Best States for Growing Older

U.S. News ranked Colorado the No. 1 state to age in, solidifying its position as a state that has something to offer every age group.(Photo: Bigstock)

Best States for Growing Older

The top 10 states for aging are listed below. Source: U.S. News & World Report usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-10-11/colorado-is-the-best-state-to-age-in-america

Mary Huffman, RE/MAX of Boulder

Mary Huffman, RE/MAX of Boulder

U.S. News ranked Colorado the No. 1 state to age in, solidifying its position as a state that has something to offer every age group.

Colorado has long been a haven for the young and active, most recently attracting tens of thousands of millennials each year. The state’s youthful population isn’t new – in the 1970s the state’s climate and beauty attracted active-lifestyle-loving Baby Boomers to its borders.

Now, many of those Boomers are entering the 65+ age group, causing Colorado’s older population to grow faster than most others. Most of the growth between 2015 and 2020 will be in the 65‐74 year old age group, reports the Colorado State Demographer’s website.

“The aging population is growing by over 6% per year – an important market. There are a ton of opportunities out there,” Colorado State Demographer Elizabeth Garner told an audience at an overflow crowd attending the first Silver Business microSummit in October 2016. Hosted by RE/MAX of Boulder and Boulder County CareConnect, attendees packed the event to learn about emerging trends, challenges, and business possibilities in the
55-and-over market.

By 2030, the 65-and-older population will rise to 1.27 million, a 77 percent increase from 2015, says the Colorado State Demography Office. A majority of these residents have lived in Colorado for more than 20 years and many plan to stay right here, reports U.S. News.

Average income before taxes for households 65 and older in 2014 was $45,100 in the United States; in Colorado the income for this age group was nearly identical at $45,0932, according U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey data.  

The U.S. News’ analysis found Colorado has one of the healthiest 65-and-older populations of any state and provides residents with some of the best Medicare and nursing home quality in the nation. Nursing home quality is one of the areas where Colorado performed the best, earning the No. 6 spot. About 2 in 3 of the 65+ age group in Colorado are able-bodied. Just 5 percent say they are experiencing frequent mental distress, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Data for U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on McKinsey & Company’s Leading States Index. Each of seven categories are weighted based on a national survey that asked people to prioritize:

– Health Care: 18 percent
– Education: 16 percent
– Infrastructure: 14 percent
– Crime & Corrections: 14 percent
– Opportunity: 14 percent
– Economy: 13 percent
– Government: 10 percent

Currently, Colorado falls in the middle for assisted living facility costs, at an average of $4,900 per month. The costs of living is greater in Denver, where an increase in the number of households is driving price appreciation, resulting in housing affordability being a major challenge, says the U.S. News report.

Meanwhile, the state has introduced a property tax break for residents who are 65 and older and have lived in their homes for at least 10 years. Colorado has one of the lowest property tax rates in the U.S.

Colorado’s fast-growing economy appears to be contributing to the positive climate for aging.  The unemployment rate for those 65+ is 2.5 percent in Colorado – lower than the national average of 3.8 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says he thinks some older people are moving to Colorado to be with their grandchildren and is proud how fewer people are moving away from Colorado for retirement than from other states, according to the U.S. News article.

Read the full story online at usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2017-10-11/colorado-is-the-best-state-to-age-in-america.

Footnoted references are in Employment Impact from Senior Spending in Colorado in 2014 at bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer‐expenditures/2014/home.htm.

By Mary Huffman, RE/MAX of Boulder. RE/MAX of Boulder Realtor Mary Huffman has lived in Boulder for the past 20 years and became a licensed Realtor in Colorado in 2004. A long-time volunteer, Mary is Past President of the University Women’s Club at CU-Boulder, which raises funds for nontraditional student scholarships. She currently serves on the Board of nonprofit Boulder County CareConnect, dedicated to helping seniors  flourish by reconnecting them – as recipients and contributors – to their communities. For questions contact Mary Huffman at 303.441.5634, e-mail mary@maryhuffman.com or visit boulderco.com.