The financial website WalletHub recently released its 2018 list of the Best & Worst States to Retire…and Colorado ranked right up there, as number two. Top honors went to Florida.
What does the Sunshine State have that Colorado doesn’t, besides sandy beaches, Disney World and the Golden Girls? Less than you think.
Colorado has a lot going for it, even for retirees. That’s right, Wallethub. There are at least ten factors that you failed to take into account that would have easily vaulted us into the number-one spot. Put in your hearing aids, and listen up.
10. More Sun
You might have heard a little something about Colorado boasting 300-plus days of sunshine? Yeah, that was actually crap. Colorado has only about half that; according to the National Climatic Data Center, Colorado has 136 days of clear and sunny weather per year, while Florida only gets about 101. Soak up that vitamin D, folks, but don’t forget the sunscreen. Novelty visors that say “Life Begins at Retirement” optional.
9. A Lot Less Stucco
If you’ve ever lived in California or anywhere in the Southwest (and chances that this is the case are decent if you now live in Denver as a transplant), you’re all too familiar with stucco. It’s cheap, it’s relatively easily replaceable, and it’s the primary construction element of what passes for Florida architecture. Every house is stucco, and every neighborhood chooses its shade of beige with which to paint said stucco. It’s soul-killing, but so economical.
Colorado has had its share of floods (and other disasters), but those were epic-level events. (We call them hundred-year-floods for a reason.) Florida's coastline, on the other hand, will flood — and it’s not a question of if, but when. The reason that people move to Florida is, by and large, the water and the beaches. But living by the water and the beaches means flood risk. And anywhere that’s worth living in Florida is by a beach. Not so for Colorado, especially Denver. Water goes downhill, which means Kansas had better keep an eye on its basements.
Big honking roaches. It’s like the apocalypse, except you’re still trying to keep your clothes clean and you’re not scavenging for canned goods. You can call them palmetto bugs, Florida, but a roach by any other name still squicks everyone out.
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Florida’s politics are seriously effed up, and have been for a long time, at least since the 2000 elections. Colorado is a nice, complex purple. We may not agree on everything, but we’re thinking about things. We’re considering stuff. We try new things, like legalized marijuana, and we don’t like crazy shit like hanging chads or supporting Trump for president. Not as a state, anyway. And Marco Rubio? Show us your hands again, Marco.
There’s a reason that medical marijuana was the foot in the door for the recreational stuff — because it works, and it’s important. And people from all over the world have discovered that THC is solid help for a lot of conditions that mainly affect the elderly. Reducing the hassle required to get some marijuana for your vape so that you reduce pain or help make a condition a little less awful? Priceless.
4. 100 Percent Fewer Alligator and Shark Attacks
When was the last time that someone fell victim to one of these long-jawed swamp monsters in Colorado? Never happened. When was the last time it happened to someone in Florida? Less than two years ago. And there were more than thirty shark attacks in Florida in 2017. How many in Colorado? Zero. The closest we come to shark terror in Colorado is having to endure those Sharknado sequels — but that’s a pain that’s universal.
3. Rick Scott
Florida has elected Rick Scott to the governorship twice and may elect him to the Senate this November (Scott hasn’t officially decided to run; he has until May 4 to meet the filing deadline). Aside from looking way too much like a grinning skeleton, Scott has a lot in his past with which Floridians should take issue but so far have chosen to ignore. He was forced to resign as CEO of the for-profit health-care company that he helped to found because of rampant Medicare fraud. And speaking of Medicare fraud, Scott has flip-flopped on his position on Medicare expansion at least three times since 2012. He’s a climate-change denier in a state where climate change will have immediate and disastrous effects. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, Scott remains popular in Florida. Of course, we have the invisible Cory Gardner until 2021, but his approval rating is dismal, so at least we can boast that Colorado doesn’t like him much.
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Florida has them. Colorado does not. Florida has to occasionally nail plywood over its many windows. Colorado opens the window to let in the breeze. Florida’s weathercasters get thrown around by gale-force winds. Colorado weathercasters just stand in the back yard and talk about snow totals at the resorts (and on patios).
Denver traffic isn’t great, but it’s a damn sight better than the traffic in major metropolitan areas in Florida, probably because all those retirees…wait. Never mind. Forget this entire list. Colorado is fine being number two. Maybe we should be number six, or number 26. Keep moving to Florida, older folks. Nothing to see here.