Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Olympia, Washington?
Overview: Nestled 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 and 20 minutes west of U.S. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a training and mobilization base for the Army and Air Force.
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.
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: 50,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 35%
Cost of Living: 10% above the national average
Median Home Price: $320,000
Climate: The city has a marine west coast climate. On average, the area receives 50 inches of rain and seveninches 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
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 their political causes. The city has grown by 9% within the last decade. Some areas are a little bedraggled.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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.
Population - 7,288,000
Persons 65 years old and over - 15%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 90%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 33%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 11%
White persons, not Hispanic - 72%
Median household income - $61,024
Median home value - $259,600
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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