What makes a city a great place to retire? Here’s what we considered when drafting our list of best places to retire in the Evergreen State: outdoor recreation, affordability, access to medical facilities, food scene, arts and entertainment, and a community identity as fostered through festivals, farmer’s markets, revitalized main streets, and opportunities for civic and social involvement. You may personally consider proximity to family, and whether you prefer a temperate climate, or crave four distinct seasons. Here's our top seven Washington cities for retirement, in no particular order:
Wenatchee – The Chelan County seat located at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers has over 300 days a year of sunshine. Known as the Apple Capital of the World, there are picturesque valleys, access to boating, skiing, golf, hiking and the Cascade alpine areas. Zillow median home price: $263,600.
Spokane - The Lilac City has 33 golf courses and access to numerous lakes and mountains, plus wineries and breweries. Spokane offers top-notch medical facilities, parks, culture and shopping, yet remains affordable. Zillow median home price: $189,900.
Richland – This Tri-Cities town is a gem, with sunny skies, boating, golf, a 5-mile walking trail along the Columbia River, access to hunting, fishing, and wineries, plus fun events like the Annual Classic Car and Street Rod Show. Zillow median home price: $296,900.
Port Townsend – Billed as a Victorian Seaport & Arts Community, there is always something fun happening, such as the Farmer’s Market & Apple Cider Festival, the Port Townsend Orca Festival, and the quirky Brass Screw Confederacy and Steampunk Hootenanny. There’s also plenty of outdoor recreation between the Olympic Mountains and the Salish Sea. Zillow medium home price: $298,200.
Bellingham – This city is near the San Juan Islands, the Skagit Valley tulip fields, and the North Cascades, so there’s plenty to see and do, including hiking, biking, boating, and skiing. With a hippie-loving vibe, there are festivals and farmer’s markets, fun shops and restaurants. Zillow median home price: $369,500.
Vancouver - The oldest city in Washington, this former Hudson’s Bay Company outpost is located on the north banks of the Columbia River across from Portland. Residents may benefit from no income tax in Washington, and no sales tax in Oregon. Close to the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascades, and the Pacific Coast, there’s plenty of iconic outdoor options. Zillow medium home price: $309,900.
Tacoma –That’s right. T-town has finally come into its own, with museums, restaurants, and several miles of walking paths that connect the downtown City Center to Point Defiance, one of the most spectacular city parks in the nation. With boating, golf, excellent medical facilities, and business districts with distinct identities hosting farmer’s markets, arts and entertainment, Tacoma has a lot to offer. Zillow median home price: $257,900.
Honorable mentions: Walla Walla, Silverdale, Olympia.
If you’re starting to think about where you would like to retire, and need some advice on how to take Social Security, or how to protect your income and assets during the next phase of your life, we can help you at Penny Lane Financial.