Colorado, New Jersey among best retirement spots for seniors

It's not unusual for older adults to relocate for retirement, and while traditional destinations such as Florida and Arizona are still popular, the most recent group of seniors is bucking the common trend.

Instead of placing an emphasis on warm weather, older adults are taking into consideration factors such as whether there are volunteer opportunities, places for them to continue their education or spend time with friends and family. Where to Retire magazine recently released its picks for the best places for retirement, and they run the gamut from the Southwest to the Northeast.

The appeal of the Rocky Mountains
The area surrounding Colorado Springs is not only home to some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the U.S., but according to Where to Retire, it's also one of the best places for older adults. Choosing to move to Colorado retirement communities offers seniors the chance to live a very active lifestyle. There are numerous colleges and universities throughout the area, which means there is ample opportunity for seniors to stay mentally and socially engaged. Plus, with so many hiking trails and parks, Colorado is well suited  for healthy aging

Northeast rising
Although the common perception of a retirement community is one in warmer climates, New Jersey has become known as one of the best places to retire, according to the recent rankings. Specifically, Ocean County is a particularly attractive destination. Its proximity to big cities, coupled with its location next to the coast, makes it hard to deny the appeal of a retirement in New Jersey.

"Retirement is like a second chance on life," John Brady, founder of the website TopRetirements.com, told USA Today. "They are asking, 'What do I want from life?' It's not living in the 'burbs."

Rest of the rankings
Metro areas in Colorado and New Jersey were not the only places to get singled out in the rankings. Texas, and more specifically the area surrounding Austin, has become popular in recent years, analysts say. However, the Phoenix metro area landed in the top spot. Nashville, Portland, Ore., and Albuquerque, N.M. also made the list for offering seniors an active and engaging retirement experience.