Colorado Springs’ low cost makes for great retirement town

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Retirees have already discovered what a national magazine declared this month:  Colorado Springs is a low cost, great place to retire.

This month, Colorado Springs was named a top retirement destination by the magazine Where to Retire, which is geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions. The city will be profiled in the feature story “15 Low-Cost Towns” in the September/October 2012 issue,  available Aug. 14.

Where to Retire editor Mary Lu Abbott said Colorado Springs possesses qualities important to today’s retirees.

“With below-average living costs, affordable homes and low taxes, these 15 towns let your retirement dollars go further,” she said. “Our collection includes coastal gems, four-season locales and mountain/desert retreats, such as Colorado Springs. Each destination packs plenty of appeal and will keep retirees busy with a wealth of outdoor adventures, a rich history to explore, modern-day cultural events and educational amenities.”

Each year, 700,000 Americans relocate to new towns to retire. Generally, relocating retirees are healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose to not relocate, Abbott said. They bring significant economic benefits to their new states and hometowns. Nationally, two dozen states and hundreds of towns seek to attract retirees as a source of economic development.

It seems Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak region already has been discovered by retirees. In El Paso County in 2010 there were 62,051 residents over age 65, up from 44,787 seniors in 2000, representing a 39 percent increase, according to the Innovations in Again 2011 report by Tucker Hart Adams, economist with Summit Economics. The senior population increase was almost double the 20 percent increase of the total population.

By 2015, the senior population of El Paso County is projected to be 82,546. And people over age 65 are projected to increase 179 percent over the next 30 years, compared with 57 percent of the total population, according to Hart’s report.

The other cities named by the magazine as low-cost towns are: Biloxi, Miss.; Fairhope, Ala.; Palm Coast, Fla.; Savannah, Ga; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Greenville, S.C.; Hot Springs, Ark.; Paducah, Ky.; Roanoke, Va.; Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Green Valley, Ariz.; St. George, Utah; and Spokane, Wash.