If the time for your retirement is approaching, you are facing one very important and life-changing decision: Where will I retire?
Proximity to family generally tops the list of determining factors for many retirees, but there are other things to consider as well when planning for your future. Ideally, the place you choose to live in retirement will possess a favorable climate, an abundance of human services, reasonable cost of living, cultural and recreational resources, and other benefits.
Based on these qualities, Seattle is often ranked as one of the best places to retire – not only in the state of Washington but also the nation.
Why Retire in Seattle?
When narrowing down your choices for where to settle after you retire, experts recommend selecting places with populations of 10,000 or more, as they tend to have higher levels of human services and attractions for newcomers, according to The Balance.
A city of nearly 725,000, Seattle is a metropolis that is large enough to maintain a vibrant economy along with ample services, attractions and resources, without being overwhelmingly chaotic. For a large city, it is also a safe place to live.
Here is a closer look at some of the characteristics that make Washington – and the Seattle area, in particular – the right choice for retirement:
1. Top-notch Healthcare
Within the Seattle-Bellevue metropolitan area, you can find exemplary healthcare, which is an identifier of a community that prioritizes the health and wellness of its citizens. The area is primarily served by the University of Washington Medical Center, but you also have access to EvergreenHealth Medical Center and Overlake Hospital Medical Center to address your healthcare needs as you age.
2. Temperate Climate
Seattle has a reputation for its plethora of rain – which occurs, on average, about 152 days each year. Otherwise, the city enjoys mild temperatures year-round, which enables you to get outdoors for recreation around Lake Union, Waterfront Park, Discovery Park, and the Puget Sound region. You can spend your days fishing, kayaking, walking on trails, biking, and enjoying the unparalleled natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
3. Abundant Arts and Culture
Whether you are looking for live theater, symphony music, ballet, or other visual and performing arts, you can find your favorites in Seattle. With museums and galleries galore, public art, and more than 100 theater companies, the arts are alive and well in Seattle for both those who enjoy traditional art forms and those seeking new experiences and expressions. Additionally, it’s not difficult to find free entertainment, cultural opportunities, educational lectures, and other fun things to do in West Seattle.
4. No Income Tax
By virtue of being a large city with a wealth of service and resources, the cost of living in Seattle is higher than the national average. However, Washington is a tax-friendly state for retirees. Because there is no state income tax, you won’t have to pay taxes on your pensions, Social Security benefits, and other retirement income, according to Kiplinger. The state also has a lower-than-average property tax and no inheritance tax for estates of a certain value.
5. Bountiful Retail Shopping
While Pike Place Market has one of the most extensive reputations when it comes to Seattle’s shopping splendor, it is only one of numerous places to get your retail fix. The city is filled with independent boutiques, major department stores, thrift stores, and antique malls. You can also develop personal relationships with purveyors, farmers, and crafters by visiting one of more than a dozen seasonal farmers markets in the area, including the West Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Market.
6. World-class Cuisine
Seattle has a dynamic food scene, making it a restaurant destination that not only draws visitors but also satisfies the varied palates of local residents. Serving everything from quintessential American cuisine to diverse ethnic fare, Seattle’s cafes, dives, and other dining establishments are at your fingertips if you retire in the city.
Retiring in Seattle
While Seattle may not be your “typical” retirement destination – think Florida or Arizona – it possesses its own attractive qualities that create a unique and rewarding experience for older adults. Not only can you find a safe, secure retirement community that offers comfortable housing and its own collection of services and amenities, but there is always something to do in the city. Make your home at Daystar Retirement Village and take advantage of Seattle’s myriad recreational, culinary, cultural, and retail experiences year-round.
“Seattle: A Great Large City for Retiring in Good Health.” Kiplinger magazine. Accessed online at https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T006-C000-S002-seattle-city-for-retiring-in-good-health.html
“The 20 Best States for Your Retirement.” Kiplinger magazine. Accessed online at https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-best-states-for-retirement-2018/index.html
“Choosing the Best Place to Live in Retirement.” The Balance blog. Accessed online at https://www.thebalance.com/where-should-i-retire-2894254
“Arts & Culture.” Visit Seattle. Accessed online at https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/
“10 Reasons to Retire in Washington State.” Senior Living Blog. Accessed online at https://visitseattle.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/
“Retiring in Seattle: Getting Back to Nature in the Pacific Northwest.” After55.com. Accessed online at https://www.after55.com/blog/seattle-retirement-guide/