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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Ocean Shores, Washington?

Spread across the Point Brown Peninsula on Washington's scenic mid-coast, this salty Gray's Harbor town was once a cattle ranch and then a favorite destination for Hollywood jetsetters. It had a rough time in the 1970s and 1980s, but it has grown 10% during the last 10 years.

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Although it is a rural place and accessible via only one road, Ocean Shores is a popular weekend tourist destination. Motels and condos line the northern end of Ocean Shores Boulevard, which runs along the western side of the peninsula. There is no true town core, but the busier part of Ocean Shores has some fast food places, a post office, a hardware store, a grocery store, some gift shops and such. Stage West offers affordable community theater, and the North Beach Artists Guild maintains a gallery. The Coastal Interpretive Center has exhibits and lectures. Special events include the annual Razor Clam Festival and a wearable art show. The Quinault Beach Resort and Casino is a big attraction.

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There are six miles of flat, windswept saltwater beach and 23 meandering miles of freshwater lakes, marshes and canals in and around town. Kayaking, canoeing and sailing are all close at hand. North Bay Park on Duck Lake has a boat launch and fishing dock. The Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area on the southern end of the peninsula has tidal flats and world-class bird watching.

Neighborhoods are wooded and low density with A-frames, ranch ramblers, cabins, bungalows, Victorian beach houses and more.

Population:  6,200 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:  68%

Cost of Living:  3% below the national average

Median Home Price: $390,000

Climate:      Summer temperatures are in the 50s, 60s and low-70s, and and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s.  On average, the area receives 70 inches of rain and 4 inches of snow each year.  Skies are often overcast, and there is usually a breeze.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?   No, but Grays Harbor Community Hospital is 20 miles away in Aberdeen and accepts Medicare patients. 

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?  No, but Grays Harbor Community Hospital is 20 miles away in Aberdeen and is accredited. 

Public Transit:   Yes, and it runs around the harbor to larger Aberdeen.

Crime Rate:   Meets the national average

Public Library:  Yes

Political Leanings:   Liberal

College Educated:   20%

Is Washington Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   None

Notes:    This is a remote place and particularly quiet in the winter when tourists leave.   Home prices have increased 38% since last year. Many residences are vacation homes.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes, although the remote locale and distance to a hospital should be weighed.

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Washington:

Washington was the 42nd state to enter the union on November 11, 1889. The initial state constitution proposed women's suffrage and prohibition. Both ideas were removed from the final document. Women did not gain the right to vote in the Evergreen State until 1910.

The country's 18th largest state has six distinct geographic areas. The northwest corner contains the rugged Olympic Mountains. The Coast Range, in Washington's southwest corner, include the Willapa Hills. The Rocky Mountains and Cascade Mountains also cut through the state. The Columbia Plateau has fertile land. A large portion of the population lives in the Puget Sound Lowlands. Ports like Anacortes and Skagit have helped the state maintain its role as a leader in trade.

West of the Cascades, the climate can be mild and humid. Washingtonians east of the Cascades may experience warmer summers and cooler winters. Annual precipitation there can be as little as six inches. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are a rarity, but coastal flooding, freezing rain, and high winds are possibilities.

Pacific Rim commerce is a major economic driver. Other key businesses are the manufacture of jet aircraft, computer software development, online retailing, mining, tourism, and wood products. Washington contributes red raspberries, apples, and hops to the nation's food basket. It leads the country in hydro-electric power generation.

Washington is the only state in the Union to be named after a president. It's highest point, Mt. Ranier, was named after a British soldier who fought against America in the Revolutionary War.

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