photo on Vail Mountain in Vail, Colorado.

Vail, Colorado

7. Vail, CO

While this town is known as a ski town, it also happens to be the best place to live in Eagle County, according to Niche. If you’ve always wanted to spend time outside, regardless of the season, this is your spot. Of course, Vail has some of the best ski resorts in the Rockies, but it also offers lots of chances to hike, ride horses, golf, and bike in the warmer months. Gore Creek runs right through the town and is the ideal spot for fishing. And Booth Falls and Big Horn trailheads are very close, giving you access to wonderful outdoor experiences, such as the Grand Traverse Peak.

After a day outside, wind down at 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company, or take in a show at the popular Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

8. Fountain, CO

The community of Fountain is considered one of the best places to retire in Colorado Springs because of its safe neighborhoods, where residents look out for each other and participate in making all folks feel welcomed. And like much of Colorado, if you enjoy spending time outdoors and in nature, Fountain has all you need and more. Whether you want to stay local and walk around Metcalfe Park (or the adjacent dog park!) or would rather get out and explore the trails of nearby Cheyenne Mountain State Park, there’s always something to keep you moving. Have family in town? Be sure to take them to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and to enjoy water activities at the Big Johnson Reservoir!

9. Centennial, CO

One of the best suburbs to live in Colorado also happens to be a great area to retire in. Centennial is a nice community that is safe and well maintained, with plenty of local events to get involved with. As a resident, you’ll love shopping at local businesses, attending outdoor shows at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, or checking out the Centennial Chalk Art Festival. There are also plenty of places that are sure to be your new favorite restaurants, including:

Denver is around 30 minutes away, and you’ll find lots of opportunities to explore nature at the Carson Nature Center and South Platte Park, or grab a round of golf at the local courses.

Trucks, cars, and a bright orange jeep are parked on the beach at Lake Pueblo State Park in Pueblo, Colorado, as locals enjoy a day on the lake.

Pueblo, Colorado
(Source: Visit Pueblo via Facebook)

10. Pueblo, CO

The town of Pueblo is located about 45 minutes south of Colorado Springs and has been named one of the best cities to retire in America, according to Niche. Here, you’ll never be far from opportunities to get outdoors for exercise and to enjoy the natural scenery. The Arkansas River feeds into the Pueblo Reservoir and is an ideal spot for boating, fishing, and camping. You can even take advantage of Lake Pueblo’s Swim Beach, whether you want to get some laps in or simply play in the water with the grandkids.

In Pueblo, you’ll also have plenty of time to enjoy exploring the Rosemount Museum, the El Pueblo History Museum, or finding your new favorite meals at the B Street Cafe or the Southwest Grill.

11. Eaton, CO

Eaton is one of the best places to retire in Colorado on a budget. It’s also great for those retirees who are looking for a small town that they can call home. Folks here love the laid-back, quiet lifestyle of their community, as well as the ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. This northern Colorado town offers residents lots of greenspaces, like Eaton City Park or Eaton Commons Park, to go walking, play with grandkids, or have a picnic. 

The Eaton Country Club is also popular among retirees, as is the easy access to Neuman Lake or Seeley Lake, which are both great places to fish or go boating. And did we mention that Fort Collins is just a 30-minute drive away, if you feel like exploring the amenities of a larger city? 

12. Grand Junction, CO

What makes Grand Junction one of the best cities to retire in Colorado? Well, if you’d like to retire in a bigger city but still want an affordable cost of living, you can’t go wrong with Grand Junction. The real estate is cheaper than other major Colorado cities, which means you’ll have more money in your pocket to enjoy your surroundings. 

The Colorado River winds right through the town and offers lots of great trails to walk and parks to enjoy, like the Colorado River State Park. Canyon View Park is a popular place to work on your tennis game, and seniors love getting out on the Chipeta Golf Course or visiting the Bookcliff Country Club.

The downtown shopping mall is a popular place to gather and sample new food at the Blue Moon Bar & Grille or to try the latest offerings from Colorado wine country at Two Rivers Winery.

A couple is carrying things from their house to the PODS portable moving container in their driveway. The container’s door is open and it’s nearly full of boxes and furniture.

When You’ve Decided Where To Retire in Colorado, Let PODS Help You Get There

Once you’ve found the perfect city or town in Colorado to spend your retirement, PODS can make the move easy. They’ll have a portable storage container delivered to your space, so you can fill it up at your leisure. And once you’re ready to move, the PODS pros will come pick it up and drive it to your new home. PODS can also help you find local assistance for packing and loading. And the best part? One month of storage is always included with every move.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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