Colorado ranks near the top of the ‘best states to retire list,’ securing the second spot in the recent analysis by WalletHub.

Colorado ranks near the top of the ‘best states to retire list,’ securing the second spot in the recent analysis by WalletHub.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski

Ah, retirement — the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and travel on a moment’s notice. But, the retired life is evolving and fewer than half of U.S. 65-year-olds are retired, with a growing number of 65- to 69-year-olds choosing to remain employed, according to a February 2023 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. 

Several factors contribute to the shifting attitudes about the golden years, including better health, longer life expectancy, and a desire to stay connected to the workplace. Many Americans harbor concerns about retirement, revealed a recent survey by WalletHub. The findings show that more than 30% of Americans feel anxious about retirement, almost as many feel pessimistic or outright fear, and more than one in three have no retirement plan.

But many eventually take the plunge into retirement, embracing the possibilities. For retirees, choosing the right place to live is pivotal. Financial considerations — coupled with lifestyle and high-quality healthcare — highlight the importance of living in the right place. Location can help your money go further and help you make the best of your more abundant free time.

Colorado ranks near the top of the ‘best states to retire list,’ securing the second spot in the recent analysis by WalletHub. The personal finance site compared the 50 U.S. states across 46 key indicators of retirement-friendliness from financial factors like tax rates and the cost of living to access quality medical care and fun activities. 

Florida takes the lead in the ranking, with Colorado following closely, then trailed by Virginia, Delaware, and Wyoming. Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst, emphasizes the importance of selecting a retirement destination. 

“Being retired brings freedom, but it also naturally is a time of financial constraint, with many seniors living on a fixed income,” said Happe. She recommends making the most of your retirement savings and other income by retiring in a state where the cost of living and tax rates are friendly to retirees and considering additional factors like healthcare quality and abundant access to enjoyable activities. 

Many retirees weigh various factors, perhaps leading with being close to friends and family and where their money will go the farthest. Colorado’s high ranking is attributed to a combination of benefits contributing to retirees’ physical and mental well-being. The state boasts one of the lowest rates of social isolation among seniors, and very few residents above the age of 65 are in poverty. Additionally, Colorado is home to some of the nation’s top geriatrics hospitals, earning the state high marks for the share of seniors in good health and actively engaged in physical activities, reports WalletHub.

The Rocky Mountain state also offers cooler air, compared to the tropical warmth of Florida, and is taxpayer-friendly with no estate or inheritance taxes. Although not entirely tax-free like Florida, Colorado offers a well-balanced financial landscape.

Colorado scored 61 in the WalletHub ranking, just one point behind first-ranked Florida’s 62 and third-ranked Wyoming’s 59. In specific categories, Colorado ranked 14th in affordability, 27th in quality of life, and 3rd in healthcare.

For a deeper dive into the retirement savings survey and an exploration of the best and worst states to retire, consult WalletHub’s detailed reports at wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-to-retire/18592 and wallethub.com/blog/retirement-savings-survey/133047.


By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.