Fort Collins : Colorado


What It Is Like to Retire in Fort Collins

When a city is chosen by Money Magazine as the best small city to live in in the U.S., it is going to be special. Fort Collins, Colorado, with a population of 169,810 (2020 Census), is a popular retirement community for obvious reasons – it features low crime rates, fantastic outdoor life, small town ambiance, and for those who want them - ample jobs in a high tech business environment.

The city’s great schools and outstanding outdoor life have led to its vibrant development and a place where many active adults 55+ have moved to find their retirement community. Many high tech companies locate in Fort Collins to escape California and its high prices. Like many fast-growing towns the city has a wide array of restaurants and cultural opportunities for active adults 55+. Many come because of the recreational opportunities such as exploring the nearby Rocky Mountains. The city has 60 miles of hiking and biking trails, and most major roads have bicycle lanes.

Formerly known “the lamb feeding capital of the world”, Fort Collins became very successful early in the 20th century as an agricultural center, in particular for sugar beets. A number of historical structures from this period have been preserved and give the town a unique character. Picture of Downtown "Old Town" courtesy of Wikipedia and Citycommunications, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by the City of Fort Collins:

Use this link to find out more about what it is like to retire in Colorado , including other great Colorado retirement towns.


Where to Retire in Fort Collins and Home Prices

Fort Collins has many options in retirement and active adult communities (see link at left ). According to the National Association of Realtors the median home value was $556,100 in the 4th quarter of 2021.


What Is Special about Fort Collins

• Rocky Mountains and attendant recreational opportunities • Diverse community with young and old • Money Magazine’s #1 Small City in America • Many diverse housing opportunities for retirees • Fort Collins has 4,300 acres of green space, 25 miles of in-town trails, and 143 miles of bike lanes.

What Is Not Special about Fort Collins

Economy is high tech dependent. There are complaints about the traffic and nearby urban sprawl.


Who Will Like Retirement in Fort Collins

Fort Collins attracts a diverse community of young and old and is therefore quite vibrant. It tends to attract people who love the mountains and an outdoor life.

Local Economy Is Driven by

It is headquarters for many high tech companies. Tourism, retail, and real estate are important to the economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

The city is situated 5,000 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains, just east of the Rocky Mountain foothills of the Northern Front Range and approximately 65 miles north of Denver. It has nearby natural attractions like nearby Horsetooth Reservoir for boating and swimming. There are 14 ski resorts in the area. The sun shines almost 300 days a year, snowfall averages 57 inches.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Colorado State University (23,000 students) is in Fort Collins and is the center of many cultural events and attractions. The Lincoln Center has 1,180-seat performance hall, two theaters, as well as exhibit galleries. The center hosts nearly 1,750 events each year. There are a number of theater groups in the city including the Debut Theater Company, Fort Collins Children's Theater, the Front Range Chamber Players, and OpenStage Theater. Larimer Chorale, Opera Fort Collins, and the Fort Collins Symphony provide a variety of musical events. The Fort Collins Public Library is well-funded.


The crime rate is below the national average.

Medical Facilities

The Poudre Valley Hospital is in Fort Collins.


Fort Collins-Loveland Muni is about 10 miles away, although most commercial passenger traffic ended in 2012. The Denver Airport is 70 miles away. Fort Collins is a very walkable community, and is great for biking.


Valuable Links

Visit Fort Collins

Fort Collins on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Fort Collins

Fort Collins
The above comments are all accurate. Wonderful place, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. We had an apartment in Ft Collins for a year but ultimately bought in Loveland. Ft Collins real estate is expensive and traffic gets worse every day. If you are interested in this area I would strongly suggest looking at a neighboring town (it is really pretty much one big urban area, especially along the I-25 corridor). We are retired and income is not a problem. If you still need to work you really need to check out the job market. Most young people tell me it is really tough to find a decent paying job - unless you are in tech, but what I hear is those jobs are insecure.
Posted by 97esquire on February 08, 2018
Mountain cabin?
I lived in Colorado for 20 years and will return when I retire next year. I\'m thinking seriously of building a \"tiny house\" in the mountains for me and the dog. I\'m a bit of a recluse, and really love the outdoors. Any words of wisdom?
Posted by on March 03, 2016
What people are saying about Fort Collins
Ft. Collins, by population is about 1/3 the size of Colorado Springs. The springs is growing by leaps and bounds. The military has a large presence in the Springs. Ft. Collins is dominated by CSU. Housing per square foot is cheaper in the Springs. Just south of Ft. Collins and Johnstown, the homes are cheapest in Johnstown.
Posted by on February 27, 2015

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