Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Moab, Utah?
Overview: First settled as the Old Spanish Trail's only Colorado River crossing, Moab's economy has shifted over the years from trade, agriculture and mining to tourism today. It is tucked in stark, red sandstone beauty and geologic diversity in rugged southeastern Utah. While it was once an off-the-map, bohemian kind of place, today the town attracts 1.5 million outdoor adventure seekers each year.
The town itself is very laid back with a main drag that has diners, gas stations, convenience stores, fast food outlets and motor motels. RVs, Subarus with bicycles on top and pick up trucks with boat and motorcycle trailers are common sights. Just beyond town, though, spectacular public land scenery awaits. The La Sal Mountains to the east tower more than 11,000 feet above sea level, and the Colorado River canyons to the north are popular kayaking and rafting destinations. Arches National Park, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point State Park underscore the land's beauty and offer multiple opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, jeeping and rock climbing. Sandy Flats is the the home of the famous Slickrock Bike Trail and has many 4-wheel trails.
Moab's busy event calendar includes art walks, studio tours, photography symposiums, a half-marathon and a skinny tire bike festival. Although there are no big box retailers, Moab has a City Market, a Village Market and an organic grocer. Homes range from simple frame structures and ranch ramblers in town to unique custom homes in the surrounding rocks. Hawks, owls, rattlesnakes, lizards, bighorn sheep, rabbits, mule deer and mountain lions live close by.
Population: 5,300 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 35%
Cost of Living: 10% above the national average
Median Home Price: $290,000
Climate: Summers are hot, dry and sunny with temperatures in the 90s and low-100s. Winters are cold and sunny with temperatures in the 20s and 30s. The elevation is 4,025 feet, and on average, the area receives nine inches of rain and nine inches of snow each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, and Allen Memorial Hospital is small with 25 beds.
Public Transit: No (but there are airport shuttles).
Crime Rate: Meets the national average (violent crime is rare, but property crime is fairly common)
Public Library: Yes, a fairly new one.
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Utah Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: The town is remote, in the middle of the desert and 45 miles away from the Interstate. The nearest city of any size is Grand Junction, Colorado, which is 115 miles away.
Notes: Winters are quiet, and some businesses close for the season. Some people say the town has a transitory feeling with so many tourists coming and going. Internet access is available. The municipal airport has flights to Denver, Colorado. Even today, Moab is popular with people who want to escape (or never join) the rat race. Tourists who come here often have more money than the people who live here.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Maybe. The lack of an accredited hospital is a concern.
The United States acquired Utah in the treaty that ended the Mexican American War in 1848, and the state joined the Union in 1896. Salt Lake City is the capital, as well as the largest city and metropolitan area.
Utah's name means "people of the mountains" in the Ute language. The sego lily is the official flower, while the Rocky Mountain Elk is the state animal. The official flag was adopted in 1913.
Utah and Hawaii are the only states in the nation that outlaw all forms of non-social gambling. Even the Native American reservations in Utah do not have gambling.
The state is one of the nation's leading suppliers of oil, farming products, biomedical and computer-related products. Top agricultural commodities include cattle, sheep and diary products.
Estimates are that 65% of the state is owned by federal government. The Great Salt Lake covers more one million acres.
Population - 3,051,217
Persons 65 years old and over - 10%
High school graduates, age 25+ - 91%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 31%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 13%
White persons, not Hispanic - 78%
Median household income - $60,700
Median home value - $215,900
Social Security taxed? Yes
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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