These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington


We analyzed over 114 places in Washington to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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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 Washington.

But where exactly in Washington? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Washington 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 Vancouver don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Evergreen State to retire:

  1. Vancouver (Photos)
  2. Cheney (Photos)
  3. Des Moines (Photos)
  4. Pacific (Photos)
  5. Maple Valley (Photos)
  6. Mercer Island (Photos)
  7. Spokane (Photos)
  8. Burien (Photos)
  9. Fircrest
  10. Kirkland (Photos)

Why did Vancouver take the top spot? And where are Seattle and Spokane?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Washington.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Evergreen State

To create our list of the best places in Washington to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Evergreen State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 114 places from across the state.

For these 114, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 114, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Vancouver, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Vancouver

Vancouver, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 169,982
Cost Of Living: 109
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,433
Vancouver ranked 1st overall thanks to it’s 38th place rank for cost of living and it’s 57th place safety rank.

2. Cheney

Cheney, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,479
Cost Of Living: 98
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,796
Cheney ranked 2nd overall thanks to it’s 16th place rank for cost of living and it’s 41st place safety rank.

3. Des Moines

Des Moines, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,904
Cost Of Living: 118
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,122
Des Moines ranked 3rd overall thanks to it’s 64th place rank for cost of living and it’s 65th place safety rank.

4. Pacific

Pacific, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,042
Cost Of Living: 112
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,357
Pacific ranked 4th overall thanks to it’s 47th place rank for cost of living and it’s 21st place safety rank.

5. Maple Valley

Maple Valley, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,093
Cost Of Living: 130
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,510
Maple Valley ranked 5th overall thanks to it’s 89th place rank for cost of living and it’s 12th place safety rank.

6. Mercer Island

Mercer Island, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,467
Cost Of Living: 247
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,549
Mercer Island ranked 6th overall thanks to it’s 114th place rank for cost of living and it’s 13th place safety rank.

7. Spokane

Spokane, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 212,078
Cost Of Living: 91
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 9,061
Spokane ranked 7th overall thanks to it’s 8th place rank for cost of living and it’s 113th place safety rank.

8. Burien

Burien, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 50,187
Cost Of Living: 124
Distance to Closest Airport: 2 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,244
Burien ranked 8th overall thanks to it’s 79th place rank for cost of living and it’s 81st place safety rank.

9. Fircrest


Population: 6,660
Cost Of Living: 121
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,492
Fircrest ranked 9th overall thanks to it’s 71st place rank for cost of living and it’s 30th place safety rank.

10. Kirkland

Kirkland, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 85,812
Cost Of Living: 154
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,448
Kirkland ranked 10th overall thanks to it’s 103rd place rank for cost of living and it’s 29th place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Washington goes to Vancouver.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Gig Harbor
  • North Bend
  • Chehalis

For more Washington reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Washington

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Vancouver 1 169,982 109 3 3,433
Cheney 2 11,479 98 9 2,796
Des Moines 3 30,904 118 4 4,122
Pacific 4 7,042 112 13 2,357
Maple Valley 5 25,093 130 14 1,510
Mercer Island 6 24,467 247 4 1,549
Spokane 7 212,078 91 5 9,061
Burien 8 50,187 124 2 5,244
Fircrest 9 6,660 121 17 2,492
Kirkland 10 85,812 154 12 2,448
Lynden 11 13,204 121 11 1,120
Milton 12 7,239 114 13 2,845
Kenmore 13 21,830 147 15 1,470
Kent 14 125,492 119 6 5,261
Pullman 15 32,176 111 63 1,398
Battle Ground 16 18,987 121 13 1,832
Toppenish 17 8,977 86 73 4,266
Mountlake Terrace 18 20,747 118 18 3,610
Normandy Park 19 6,598 165 1 2,137
University Place 20 32,342 124 19 2,411
Oak Harbor 21 22,544 111 18 1,849
Covington 22 19,172 119 11 4,042
Washougal 23 14,987 121 12 2,662
Federal Way 24 93,986 118 9 6,308
Shoreline 25 55,021 136 15 3,231
Mill Creek 26 19,372 147 17 2,400
Tacoma 27 205,602 106 15 6,977
Edmonds 28 41,020 144 15 3,000
Lakewood 29 59,489 111 16 4,782
Mukilteo 30 20,994 152 11 2,724
Airway Heights 31 6,523 90 2 5,089
Seatac 32 28,298 115 0 5,943
Renton 33 98,499 129 5 5,518
Wenatchee 34 33,257 106 49 3,665
Steilacoom 35 6,175 121 23 1,748
Brier 36 6,530 143 18 1,225
College Place 37 8,996 104 91 2,601
Lake Forest Park 38 13,156 155 15 2,637
Bellevue 39 136,718 178 8 3,474
Sammamish 40 62,136 188 13 634
Camas 41 21,393 132 8 1,453
Lake Stevens 42 30,352 124 18 2,731
Ferndale 43 12,666 122 4 3,079
East Wenatchee 44 13,589 113 47 2,855
Spokane Valley 45 93,322 99 14 5,938
Grandview 46 11,098 89 71 2,342
Selah 47 7,599 100 69 1,223
Pasco 48 68,567 93 66 2,416
Marysville 49 64,955 116 15 4,460
Orting 50 7,254 111 24 2,619
Sunnyside 51 16,217 89 69 2,947
Bellingham 52 84,462 126 4 5,823
Lakewood 53 59,489 111 22 4,782
Redmond 54 59,268 169 13 2,994
Pacific 55 7,042 112 70 2,357
Duvall 56 7,534 148 20 995
Ephrata 57 7,980 90 12 4,724
Seattle 58 668,849 154 6 6,675
Bothell 59 43,153 142 17 2,600
Lacey 60 45,644 108 36 3,251
Moses Lake 61 21,846 92 5 7,118
Yakima 62 93,338 92 71 5,382
Kennewick 63 77,975 102 70 3,345
Port Townsend 64 9,286 113 5 4,361
Issaquah 65 34,728 163 12 3,158
Everett 66 106,580 116 14 6,859
Ellensburg 67 18,957 104 59 3,471
Auburn 68 75,607 113 11 6,450
Clarkston 69 7,314 93 86 6,508
Liberty Lake 70 8,566 114 20 1,669
Newcastle 71 11,189 170 6 3,128
Lynnwood 72 36,861 126 16 7,200
Richland 73 53,227 102 63 2,440
Tukwila 74 19,878 114 2 17,431
Mount Vernon 75 33,388 107 27 4,762
Bonney Lake 76 19,022 123 18 2,791
Centralia 77 16,729 94 58 4,644
Monroe 78 17,906 119 25 4,244
Bainbridge Island 79 23,576 161 12 1,476
West Richland 80 13,407 105 61 1,722
Edgewood 81 9,862 128 15 2,393
Snoqualmie 82 12,510 149 20 1,310
Othello 83 7,726 98 27 5,345
Port Angeles 84 19,420 99 29 4,850
Poulsbo 85 9,806 124 21 2,651
Dupont 86 9,224 128 28 574
Stanwood 87 6,685 129 16 3,275
Sequim 88 6,736 111 12 5,581
Enumclaw 89 11,543 127 22 3,283
Olympia 90 49,608 113 39 4,773
Longview 91 36,720 99 42 6,639
Woodland 92 5,684 114 23 3,395
Quincy 93 7,248 93 24 5,767
Bremerton 94 39,388 105 19 5,125
Puyallup 95 39,274 115 18 7,356
Walla Walla 96 31,952 103 91 5,207
Kelso 97 11,871 97 39 5,913
Ocean Shores 98 5,673 105 92 2,414
Yelm 99 8,066 102 38 4,326
Anacortes 100 16,229 124 21 2,686
Port Orchard 101 13,265 112 15 6,980
Fife 102 9,645 112 15 7,973
Tumwater 103 21,684 111 42 3,357
Burlington 104 8,572 105 24 8,481
Aberdeen 105 16,335 88 77 6,391
Arlington 106 18,749 121 18 6,090
Sumner 107 9,691 115 15 6,521
Snohomish 108 9,551 143 19 6,187
Woodinville 109 11,549 171 17 3,861
Shelton 110 9,832 101 40 8,685
Union Gap 111 6,125 85 71 8,506
Chehalis 112 7,340 102 62 7,711
North Bend 113 6,475 136 25 4,077
Gig Harbor 114 8,307 138 15 6,079

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