In the past few years, Colorado has become a popular retirement destination for seniors. Our team has noticed many folks leaving California or Texas for a lower cost of living. Some are wanting to escape heat, or hurricanes others again want a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. Outdoor enthusiasts want to spend their retirement close to the mountains and all of the adventures they offer. The increased retirement interest in Colorado means that we are seeing more demand for high quality, residential age restricted communities.
Florida and Arizona are the top retirement locations in the United States. These state offer many options for master planned communities promoting an active lifestyle for people over 55. Dedicated retirement communities usually have an age restriction of 55+, recreational amenities, and auxillary services such as transportation or home cleaning.
Unfortunately, Colorado Springs has not yet caught up with the recent surge in retirement demand. Our out-of-state clients are surprised when they find out, that so far there hasn’t been an active lifestyle community in Colorado Springs that encompasses what these clients might find in states like Florida and Arizona. There are plenty of assisted living options and a few RV/Mobile Home Parks that are labeled 55+ in Colorado Springs, but that’s not really the same and many of those are apartments or condos instead of single family homes.
Another large concern for retirees is also access and proximity to health care and professionals, such as specialty doctors and hospitals. Here are some important factors to consider:
- Is your health changing? The altitude in Colorado can become an issue.
- Will you have the health care you need nearby in your new city? Sometimes we have clients who want to retire in smaller mountain towns. But keep in mind that these areas can be hours away from major medical facilities.
- Will you still receive all the benefits that are provided in your current location?
Why choose a 55+ community?
Neighborhoods with a similar age range can enable residents to easily find many friends with similar interests. Many homeowners who are planning to downsize also find the thought of no yard work or exterior maintenance very appealing. Keep in mind that many of the offered services and amenities come at a cost, so whenever you will pay a higher HOA fee to pay for what’s being offered. Many folks gladly pay these fees if they really use most the offered amenities.
Related Reading: 10 Reasons to Move to Colorado Springs
The Retreat in Banning Lewis Ranch
We were very excited to learn that a new low maintenance, active retirement community opened their [gated] doors in Colorado Springs in April 2020. The Retreat in Banning Lewis Ranch has understandably drawn a lot of attention in the short amount of time they have been accepting contracts on new homes. The homes are designed to allow for aging in place with American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant or adaptable features, single level living, high end finishes, low maintenance, and energy efficient.
The Retreat is designed to celebrate life on the plus side of 55 with a resort lifestyle. Their dedicated lifestyle director will organize all activities and nurture close connections with the residents to ensure recreational needs and wishes are met. Recreational activities will be within walking distances for residents:
- Outdoor lap pool
- 10,000 square foot amenity center (classes will include yoga, cooking, baking, arts and crafts, Pilates and more)
- Pickleball courts
- Boccia ball area
- Dog adventure park
- Many miles of trails
Unfortunately, if you want to live in The Retreat you will have to bring lots of time with you as the ground start constructions are booked until mid-2021.
Aging in Place
If you’re approaching the 55+ age bracket, it’s a smart financial and logistical move to take a closer look at features in the home that allow for aging in place. During the excitement of a big relocation and lifestyle change it can be easy to overlook these important details. No one really wants to think about the possibility of being less mobile and agile. But taking these steps now will make is so much easier to remain in your home even if health circumstances shift. If you are building a home, it is fairly easy to make adjustments like having wider doorways or a zero entry shower/wet room installed. If you’re planning to buy an existing home, it will be more important to carefully consider the feasibility of changing it to a [more] universal design and accommodate potential future needs of disability.
Related Reading: Homes Designed for Aging in Place
Low Maintenance Communities with Amenities
What if your timeline doesn’t work with the wait for The Retreat? Then you can turn to many other master planned communities that offer low maintenance options throughout Colorado Springs. These neighborhoods still offer lovely community centers, some have pools and a work out center, classes and programs, and all of them have great trails for a healthy lifestyle. You will miss out on the 55+ age restriction, but still benefit from the amenities that many of these communities offer.
Master Planned Communities in Colorado Springs (keep in mind that separate memberships might be required to join the rec centers or activities):
- Wolf Ranch
- The Farm
- Banning Lewis Ranch
- Meridian Ranch
- Woodmoor (this is an older community (1970/80’s) up in the Monument area but still offers a golf course, pool, rec center)
- Flying Horse
- Gold Hill Mesa
- Cobblestone Townhomes
- Cottonwood Creek Townhomes
- Kissing Camels Townhomes and Single Family Homes
- And many others
Related Reading: Colorado Springs Neighborhood Guide
What if you can’t find a home or neighborhood in the above options that perfectly fits your needs? Perhaps you are looking for certain features and they are just not offered in a 55+ community, but you still want to downsize and have a lower maintenance yard? You might need to get creative in your search and compromise a bit. Searching for a compromise will open up many more options for a home purchase. Additionally, interacting with demographics of all ages might help keep a bit more diversity in your life than an age restricted community would. After all, the saying goes that you are as old as the 5 closest people you interact with
The ranch floor plan is most popular with seniors so it’s great strategy to look for communities that offer ranch homes. There is a good chance you will find more seniors in that particular area. Include townhome and patio home communities as well as single family homes in your search. Even if they don’t have a community center or recreation center included, these areas might have a YMCA or city recreation center nearby. Plus, if you choose a condo, townhome, or patio home community, your yardwork and exterior maintenance is taken care of by the Homeowners Association (HOA) just like it would be if you were in a dedicated 55+ community.
Related Reading: Steps to Buy a Home