Wheat Ridge was named one of the best cities in the nation for active retirees.
A company that has been tracking small and mid-sized cities for the past 25 years has named Wheat Ridge as one of the best cities across the nation for retirement.
The ranking was released on Monday by Livability.com.
The city of 31,000 was ranked fifth on Livability’s 2014 Best Places to Retire list – the only Colorado city to make the cut. Wheat Ridge was sandwiched between Honolulu, in sixth place, and Largo, Fla., No. 4.
Livability pointed to Wheat Ridge’s numerous bike trails, fitness centers, proximity to mountains and ski resorts as important amenities for active retirees.
“Retirees looking for motivation to get outdoors will find plenty in Wheat Ridge, which has the highest percentage of residents who exercise out of all the cities on this list,” according to Livability. Wheat Ridge also was one of the healthiest cities it researched for the rankings.
Those who are 65 years or older account for 18.6 percent of the city’s population.
And while duffers may be dismayed there are no golf courses in Wheat Ridge, “there are more than 40 within a 45-minute drive,” Livability noted.
Shoppers are shown in Wheat Ridge last Christmas season. Shopping and restaurants, as well as its proximity to Denver, made Wheat Ridge a top destination for active retirees, according to Livability.com.
“And speaking of short drives, Denver is just minutes away,” the website added. “Wheat Ridge residents take advantage of more urban conveniences and culture found in downtown Denver while enjoying the small-town character of their city.”
The site also factored in Wheat Ridge’s support groups, abundant shopping opportunities, great restaurants, low crime and excellent health care into its ranking.
Also working in Wheat Ridge’s favor is the homestead exemption Colorado provides to eligible residents 65 and older.
In addition, Livability noted that Colorado residents 55 and over receive a retirement-income exclusion from state taxes.
At 7.5 percent, Wheat Ridge’s sales tax is also lower than the national average of 9.6 percent. On the other hand, the cost of living in Wheat Ridge is 10 percent higher than the national average, according to Livability.
“We are thrilled to have Livability recognize the high quality of life that we enjoy in Wheat Ridge,” said Wheat Ridge Mayor Joyce Jay. “For residents who want easy access to both an array of outdoor amenities and all Denver has to offer, we’re hard to beat.”