Town within Two Hours of Denver? (Longmont, Parker: new house, movie theater, live in)
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Even if you're up for a longer drive, driving around or through Denver is not much of a picnic. If your son is in northwest Denver, then a home in Broomfield, extending northwest to Boulder and beyond, makes a certain sense. With a lot of options and good choices in the region. As for the physical separation, you do not necessarily have to visit every day, even if fairly close.
If scant few trees on the eastern plains, there are reliably lots of them in Denver and all the towns of the front range. You'll be surrounded by a relatively wide variety, given the semi-arid nature of Colorado, from cottonwoods and other deciduous trees to spruce and other evergreens. Pick the right yard, or plant a few trees yourself, and you might feel like you are in the forest.
You mentioned the preference of a rural setting, which is entirely possible, and indeed closer to northwest Denver than perhaps imagined. But while one could conceivably locate somewhere west of Boulder, or even Nederland and beyond, or southwest of Denver if you must, being IN the mountains is a whole different enchilada unless one is prepared for the reality and welcomes it. If so, great, with lots of good options, if as well at a price in some areas. But know as well that interspersed between all the towns of various sizes on the front range is a lot of rural property. Moreover with the advantage of being fairly flat, potentially with fairly easy access to town and shopping, and likely with a goof view of the mountains to the west. None of it is wilderness, as being too full of fences, the occasional road and house, etc., but a long way from urban.
Budget and employment considerations can be a constraint for many, but not the only reason they so often settle along the front range. But if determined to really be in the woods then my suggestion to do so, and so thoroughly that the only sign of you from the last vestiges of civilization is the dirt road or trail leading off into the woods.
Not sure what a Georgia girl is going to do with all that snow. Thanks for the info
Colorado is a naturally dry state and without the mountains catching moisture it would be relatively barren.
So to have trees, the nicer the trees in Colorado the higher you have to go. To be in a traditional like forest like you might find back east you have to go above 7500 feet and more realistically 8000-10000 feet in elevation. And once you go up that high, you have at least 9 months of possible winter conditions, nights below freezing, wind and brilliant sunshine with high UV rays.
I'm thinking either Evergreen or Conifer or any of the numerous subdivisions off of Highway 285. There's shopping in Conifer and Aspen Park, so you don't have to drive into Denver like I did when I lived up there. Or maybe Roxborough?
One obvious city that's been recommended as good for retirement is Ft. Collins. There are some areas outside the city that have a more rural feel.
You should give more attention to the availability of healthcare, public transportation and other services because you are at the time when it will become more of a need; and it will become more essential as you age and you need more extensive healthcare.
Rural in Colorado is much different than rural in other states. Most of the population is concentrated along the front range and that is where the necessary healthcare exist. There are not really the little idyllic pastoral towns, served by many small cities. There is one large city in a huge State with a few small cities that are mostly close together. Driving on mountain roads is much more difficult and shorter distance can equal large distances, especially in sever weather. Smaller towns on the plains also suffer from the lack of healthcare and other services.
Many people have the dream to retire in rural areas of the mountains but soon learn that they must move to get closer to essential services. Yea, I know, you like to drive and driving long distances in not a problem--I heard it all before.
Keep in mind that you will need healthcare specialist, treatment and diagnosis procedures that will only be available in a larger city and that can be real difficult to reach from some of these communities. In addition, most of these communities lack adequate primary care doctors; some do not have any. Let us hope that you will never need emergency trauma care because in many areas, there is none. Do not think that you will be saved with a helicopter or a quick ambulance ride to a tier I trauma hospital because many times, in severe weather, there is no access by air or road--and time is the critical factor in these situations.
Doctors do not have only the care that they can give you out of their black bag. They require sophisticated technology. You are going to need a lot of time and patience and strength to drive 2 hours to Denver or Colorado Springs or Grand Junction to get access to some expensive testing.
You also have to look at health insurance and some areas do not have the density of population to offer many plans because they are not profitable, especially under Medicare. Since you are not yet 65, you better look into that issue. Some of these younger people on this forum have no clue to the idea of how insurance works when you are older. You will find less availabilty of HMOs, PPOs etc. and other group supplemental plans under medicare. Ah, but you will just have basic medicare--good luck finding doctors that will acccept those reimbursements, considering there is little competiton and they are one of the few providers, if you can find any medical providers.
Stores and other basic services of living are very sparse in many of these communities. Many areas are consider the frontier. How far are you willing to drive? What happens when you can no longer drive and there is no other means of transportation. Yes, again I have heard people say--I will always be able to drive.
Just a thought. By the way, I moved my parents here when they were about your age, about 30 yrs ago, and it was wise that I thought about these issues because the need did come about--and it will if you live to an elderly age. I am now in my sixties, disabled, have difficulty driving and need extensive healthcare. I know these issues but I have good access to the services I need. There are many areas, near and about the Front Range Cities that will give you a good semblance or actuality of rural living but at the same time give you access to good essential services. That is my advice.
Last edited by livecontent; 09-14-2011 at 12:28 AM..
You might look at Lyons (NW of Longmont) if you want small town / rural but fairly near to services and to Denver. It is near the mountains but still at lower elevation so the snowfall is not elevated unless you venture further into the mountains. Much less snow typically than Evergreen & Conifer or Larkspur to Monument south of Denver which are all at considerably higher elevations.
Do you want to be in the mountains because there are beautiful places in the mountains that are really close to Denver but they get a lot more snow and it actually sticks. If it is the Front Range you prefer, than I would suggest Boulder or maybe in between boulder and Denver-possibly Louisville. If you want to be in the foothills than Evergreen would be a really nice choice, or one of the other towns near it like Genesee. Also Golden is in the front range but there are two large hills that separate it from the rest of metro Denver so you are still part of the Denver area but at the same time your own city.
My best suggestion is to have you guys drive around with your son and visit possible city choices and pick which one you like best. I hope this has helped you
Once you get up into the mountains it's all small towns. Take your pick. Most of them should offer what you're looking for, the only limiting factor would be the cost of living.
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