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 Pacific don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Evergreen State to retire:

  1. Pacific
  2. Maple Valley
  3. Fircrest
  4. Lynden
  5. Kirkland
  6. Milton
  7. Kenmore
  8. Mountlake Terrace
  9. Battle Ground
  10. Oak Harbor

Why did Pacific take the top spot? And where are Seattle and Spokane? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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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 Pacific, 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. Pacific

Pacific, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,845
Cost Of Living: 112
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,425
Pacific ranked 1 overall thanks to its 47 place rank for cost of living and 21 place safety rank.

2. Maple Valley

Maple Valley, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,040
Cost Of Living: 130
Distance to Closest Airport: 14 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,576
Maple Valley ranked 2 overall thanks to its 89 place rank for cost of living and 12 place safety rank.

3. Fircrest


Population 2014: 6,592
Cost Of Living: 121
Distance to Closest Airport: 17 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,518
Fircrest ranked 3 overall thanks to its 71 place rank for cost of living and 28 place safety rank.

4. Lynden

Lynden, Washington

Source: Flickr

Population: 12,579
Cost Of Living: 121
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,176
Lynden ranked 4 overall thanks to its 71 place rank for cost of living and 4 place safety rank.

5. Kirkland

Kirkland, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 83,320
Cost Of Living: 154
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,521
Kirkland ranked 5 overall thanks to its 103 place rank for cost of living and 29 place safety rank.

6. Milton

Milton, Washington

Source: Flickr

Population: 7,260
Cost Of Living: 114
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,837
Milton ranked 6 overall thanks to its 55 place rank for cost of living and 39 place safety rank.

7. Kenmore

Kenmore, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,263
Cost Of Living: 147
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,509
Kenmore ranked 7 overall thanks to its 98 place rank for cost of living and 10 place safety rank.

8. Mountlake Terrace

Mountlake Terrace, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,318
Cost Of Living: 118
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,686
Mountlake Terrace ranked 8 overall thanks to its 64 place rank for cost of living and 59 place safety rank.

9. Battle Ground


Population 2014: 18,168
Cost Of Living: 121
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,915
Battle Ground ranked 9 overall thanks to its 71 place rank for cost of living and 18 place safety rank.

10. Oak Harbor

Oak Harbor, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,220
Cost Of Living: 111
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,876
Oak Harbor ranked 10 overall thanks to its 42 place rank for cost of living and 17 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 Pacific.

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

  • Chehalis
  • Gig Harbor
  • Union Gap

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
Pacific 1 6,845 112 13 2,425
Maple Valley 2 24,040 130 14 1,576
Fircrest 3 6,592 121 17 2,518
Lynden 4 12,579 121 11 1,176
Kirkland 5 83,320 154 12 2,521
Milton 6 7,260 114 13 2,837
Kenmore 7 21,263 147 15 1,509
Mountlake Terrace 8 20,318 118 18 3,686
Battle Ground 9 18,168 121 13 1,915
Oak Harbor 10 22,220 111 18 1,876
University Place 11 31,670 124 19 2,462
Washougal 12 14,563 121 12 2,739
Covington 13 18,361 119 11 4,220
Shoreline 14 54,254 136 15 3,277
Lakewood 15 58,890 111 16 4,831
Edmonds 16 40,343 144 15 3,051
Tacoma 17 201,794 106 15 7,109
Mukilteo 18 20,635 152 11 2,771
Mill Creek 19 18,667 147 17 2,491
Pullman 20 30,851 111 63 1,458
Toppenish 21 9,007 86 73 4,252
Steilacoom 22 6,083 121 23 1,775
Brier 23 6,255 143 18 1,278
Lake Forest Park 24 12,938 155 15 2,682
Vancouver 25 165,554 109 3 3,525
Sammamish 26 49,077 188 13 802
Wenatchee 27 32,627 106 49 3,736
Normandy Park 28 6,491 165 1 2,172
Lake Stevens 29 29,258 124 18 2,833
Spokane Valley 30 90,829 99 14 6,101
Marysville 31 62,472 116 15 4,637
Seatac 32 27,606 115 0 6,092
East Wenatchee 33 13,403 113 47 2,894
Redmond 34 56,704 169 13 3,130
Lakewood 35 58,890 111 22 4,831
Ephrata 36 7,888 90 12 4,779
Orting 37 6,941 111 24 2,737
College Place 38 8,905 104 91 2,627
Duvall 39 7,185 148 20 1,043
Des Moines 40 30,403 118 4 4,190
Grandview 41 11,023 89 71 2,358
Sunnyside 42 16,038 89 69 2,980
Selah 43 7,328 100 69 1,269
Pasco 44 65,858 93 66 2,516
Burien 45 49,291 124 2 5,339
Lacey 46 44,031 108 36 3,370
Pacific 47 6,845 112 70 2,425
Everett 48 104,708 116 14 6,982
Issaquah 49 32,551 163 12 3,370
Bothell 50 34,920 142 17 3,213
Auburn 51 73,403 113 11 6,644
Mercer Island 52 23,636 247 4 1,603
Yakima 53 92,806 92 71 5,413
Kennewick 54 75,971 102 70 3,434
Lynnwood 55 36,267 126 16 7,317
Liberty Lake 56 8,027 114 20 1,781
Ellensburg 57 18,455 104 59 3,565
Cheney 58 11,014 98 9 2,914
Spokane 59 210,142 91 5 9,145
Bonney Lake 60 18,040 123 18 2,943
Mount Vernon 61 32,356 107 27 4,914
Bainbridge Island 62 23,206 161 12 1,499
Clarkston 63 7,318 93 86 6,504
Monroe 64 17,564 119 25 4,327
Centralia 65 16,664 94 58 4,662
Edgewood 66 9,538 128 15 2,474
Port Angeles 67 19,125 99 29 4,925
Richland 68 51,116 102 63 2,541
Stanwood 69 6,468 129 16 3,385
Airway Heights 70 6,356 90 2 5,223
Snoqualmie 71 11,625 149 20 1,410
Sequim 72 6,651 111 12 5,653
Othello 73 7,524 98 27 5,489
Dupont 74 8,851 128 28 598
Poulsbo 75 9,436 124 21 2,755
Enumclaw 76 11,388 127 22 3,328
Bremerton 77 38,664 105 19 5,221
West Richland 78 12,680 105 61 1,821
Woodland 79 5,535 114 23 3,486
Olympia 80 47,847 113 39 4,949
Puyallup 81 38,092 115 18 7,584
Quincy 82 7,075 93 24 5,908
Kent 83 122,620 119 6 5,384
Longview 84 36,589 99 42 6,663
Anacortes 85 15,965 124 21 2,730
Port Orchard 86 12,715 112 15 7,282
Kelso 87 11,837 97 39 5,930
Fife 88 9,346 112 15 8,228
Yelm 89 7,398 102 38 4,717
Renton 90 95,479 129 5 5,693
Burlington 91 8,466 105 24 8,587
Walla Walla 92 31,895 103 91 5,217
Ferndale 93 12,040 122 4 3,239
Ocean Shores 94 5,609 105 92 2,442
Federal Way 95 91,676 118 9 6,467
Sumner 96 9,548 115 15 6,619
Arlington 97 18,370 121 18 6,216
Bellingham 98 82,080 126 4 5,992
Woodinville 99 11,201 171 17 3,981
Tumwater 100 18,128 111 42 4,015
Snohomish 101 9,326 143 19 6,337
Aberdeen 102 16,544 88 77 6,310
Tukwila 103 19,573 114 2 17,702
Bellevue 104 132,268 178 8 3,591
Shelton 105 9,798 101 40 8,716
Seattle 106 637,850 154 6 7,000
Camas 107 20,458 132 8 1,520
Moses Lake 108 21,141 92 5 7,355
Port Townsend 109 9,168 113 5 4,417
North Bend 110 6,127 136 25 4,308
Newcastle 111 10,792 170 6 3,243
Union Gap 112 6,061 85 71 8,595
Gig Harbor 113 7,620 138 15 6,627
Chehalis 114 7,265 102 62 7,790

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