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:
- Vancouver (Photos)
- Cheney (Photos)
- Des Moines (Photos)
- Pacific (Photos)
- Maple Valley (Photos)
- Mercer Island (Photos)
- Spokane (Photos)
- Burien (Photos)
- Kirkland (Photos)
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.
Population: 169,982Cost 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.
Population: 11,479Cost 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
Population: 30,904Cost 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.
Population: 7,042Cost 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
Population: 25,093Cost 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
Population: 24,467Cost 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.
Population: 212,078Cost 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.
Population: 50,187Cost 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.
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.
Population: 85,812Cost 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
For more Washington reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Washington
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Washington
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Washington
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Washington
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