Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Swaddled by Tall Mountain Peaks and Dense National Forest in Spectacular Northwestern Colorado, Trendy, Touristy Breckenridge Sits Beneath Cobalt Blue Skies
Beautiful Breckenridge, known as Breck by the locals, started out in the 1850s as a support town for gold miners in nearby Idaho Springs. It sits beneath cobalt blue skies at 9,600 feet above sea level in spectacular northwestern Colorado and today it is home to Breckenridge Ski Resort, the second most popular downhill ski resort in the country.
Swaddled by tall mountain peaks and thick national forest, Breckenridge is cute, trendy and touristy. The wonderful main street is full of colorful eateries, outdoor gear stores, clothing boutiques, ski shops, breweries, B&Bs and more. The Blue River, which is actually a creek, runs through town and has a pretty park and attractive public space next to it. Housing includes expensive properties along winding mountain roads and high-end, in-town condominiums. Outdoor recreation could not be better. Every winter, nearly two million skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers arrive to enjoy four mountains and some of the nation's best powder. In the summer, tourists flock to town to camp, hike, fly fish and bike.
Locals enjoy a good menu of festivals, fairs and competitions, including the amazing International Snow Sculpture Championships each winter. The National Repertory Orchestra and the Breckenridge Music Institute both bring a bit of culture to this high altitude gem.
Population: 5,500 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 30%
Cost of Living: 135% above the national average
Median Home Price: $1,200,000
Climate: Summers are short but gorgeous with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Winters are long with temperatures in the single digits, teens and 20s. On average, the area receives 170 inches of snow and 19 inches of rain per year. Humidity is very low.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, eight miles away in Frisco, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, eight miles away in Frisco, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, and it is free.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average.
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
College Educated: 48%
Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Breckenridge is somewhat isolated.
Notes: Tourists are always present. The town has grown 14% during the last decade, and home prices have increased 20% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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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