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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Dolores, Colorado?

Overview:   In rugged southwestern Colorado, where the elevation is 7,000 feet above sea level, the air is thin and the scenery is breathtaking, little Dolores is in a canyon at the mouth of the Dolores River Valley near the eastern edge of McPhee Reservoir. It started out as a ranching community in the 1870s and was later kept alive by the railroad.

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With the San Juan National Forest to the east and and the Canyon of the Ancients to the west, today Dolores is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Residents are a hardy bunch and spend weekends fishing, camping, hiking, biking, rafting and cross country skiing. Tourists stop in on their way to explore the ancient cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park, 20 miles to the south. The small downtown is along the river and includes shops, a handful of hotels and motels, the Dolores River Brewery and the Dolores Food Market, which carries gourment items. The Dolores River Festival is a town highlight and features great food and toe tapping music. The farmers' market happens every Wednesday and runs from May to October. Thirty acres of pretty parks with ball fields, trails and river access provide further ways to play outside.

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Homes include cabins, chalets, ranch ramblers and Victorians. Three RV parks cater to road warriors and are nestled in the woods. Trendy, upscale Telluride, home to the Telluride Blues Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, is just an hour and a half away.

Population:  1,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:  45%

Cost of Living:   14% above the national average

Median Home Price: $255,000

Climate:  Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures are in the single digits and teens.   On average, the area receives 18 inches of rain and 68 inches of snow per year.   

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?  No, but Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, eight miles away, accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?   No, but Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez, eight miles away, is accredited and is an Adult Level IV trauma center.

Public Transit:   No

Crime Rate:   Meets the national average

Public Library:   Yes, and both it and the community center have clubs and classes.

Political Leanings:  Very conservative

Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?   Yes

Cons:   None

Notes:    Dolores has grown by 10% within the last decade, but this is a remote place with one 2-lane highway in and one 2-lane highway out. Winters are long but summers are spectacular. The town plows roads in the winter but does not remove snow berms created by the plowing. Residents value their privacy. Wifi is available. Racial diversity is minimal.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes, although the isolated location should be kept in mind.

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