Looking to retire? Colorado is the best state (other than the obvious) to do so, WalletHub says

Colorado’s economy has been humming along for a decade, adding an estimated average of 61,700 nonfarm jobs a year between 2010-19. The state’s a darn fine place to be for those retiring from the workforce, too, according to a new analysis.

Personal finance WalletHub proclaimed Colorado the second-best state for retirees in a ranking released Monday. The Centennial Stated trailed only established golden years heaven Florida on the list.

WalletHub constructed its ranking by looking at states through the lens of three major determining factors: affordability, quality of life and health care. Researchers looked at 47 separate metrics to come up with composite scores for those categories, scouring data sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, United Health Foundation and the FBI.

Colorado ranked in the top third of states in all three categories. Perhaps unsurprisingly for those who have been tracking the trajectory of home prices compared to income in the Denver area over the past decade, its worst performance came on affordability, where it ranked 17th. But the state made up for in quality of life, where it ranked 11th, and health care, where it ranked fourth.

Among the 47 metrics weighed, some of Colorado’s highest finishes were for having a labor market that is older American-friendly (15th), family and general physicians per capita (eighth), life expectancy (seventh) and access to adult volunteer activities (fifth).

One major statistical category that helped Colorado’s affordability score was its “general tax friendliness.” WalletHub based its scoring for that metric on its own 2019 rankings of tax rates by state. Colorado may be the country’s highest state by mean elevation, but its effective tax rate is the ninth-lowest in the country, according to WalletHub.

For retired people, how much one pays the government each year means a lot when it comes to the bottom line.

“If retirement is still a big question mark for you because of finances, consider relocating to a state that lets you keep more money in your pocket without requiring a drastic lifestyle change,” WalletHub authors wrote in the analysis released Monday.

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It’s worth noting Colorado came in 46th in one meaningful category in WalletHub’s research: Percentage of persons aged 65 or older. For being ranked as such a solid place to retire, Colorado is short on folks nearing or at the federal full-retirement age.