When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Oregon.
But where exactly in Oregon? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Oregon that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Dallas don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Beaver State to retire for 2018:
- Dallas (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Milwaukie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- The Dalles (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Canby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lake Oswego (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Roseburg (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Pendleton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gladstone (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Grants Pass (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Klamath Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Beaver State
To create our list of the best places in Oregon to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Beaver State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 38 places from across the state.
For these 38, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 38, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Dallas, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 15,175Median Rent: $715
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,181
More on Dallas: Homes For Sale | Data
Dallas was settled in the 1840s on the north side of Rickreall Creek and was originally named ‘Cynthian’ or ‘Cynthiana’. A 1947 Itemizer-Observer article states: ‘[T]he town was called Cynthiana after Cynthiana, Ky., so named by Mrs. Thos. Lovelady.’ The History of Polk County Oregon, 1987, Page 12, states: ‘To Mrs. Thomas J. Lovelady was given the honor of naming the new settlement and she selected the name after her home town of Cynthiana, Kentucky.’
Population: 20,643Median Rent: $972
Distance to Closest Airport: 10 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,296
More on Milwaukie: Homes For Sale | Data
Milwaukie was settled in 1847 and formally platted in 1849 as a rival to the upriver Oregon City by Lot Whitcomb, who named it for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the time, the Wisconsin city was also frequently spelled ‘Milwaukie’ before the current spelling was adopted. Some accounts also state that the Oregon city used an alternate spelling to prevent confusion at the post office.
3. The Dalles
Population: 15,276Median Rent: $757
Distance to Closest Airport: 69 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,312
More on The Dalles: Homes For Sale | Data
The site of what is now the city of The Dalles was a major Indian trading center for at least 10,000 years. The general area is one of the continent’s most significant archaeological regions. Lewis and Clark camped near Mill Creek on October 25?27, 1805, and recorded the Indian name for the creek as Quenett.
Population: 17,218Median Rent: $935
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,161
More on Canby: Homes For Sale | Data
Canby is named for Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, a Civil War general who was later killed in the Modoc War by Captain Jack and his group of warriors.
5. Lake Oswego
Population: 38,065Median Rent: $1,371
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,253
More on Lake Oswego: Homes For Sale | Data
The Clackamas Indians once occupied the land that later became Lake Oswego, but diseases transmitted by European explorers and traders killed most of the natives. Before the influx of non-native people via the Oregon Trail, the area between the Willamette River and Tualatin River had a scattering of early pioneer homesteads and farms.
Population: 22,201Median Rent: $813
Distance to Closest Airport: 63 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,265
More on Roseburg: Homes For Sale | Data
The city was named for settler Aaron Rose, who established a homestead within the current city limits on September 23, 1851. Rose was born in 1813 in Ulster County, New York. In 1851, he came to Oregon from Coldwater, Michigan, where he had lived since 1837.
Population: 16,861Median Rent: $650
Distance to Closest Airport: 108 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,190
More on Pendleton: Homes For Sale | Data
A European-American commercial center began to develop here in 1851, when Dr. William C. McKay established a trading post at the mouth of McKay Creek. A United States Post Office named Marshall (for the owner, and sometime gambler, of another local store) was established April 21, 1865, and later renamed Pendleton. The city was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on October 25, 1880.
Population: 11,850Median Rent: $1,053
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,742
More on Gladstone: Homes For Sale | Data
Prior to European settlement, there were several Native American groups living in the area that was to become Gladstone.
9. Grants Pass
Population: 36,776Median Rent: $859
Distance to Closest Airport: 23 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,726
More on Grants Pass: Homes For Sale | Data
Early Hudson’s Bay Company hunters and trappers, following the Siskiyou Trail, passed through the site beginning in the 1820s. In the late 1840s, settlers (mostly American) following the Applegate Trail began traveling through the area on their way to the Willamette Valley. The city states that the name was selected to honor General Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg. Grants Pass post office was established on March 22, 1865. The city of Grants Pass was incorporated in 1887.
10. Klamath Falls
Population: 21,322Median Rent: $719
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,024
More on Klamath Falls: Homes For Sale | Data
The Klamath and Modoc Indians were the first known inhabitants of the area. The Modoc Tribe’s homeland is about 20 miles (32 km) south of Klamath Falls, but when they were pushed onto a reservation with their adversaries the Klamath, a rebellion ensued and they hid out in nearby lava beds. This led to the Modoc War of 18721873, which was a hugely expensive campaign for the US Cavalry, costing an estimated $500,000 the equivalent of over 8 million in year-2000 dollars. Seventeen Indians and 83 whites were killed.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Oregon goes to Dallas.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
For more Oregon reading , check out:
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Oregon
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Oregon For 2018
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Oregon