Retirement and Active Adult Living
Denver’s mild climate and beautiful location makes it a popular retirement community for active adults. Whether they’re moving to be close to family or to get away from it all, retirees are increasingly calling Denver home. In 2007, CNN Money ranked Denver’s LoDo neighborhood as the 31st best place to retire in the United States. LoDo’s proximity to area attractions as well as mass-transit options made it the best neighborhood in Denver for retirees. There’s more to Denver than LoDo, however. The Denver metro area contains many different types of retirement facilities to choose from and websites and local organizations that make it easy to vet a property before moving.

RETIREMENT LIVING, SENIOR-LIVING COMMUNITIES AND INDEPENDENT-LIVING COMMUNITIES
These are all places for seniors to retire where they can continue to live independently without having to worry about a home or its upkeep. These places provide a safe and comfortable setting as well as an opportunity to make new friends in the same age range who share the same interests.

After making the decision to live in a retirement community, how do you select the right one that meets your needs? First ask your friends or your doctor for recommendations. In addition, consult this relocation guide, the local Yellow Pages or the Internet by searching under “retirement communities” or “active adult communities.”

Living options may be apartments, townhouses or rooms requiring little or no maintenance. Experts suggest that whichever type of housing is preferred, it’s important to see available apartments. If they have don’t have availability or do not have the type of unit requested, find out about getting on the waiting list and determine the length of the expected wait. When visiting and interviewing at retirement communities, shop around. Make several visits at different times.

Services offered can vary depending on the type and cost of the facility. At many, seniors are responsible for their own finances, transportation, meals and health care. Plus, recreational activities usually are offered, maid service may be provided, some meals may be provided in a common room and the facility may offer transportation to physicians or shopping. People interested in this type of facility should be healthy, able to communicate with independent health-care professionals without the help of on-site staff and must desire an active community environment.

It’s important that a community under consideration be close to your services, such as doctor’s offices, It’s important that a community under consideration be close to your services, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, grocery stores and favorite shopping places. Identify what amenities are important to you, such as an on-site beauty shop, golf-course membership, transportation for doctors appointments, shopping, cultural events, church and social outings. Review the community’s activity calendar to see what it offers and ask the marketing or activity director about programs. Don’t hesitate to ask the residents how long they have lived at the facility and whether they like it and find out from the managing directors how long they have been in operation and who owns them. Inquire about the quality of the food and the staff. These are all very good questions to ask.

Due to the wide array of choices available in Denver, retirement communities are very competitive, which is a plus for consumers because they can shop around to ensure that the right facility matches their lifestyle.

Senior Citizens Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
Colorado offers a pension/annuity subtraction for qualifying seniors. Depending on the age, the first $20,000 or $24,000 is not taxed. Seniors ages 55–64 are not taxed for the first $20,000 while seniors ages 65 and up are not taxed for the first $24,000. Out-of-state government pensions also receive the tax exemption. Retired military and military disability pay are also exempt.

Colorado also offers a homestead property-tax exemption for seniors 65 over and their surviving spouses. The exemption allows 50 percent (or up to $200,000) of the home’s value to be exempt. Retirees must have lived in the home for at least 10 years, and the state pays the taxes on the exempted value.

There is also a property tax/rent/heat rebate program for seniors 65 or older who have lived in Colorado for at least one year. The rebate program also applies to surviving spouses and disabled residents age 58 or older. Seniors who qualify can get a rebate of up to $600 for their property taxes and a rebate of up to $192 for yearly heating expenses. Colorado has no inheritance or estate tax.

For more information about rebates and senior tax information, contact the Colorado Department of Revenue at (303) 232-2446 or online at www.taxcolorado.com.

Leisure Activities and Travel
Retiring in Denver has its perks with its proximity to the mountains, which means plenty of sightseeing opportunities and outdoor activities for those who are physically able. Upscale shopping districts and a lively fine arts scene means there is plenty to do during the day. Denver’s perfect IT location and international airport also make it easy to stay in touch with family members around the world. For more information on senior-oriented leisure activities and travel, visit your local city government’s website for information about senior services in your area. SeniorsResourceGuide.com also offers a comprehensive list of resources for seniors, including a list of senior activity centers as well as senior-oriented organizations throughout the Denver metro area.

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