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Old 11-07-2016, 02:22 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,364 times
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My wife and I are an active couple and have now retired and are living in CA. Our current area of n. CA is just too expensive for retirees and we are considering WA. We have researched a lot of different areas such as Bellingham, Olympia, Tacoma, Spokane and Liberty Lake just to name a few. We would like to be somewhat close to an airport and hospital. We would also like to be in an area that is safe where we can walk everywhere - downtown, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Looking for the climate to be nice (not too hot and not too cold along with usual rainfall and little snow). We would like a small town feel but yet close to all big city amenities. Any input on where you would choose if looking to relocate to WA as a retiree? Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:20 PM
 
6,239 posts, read 4,721,373 times
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You have picked some popular and expensive alternatives. If you can tolerate cloudy days, consider Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA. If you can tolerate hot and dry summers, Ashland-Medford might be worth considering. It would help if you were more specific in what you are looking for. There are a lot more considerations than weather, an airport and a hospital.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,743 posts, read 3,198,644 times
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We live in Alaska and have been looking at communities in WA for a few years now. Last month we visited Spokane and spent a couple days there. Drove around several neighborhoods. We too want to be able to walk everywhere. The downtown area or at least along the Centennial Trail worked for us. There is a new development called Kendall Yards that fit our need being close to downtown and very walkable. Spokane also has very good health care and a fairly large airport that is about 5 miles from town. We contacted Visit Spokane who sent us some brochures on the area before we went. Spokane Hotels, Events, Restaurants & Things to Do | Vacation Guide

We also went to Vancouver, WA. Neat area and very close to Portland. Just didnít have the same feel as Spokane for us although having Portland just across the river would be a treat. There is a waterfront project in Vancouver beginning that looks very appealing although may also raise property values as itís being completed.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:29 PM
 
1,734 posts, read 1,948,466 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lab58 View Post
My wife and I are an active couple and have now retired and are living in CA. Our current area of n. CA is just too expensive for retirees and we are considering WA. We have researched a lot of different areas such as Bellingham, Olympia, Tacoma, Spokane and Liberty Lake just to name a few. We would like to be somewhat close to an airport and hospital. We would also like to be in an area that is safe where we can walk everywhere - downtown, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Looking for the climate to be nice (not too hot and not too cold along with usual rainfall and little snow). We would like a small town feel but yet close to all big city amenities. Any input on where you would choose if looking to relocate to WA as a retiree? Thanks!
Jeez, am I ever a good straight man. Look up StealthRabbit's threads. He lives in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and is a wealth of information! Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:55 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,546 posts, read 39,924,861 times
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I wrote a very explicit post earlier today but my Internet provider went to lunch..

35 yrs ago when coming from Colorado, I had a choice of Liberty Lake and Vancouver (jobs), and looked at both, but job was much better in Vancouver, WA, so I bit the bullet on weather. (not ez for a prairie farm kid who is outdoors ever hour of daylight.)

Liberty Lake has changed a lot, and is a LONG ways from the coast (which we enjoy frequently). It is now very suburban, close to Mtns (ID wilderness) and to BC and Alberta (and MT). If you are a Big Game hunter, you might really enjoy the east side. I have a few friends (avid outdoorsmen) who retired up in the Pend Oreille valley, very nice, but foggy winter and 2-4' of snow all winter. Ironically 911 made it too difficult for them to enjoy Canada as they did. (I don't find it an issue, as I keep an 'Enhanced' RFID WA license.) Many seniors are not too comfortable wearing a 'tracking' device. (As if anyone wants to track ME, or even could... the RFID lives in a shielded pocket).


Vancouver, WA is really great if you like to fly commercially. (PDX has been voted best in USA (for it's size) several times) 10 min to an EZ airport is essential for this active retiree (15 - 50 flights / yr, due to how much I HATE the weather...).
plenty of medical options in both Vancouver and Portland (including VA)
20 colleges within 30 min for culture and learning, countless food trucks / venues, GREAT culture volunteer gigs, fabulous parks to enjoy and volunteer. skiing and windsurfing is 50 min east, volcano 1 hour north
Sales Tax free shopping is a big draw for many, but I don't intentionally do that, as I have WA commercial tenants that need my business, but... there are many specialty parts I can only find in Portland, then... I can pay 'use tax to WA DOR, they appreciate the contribution
I much prefer living 20 min east in the QUIET and clear (windy) CGNSA (national park regs) 100's of trails, including the backyard https://www.google.com/search?q=colu...96BOUQ_AUIBygC

excellent, 100% public access north Oregon coast is 1.2 hrs (can head out for sunset, or winter storms)
https://www.google.com/search?q=nort...ZnB7wQ_AUIBygC


Better weather and not too far, is White Salmon WA, very nice community and a bridge crossing to Hood River, OR ~ 1 hr to PDX. East of WS you will get into ticks and snakes, west you will find Moss on your roof.

Bellingham to Blaine is a great choice too, if you enjoy the access to Vancouver BC / metro and ethnic, If you like sea kayaking and water sports, this might be a great choice.

Close to Seattle and retired is often found WEST (Poulsbo, Sequim, and Gig Harbor). Near Southworth / Vashon Ferry will keep you close to SEA TAC, cheap, but not EZ airport. (PDX is cheap AND EZ, but you may have reason to be in Seattle area.)

Oregon is not an option for me, the people and politics are enough, but 7% income tax on amounts over $3.3k is pretty steep. 9% over $8400

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 11-07-2016 at 07:19 PM..
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,232 posts, read 3,010,111 times
Reputation: 9586
Our kids grew up here in Florida, but both moved to WA. We investigated moving there, and found it to be totally unaffordable on my retirement income. We never looked at CA because of its reputation as expensive. We did move to AZ because the cost of living was more like that in FL. We found from visits at different times of the year that we would have hated the endless rain and gloom in WA. We didn't see the kids as much as we expected, but did enjoy other aspects of living in AZ. We joined an RV club and went on trips to many western states as well as down into Mexico. For our 50th anniversary we cruised from Seattle to Alaska with our family.

AZ is famous for the hot climate, but the state has different climates depending on the elevation. Phoenix does get hot, but Flagstaff is very pleasant in summer and gets snow in the winter. Flag is up around 7000' while PHX is at 1100' elevation. Some folks are snowbirds without ever leaving the state, wintering in the south and going north for the summer months.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:05 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,546 posts, read 39,924,861 times
Reputation: 23658
CoL can vary per taste,

My WA costs;
$100/ month food and entertainment
$70 / month full year-round electric (no gas in rural area, aux heat w/ our own wood) no AC required
$50/month home insurance
$30/ month car insurance
$18/ month landline / dialup.
$0 water and sewer (rural = septic and well so I keep $3000 in reserves for repair (haven't needed in 50 yr of wells and septic)
No cable / no dsl / no dishes / no cell towers / or antennae allowed.
$1200/ month property taxes (cuz I fought the assessor for 20 yrs). Up from $70/ month

$100/ month property tax on My Nearby rental home (30 second away, but in a different county) with same cost basis.
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Old 11-08-2016, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,686 posts, read 1,866,292 times
Reputation: 11294
Having lived in WA for 12 years and finally escaping to Texas, I cannot recommend any city in WA. Horrific traffic, even if you are retired you have to get out occasionally, the cold drippy weather, high cost of living ( you are used to that tho).

I was miserable. You can have my spot.
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,769 posts, read 54,408,375 times
Reputation: 31058
We are from the Bay Area, and love it here in Sammamish after 23 years, but will be moving when we retire due mostly to the property tax at nearly $7,000/year and the continued development eliminating the woods that attracted us here in the first place. My parents are just outside Sequim in unincorporated Port Angeles. There are many micro-climates in WA due to the water and mountains. In their case, being so close to the Olympics at 500' elevation, the rain shadow is very evident visually, and they get only 10-12" of rain. There are plenty of activities in the area, but it's rural, so have to drive 20 minutes in either direction on 101 to do any shopping. My recommendation is Poulsbo, just 20 minutes to the Seattle ferry, very walkable if in/near town.
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:06 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,546 posts, read 39,924,861 times
Reputation: 23658
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
Having lived in WA for 12 years and finally escaping to Texas, I cannot recommend any city in WA. Horrific traffic,....
I keep seasonal homes in both places + CO for 'shoulder season'. But.... USA is really not a LT retirement option if HC does not get significant changed (Bandaid fix will not do).

My WA traffic is ONE stoplight between me (rural) and 1m population (soon to be a round-a-bout )

12 - 16 min, maximum wait 38 sec
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