Grand Junction ranks among top retirement hot spots

Grand Junction ranks among the best places to retire nationally and in the state in separate evaluations that took into account the cost of living and available amenities.

Grand Junction was among 10 cities highlighted in the results of an analysis of affordable retirement locations conducted for Kiplinger magazine.

Grand Junction also ranked 10th in study of the best places to retire in Colorado conducted by SmartAsset, a financial technology company that offers advice on personal finance decisions.

The results of a study that appeared in the February issue of Kiplinger analyzed data for more than 200 metropolitan areas across the United States to identify places with the least expensive living costs for retirees. The study took into account taxes as well as housing and health care costs.

After narrowing the field to 32 finalists, 10 cities were selected that offer retirees diverse choices in size, climate, geography and lifestyle.

Grand Junction was singled out in part because of a friendly state tax climate for retirees that offers a retirement income exclusion from state taxes and no inheritance or estate taxes.

Living costs for retirees in Grand Junction are about 4.6 percent below the U.S. average. The median home value in Grand Junction remains nearly 8.5 percent below the statewide average.

Grand Junction also was noted for its mild climate and close proximity to national parks and forests and other scenic areas that offer hiking, biking and fishing. Colorado Mesa University offers intellectual and cultural activities for retirees.

The other nine finalists in the Kiplinger report were: Decatur, Ala.; Pittsburgh; Pittsfield, Mass.; Prescott, Ariz,; Roanoke, Va,; Sherman, Texas; St. George, Utah; and Punta Gorda and Vera Beach, Fla.;

The analysis conducted by SmartAsset took into account state and local taxes, health care access, recreation and social life.

Grand Junction imposed a 20.9 percent effective rate on state and local income and sales taxes. Grand Junction had 2.9 doctors’ offices per 1,000 people, 0.3 recreation centers per 1,000 people and 0.6 retirement centers per 1,000 people.

Littleton came in first in the SmartAsset analysis, followed by Salida, Evergreen, Englewood, Montrose, Estes Park, Glenwood Springs, Wheat Ridge and Delta.

For more information about the SmartAsset analysis, log on to: www.smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-calculator#colorado.