Aerial View of Craig, Colorado during Winter.

8 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in Colorado

Colorado can be an excellent place to settle after retirement. It has gorgeous outdoor scenery with plenty of recreational opportunities and offers generous tax cuts. The Centennial State also records one of the country's lowest rates of social isolation for senior citizens, making it an easy choice for fresh retirees looking to relocate. However, the cost of living in some areas can put a strain on retirement budgets.

This guide highlights affordable places to retire in Colorado that will accord you an active lifestyle without breaking the bank. From historical towns in the eastern plains to riverside communities in the west, these under-the-radar locales provide access to hiking trails, cultural activities, and low taxes. For those entertaining the idea of a thrifty lifestyle to stretch their retirement savings, these budget-friendly towns deserve consideration.


Sign of Craig, Colorado. Editorial credit: photo-denver /
Sign of Craig, Colorado. Editorial credit: photo-denver /

Popularly known as the "Elk Hunting Capital of the World," Craig has always attracted hunters during open season in Moffat County. Seniors with an affinity for nostalgic experiences can take advantage of local museums to get a perspective of the town's past. A tour of the Museum of Northwest Colorado reveals a vast collection of firearms and other artifacts from the Old West. Meanwhile, the Wyman Living History Museum is an interesting site depicting a century of American life. It houses a wide variety of exhibits touching on different aspects of life, from old tractors and automobiles to a blacksmith shop and a kid's room. Craig is also one of the cheapest places you can retire in Colorado, presenting a home median price of $338,800.


Lamar is a Town in the South East Corner of Colorado.
Lamar is a town in the southeast corner of Colorado.

Lamar is a laidback community in Prowers County, providing retirees with quintessential small-town living. A unique mix of local attractions promises to keep them entertained regardless of their preferences. For the outdoorsy inclined, North Gateway Park invites birdwatchers, anglers, hikers, kayakers, and other thrill seekers to exploit its many recreational opportunities. Furthermore, a low-key game of golf at the lush Spreading Antlers Golf Course will always enrich your moments in the open spaces. A strong sense of community comes to the fore during local traditions like the Lamar Days Rod Run, where townsfolk come together to mark three days of fun, featuring a parade, good food, and car exhibitions.

But if you prefer indoor pursuits, Lamar has attractions like the Lamar Theater, a great place to meet other locals and enjoy a variety of entertaining live stage shows. Alternatively, you can visit the Big Timbers Museum to explore local heritage as portrayed through intriguing historical exhibits. Lamar's median property value is way below the United States average at $192,500.


Sign of Hayden, Colorado. Editorial credit: photo-denver /
Sign of Hayden, Colorado. Editorial credit: photo-denver /

Embrace small-town living and all the comforts that come with it in this tiny village in Routt County. Home to just under 2,000 residents, pensioners here will enjoy secluded open spaces with the perfect atmosphere for meditating, highlighted by the Yampa River State Park. With access to fun river-based adventures and awesome wildlife viewing opportunities, this should compel you to step outside at every opportunity you get. History enthusiasts will find the perfect pursuit inside Hayden Heritage Center, which chronicles the town's progression through the years using a broad collection of local memorabilia.

Despite its rural feel, Hayden still allows retirees to shop for all their household needs without having to breach the town limits, thanks to Hayden Mercantile. The supermarket sells everything from fresh produce and meats to groceries at a friendly price. Real estate prices are slightly more than affordable, with a median of $599,500.


Dusk over South Platte River and farmland on Colorado plains near Milliken.
Dusk over South Platte River and farmland on Colorado plains near Milliken.

If safety is your first priority when searching for a place to retire in Colorado, you cannot go wrong with Milliken. It is also famous for hosting Dent Mounds, one of Colorado's oldest archeological sites, where mammoth remains were recovered. Pensioners can enjoy laidback recreations like playing golf at the Mad Russian Golf Club, which is suited for all types of skill levels. Alternatively, the Thompson Rivers Parks & Recreation District is a hub for thrill seekers, offering exciting water-based adventures.

Milikinen hosts a couple of local restaurants where pensioners can find a family-friendly atmosphere to relax and enjoy a wholesome meal when feeling like eating out. The Cracked Egg is known for its award-winning breakfasts and gluten-free menu, which are ideal for senior health. Meanwhile, the median listing home price in the town is about $450,000.


A rancher's overview shack outside of Timnath, CO.
A rancher's overview shack outside of Timnath, CO.

Timnath is predominantly an agricultural community southeast of Fort Collins with an easygoing charisma that will compel many retirees to settle there. It has several modest but exciting local attractions hinting at its small-town vibe, including the Timnath Community Park. This 25-acre nature space presents a lovely atmosphere to spend family day outs, with fitness trails, a playground, a dog park, and several sports facilities.

Seniors can also choose from different water-based adventures to spend quality time around the lush nature surrounding the town. The sprawling Timnath Reservoir welcomes anglers, boaters, canoers, and other thrill-seekers to take advantage of its approximately 600 acres. Its shores are perfect for picnicking, offering stunning views of the water against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Those planning to invest in a home should budget slightly above the state average, as the median price here is around $699,900.


Eaton, Colorado, USA. Editorial credit: Rexjaymes /
Eaton, Colorado, USA. Editorial credit: Rexjaymes /

This tiny village in northern Colorado is home to about 6,000 residents, providing a delightful rural atmosphere with all the necessities, including a senior center, grocery store, and medical clinic. Its proximity to bigger cities like Loveland and Greeley allows easy access to further entertainment options like theaters and college sports. Locally, retirees can stretch out and indulge in light exercise along the secluded trails of Eaton Commons Park while soaking in the ambiance of the green space. The Eaton Public Library is an excellent stop for those who like to maintain a sharp mind, providing various educational resources for all ages.

Elsewhere, history enthusiasts will fancy touring the Eaton Area Historical Society for a unique perspective of the town's past, as depicted through a variety of artifacts and memorabilia. Owning a home in Eaton will not give pensioners sleepless nights, as the median listing value is around $519,500.


Elizabeth, Colorado. In Wikipedia.,_Colorado By ERoss99 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Elizabeth, Colorado. In Wikipedia. By ERoss99 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia

Recognized as a Tree City USA, Elizabeth's charm comes from its chill forested surroundings and Old Western heritage. It harbors a small community with a friendly personality where new retirees will feel right at home. Residents here make the most of outdoor opportunities in the many nature spaces dotting the town, highlighted by the Elizabeth Park & Recreation District. From camping and nature walking to sports and picnicking, this local hub remains thronged with outdoor lovers throughout the year. The townsfolk stay true to their heritage by constantly converging at Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo to watch entertaining rodeo shows in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Meanwhile, a unique mix of restaurants demonstrates the diversity around Elizabeth, serving locals delicious flavors at trendy spots like El Pinito Family Restaurant, a must-visit if you have a thing for Mexican cuisine. Real estate properties in the town cost an average of around $728,000, which is almost the same as Colorado's average.


View of Frederick Museum, former City Hall. Editorial credit: Rachel Rose Boucher /
View of Frederick Museum, former City Hall. Editorial credit: Rachel Rose Boucher /

The small town of Frederick falls within the Greeley Metropolitan Statistical Area, striking a fine balance between a small-town atmosphere and access to vital urban amenities. Retirees are guaranteed constant recreational activities with the availability of local attractions like Crist Park, an excellent site to picnic with family and enjoy a cozy atmosphere with access to different amenities. Also, the Carbon Valley Recreation Center is a popular spot in Frederick, known for providing unique recreational programs for the young and old and hosting facilities like an outdoor pool, kid zone, and a gymnastic center.

For a look into the town's history, the Miners Memorial Museum hosts a collection of artifacts telling the story of Frederick through the years. It is housed in a historic building that served as the original Frederick Town Hall. Finally, Frederick has a median real estate value of around $532,900.

Although larger cities like Denver provide endless social and health amenities, the profiled small towns allow retirees to enjoy living comfortably at a more manageable price point. With their scenic natural surroundings, a broad range of recreational activities, and strong community values, these affordable locales create an enviable setting for retirement life. Whether you are a fan of charming historic districts or in proximity to natural wonders, they allow you to maximize the quality of life, cost efficiency, and harmonious community living when you retire in Colorado.

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