As I’ve mentioned previously here on Thriftability, we live in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado… great for the outdoorsy types, but also quite cultured for the urban types. Colorado has been named many times for being the best place for families, the best place to
When considering a new place to live or being relocated by your employer, many retirees’ (or close to retirement) families are most interested in a location that offers a reasonable cost of living, low crime, and cultural diversity. Colorado offers 300 days of sunshine per year, moderate housing prices, as well as amenities like miles upon miles of hiking trails, national forest access, skiing, and sightseeing opportunities. Some of the cheapest places to for families to live in Colorado – with the thought of eventual retirement in mind – are small towns with populations under 19,000… while others are booming communities boasting corporate job opportunities, colleges, and nightlife. Not to mention the fact that Payscale.com shows the cost of living in Colorado as averaging 8% less than other cities nationwide.
Known as a community with a focus on the arts and education, I lived in Loveland for almost 20 years of my life, before I met Mr. Thriftability! Loveland is set at the foot of the spectacular Rocky Mountains, just 50 miles north of Denver. With a population of 61,048, and a low crime rate, Loveland was recognized in 2010 by U.S. News as one of the best places to retire.
Small businesses find a supportive networking community through the Chamber of Commerce and local associations. In fact, my own marketing business is located inLoveland – which was the first Colorado city to adopt an Art in Public Places ordinance, which requires a set number of art pieces to be included in the community. Home to the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, 250 national and international artists display their sculpture every August. The city’s commitment to supporting eco-friendly living and its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park have made the community a growing oasis in northern Colorado.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Ranked 6th as one of the top places to live in 2010 by CNN Money, Fort Collins, Colorado offers its 141,000 residents clear weather, a low 7% unemployment rate, and a cost of living rate 11 percent lower than Denver. Fort Collins is situated along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, 60 miles north of the state capital. The historic downtown area maintains family-owned businesses, as well as a growing community of micro-brewers which employ local residents. Others find jobs in the health care, technology, energy or healthcare industries. Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, an accredited college known for excellence in education and most recently, a commitment to expanding degree options in green energy and clean technology studies. River rafting, bass andtrout fishing, as well boating as are popular pastimes in the area.
As part of the annual ‘Best Places to Live’ feature, Men’s Journal selected Durango as the Best Place to Put Your Outdoor Life First – as reported by Buzztown.com. Men’s Journal cited the town’s proximity to awesome mountain adventures, down-home, genuine people and above-average career opportunities. Also chosen as one of the best places to live in 2007, the median household income in Durango was $78,906 in 2010. Durango is also a popular spot for the outdoor hobbyist, boasting opportunities for camping, hiking, fly fishing, and whitewater rafting on the Animas river.
According to Payscale.com, Pueblo is ranked as having the lowest cost of living of any major city in Colorado. The general cost of living in Pueblo is 14 percent lower than the national average, with Colorado Springs coming in second at 7 percent below the average. The cost of living in Boulder is 26 percent higher. Pueblo hosts the Colorado State Fair each year, an event known for live entertainment, agriculture and livestock judging, and the largest seasonal carnival in the state. According to the August, 2009 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Pueblo is 8.9 percent, just a fraction above Colorado Springs’ at 8.3 percent. Pueblo has attracted many prominent corporations as employers, the largest being General Motors, Wal-Mart, and Exxon Mobil.
With several Colorado cities and towns gaining praise for quality of living in affordable, scenic locations, the state has made significant advances in the green technology industries. Colorado was recently chosen to be the home state for a project sponsored by NASA and the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology: the Aerospace Clean Energy project, or ACE. ACE is projected to generate an estimated $7 billion in net economic output per year, creating more than 7,000 jobs in northern Colorado through the relocation of more than 100 high tech and clean energy companies. The primary principle behind ACE is in converting NASA-controlled patents into technology products on a high-speed schedule.
Living on Less: Cheapest Places to Retire in Colorado
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