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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Olympia, Washington

Nestled in Jaw Dropping Scenery on Beautiful Puget Sound, Laid Back Olympia is Washington's Capital City and Has a Cosmopolitan, "Granola" Vibe

Tucked in heart-stopping scenery at the southern end of beautiful Puget Sound, laid back Olympia is Washington's capital city and is about an hour south of Seattle. It is also 20 minutes west of U.S. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a training and mobilization base for the Army and Air Force.

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Olympia is the area's cultural center and has a rugged yet cosmopolitan, "granola" vibe. Much of the city sits along the water, with Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountains looming in the distance. The Capitol Playhouse and the Olympia Little Theatre are just two of several community theaters. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts hosts professional music and theater productions, including the Olympia Symphony. Parks and conservation areas are in good supply. Downtown is sprinkled with short government buildings, eclectic eateries, trendy coffee houses and music venues. This is where events such as First Friday, Arts Walk and Wednesday night concerts in the park take place. The picturesque waterfront has a boardwalk and marina. Neighborhoods are lush and mostly tidy, although some are a little overgrown.

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Two colleges, Evergreen State College and Puget Sound Community College, offer classes. Every Earth Day, residents enjoy (and partake in) the popular Procession of the Species, a funky, fun celebration of the arts. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is 10 miles outside of the city.

Population:  55,000 (city proper)

Age 45 or Better: 35%

Cost of Living: 18% above the national average

Median Home Price: $485,000

Climate:   The city has a marine west coast climate.   On average, the area receives 50 inches of rain and seven inches of snow per year.  July, August, September and October are beautiful and fairly dry.   Much of the rest of the year is rainy, overcast and cool.  Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures are in the 30s and 40s.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes 

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes. Providence St. Peter Hospital is a Primary Stroke Center and a Level III Adult Trauma Center.

Public Transit:   Yes

Crime Rate:  Meets the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:   Liberal

College Educated:   44%

Is Washington Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:   The earthquake risk is 285% above the national average.

Notes:  Plum trees, cherry trees and dogwood trees start to bloom in March, creating a pretty Spring scene. This being the state capital, a variety of people come to promote political causes.  The city has grown 9% within the last decade. Home prices have increased 24% since a year ago. Some areas are a little bedraggled.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes

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Washington:

Washington is in the Pacific Northwest. It is just south of British Columbia in Canada, north of Oregon and west of Idaho. The state was carved out of the western part of the Washington Territory and admitted into the Union as the 42nd state in 1889.

Approximately 60% of Washington's population lives within the Seattle metropolitan area. The rest of the population lives amid the rain forests in the west, the mountain ranges in the center, northeast, southeast and east, and the semi-arid deserts in the east.

Named after George Washington, the state is the only one named after a president. In order to distinguish it from Washington D.C., Washington is often referred to as Washington State.

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