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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Palmer Lake, Colorado?

Overview:   Incorporated in 1889 and 7,277 feet above sea level, little Palmer Lake is tucked against the Rocky Mountain foothills and the Pike National Forest in central Colorado. It has been a railroad hub, a summer resort, a gold mining town and a ranching community. Today, it exudes a funky mountain vibe and affords beautiful views of the neighboring rolling prairie (much of which is covered in houses).

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Palmer Lake's very small downtown includes a library, an eclectic blend of colorful boutiques and restaurants and the Lucretia Vaile Museum, which is open two days a week and documents town history. Neighborhoods are a little haphazard and untidy but include ranch ramblers, Victorians, bungalows and more. The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is based here and sponsors book signings, exhibits, and concerts. The Palmer Lake Art Group's craft fair is in its 42nd year, and the annual Rocky Mountain Chautauqua features an ice cream social, costume contests and walking tours. Residents also enjoy a Storytellers' Festival. Palmer Lake is known locally for its mountainside star, which is nearly 500 feet across and lit up during the entire month of December.

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The tree-covered mesas of Spruce Mountain Open Space are nearby, and two lakes above town attract fishermen. Palmer Lake is less than an hour from Denver and 20 minutes from Colorado Springs.

Population:  2,600 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:  30%

Cost of Living:  5% above the national average

Median Home Price:  $235,000

Climate:   Summers have temperatures in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the teens, 20s and 30s.   On average, the area receives 11 inches of rain and 110 inches of snow per year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?   No, but St. Francis Medical Center, 18 miles away in Colorado Springs, accepts Medicare patients.

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?  No, but St. Francis Medical Center, 18 miles away in Colorado Springs, is accredited (and award-winning for excellence in cardiac care, critical care, emergency medical care, pulmonary care and more).

Public Transit:  No

Crime Rate:  Below the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:   Conservative

Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?   Yes

Cons:    None

Notes:   The lake after which the town is named is really more of a large pond. The lake bed marks the head of the Santa Fe Trail and is a good fishing spot when full and stocked.   Interstate 25 is about a mile to the east of Palmer Lake.  

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?   Yes, although the distance to a hospital should be considered.

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Colorado:

Similar to California, the Colorado area was surrendered to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. It did not become a state until 1876, 100 years after the nation's birth.

The Centennial State's geography includes high plains, deserts, foothills, and mountains. Its Rockies are part of the 3,000-plus mile geologic uplift known as the North American Cordillera. More than 50 of the Cordillera's peaks taller than 14,000 feet are in Colorado. Outdoor recreation ranges from backpacking and climbing to road cycling and skiing.

With roots in mining and agriculture, Colorado's economy has branched in many directions. It currently has a high concentration of tech and scientific research companies. Food processing, manufacturing, and tourism round out the state's industries.

The Centennial State maintains a long list of superlatives. It has the highest paved road, the deepest geothermal hot spring, and the nation's largest concentration of scenic byways. Colorado is the only state in the Union to reject the Olympics and one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana.

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Stats:

Population - 5,540,322

Persons 65 years old and over - 13%

High school graduates, age 25+ - 91% 

Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 38% 

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 21% 

White persons, not Hispanic - 68% 

Median household income - $60,422 

Median home value - $247,800

Social Security taxed? Yes

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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