Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2020


We analyzed over 77 places in Washington to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Washington.

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You don't have to play the lottery to win a list of the best places to retire in Washington, Homesnacks has them listed here for free!

Yes, we've taken the guessing out of the equation and created a list of the best places to retire in Washington for 2020, and this is how we did it.

First, we took a look at the latest FBI and Census data for 78 cities with 10,000 residents. Once we identified this list, we looked at important factors like safety, affordability, rent, and how close a place is to an international airport.

Now, Washington is great for many reasons, but it's especially great for people looking to retire in the great Northwest. And the secret is out. Washington's population of 65 and older residents is currently at 12% and that number is expected to increase dramatically. The state as a whole is pretty safe and there's a ton of great stuff to do. Yes, if you love hiking, there's Colville National Forest just north of Spokane; and if you love fresh fish, definitely check out Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.

And if there's one piece of advice that we give anyone looking to retire in The Evergreen State, you should probably buy a house instead of renting. Rent here is as steep as Mt. Olympia: it's significantly above the national average steep.

Want to know more? We suggest you grab your favorite seat at Denny's, order that early bird special, and scroll down. We promise there's going to be some surprises.

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

Many places in Washington get close to 40 inches of rain a year, so the biggest question is: what do 7.5 million residents, 825,000 retirees, find so appealing about this corner of the country? We'll tell you. The people here are very nice and every place in the state is postcard worthy.

But what's the best place to retire in Washington? That would be Camas according to the latest FBI and Census data.

But, our list identifies the top TEN best places to retire in Washington, so take a look below to see the other great places that deserve a congrats. And if you don't see what you are looking for there, head to the bottom.

For more Washington state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2020

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,615
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,217
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Camas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camas is a city in Clark County, Washington, with a population of 19,355 at the 2010 census. The east side of town borders the city of Washougal, Washington, and the west side of town borders Vancouver, Washington. Camas lies along the Washington side of the Columbia River, across from Troutdale, Oregon, and is part of the Portland metropolitan area.

Vancouver, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 178,413
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,142
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Vancouver: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. State of Washington, and the largest suburb of Portland, Oregon. Incorporated in 1857, it is the fourth largest city in the state, with a population of 161,791 as of April 1, 2010 census. Vancouver is the county seat of Clark County and forms part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the United States. Originally established in 1825 around Fort Vancouver, a fur-trading outpost, the city is located on the Washington-Oregon border along the Columbia River, directly north of Portland. In 2005, Money magazine named it No. 91 on its list of best places in America to live. In 2016, WalletHub ranks Vancouver the 39th best place in the US for families to live.

Review Of Vancouver by HomeSnacks User

I grew up and currently live in Vancouver, WA. It is a suburb that seems like a small town at times. It is a calmer city than Portland with all the conveniences and walking trails, a nice waterfront, and a historical fort.

Watch out for congested roads and drivers who do not know what they are doing.

Anacortes, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 16,725
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $1,163
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Anacortes: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Anacortes is a city in Skagit County, Washington, United States. The name "Anacortes" is an adaptation of the name of Anne Curtis Bowman, who was the wife of early Fidalgo Island settler Amos Bowman. Anacortes' population was 15,778 at the time of the 2010 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included in the Mount Vernon-Anacortes Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Washougal, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 15,484
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,108
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Washougal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Washougal is a city in Clark County, Washington, United States. The population was 14,095 as of the 2010 Census.

Kenmore, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,546
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,358
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Kenmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kenmore is a city in King County, Washington, United States, along the northernmost shores of Lake Washington. A mix of bedroom community, one-time country retreat, and freshwater industrial port, prominent features include the nation's largest seaplane-only, commercial air facility at Kenmore Air Harbor, Bastyr University, several waterside parks and marinas, and easy access to the Burke-Gilman Trail and the King County bike-trail system. Sites of local historical interest include the former St. Edward Seminary, now Saint Edward State Park; and Log Boom Park. Kenmore's official city flower is the dahlia, the official city bird is the great blue heron, and the official city evergreen is the rhododendron. The population was 20,460 at the 2010 census.

Cheney, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,962
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $872
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on Cheney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cheney is a city in Spokane County, Washington, United States. The full-time resident population was 10,590 as of 2010 census. Eastern Washington University is located in Cheney, and its population grows to approximately 17,600 people on a temporary basis when classes at Eastern Washington University are in session.

Bainbridge Island, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 24,060
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,399
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Bainbridge Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bainbridge Island is a city in Kitsap County, Washington, United States, and is coextensive with the eponymous island in Puget Sound. The population was 23,025 at the 2010 census, making Bainbridge Island the second largest city in Kitsap County.

Review Of Bainbridge Island by HomeSnacks User

Just moved to Bainbridge Island last year and we think it's fabulous! Weak reasons for BI to appear on this list! And I'll take 35 minute ferry ride any day instead of sitting in my car in traffic!

That 35 minutes; read the paper, check emails, and a fabulous Happy Hour on the ride home! Are you kidding me!!! Who made up this list- BTW, there's plenty to do on the island! Hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, shopping, boating, golf, tennis, should I go on-

Ferndale, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,622
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Rent: $959
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Ferndale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Ferndale is a city in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. The population was 11,415 at the 2010 census. It is the third largest city in Whatcom County and borders the Lummi Nation on its southern border.

Spokane, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 214,804
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $842
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Spokane: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Spokane spoh-KAN) is a city located in the state of Washington in the northwestern United States. It is located along the Spokane River west of the Rocky Mountain foothills in eastern Washington, 92 miles south of the Canada-US border, approximately 20 miles from the Washington-Idaho border, and 280 miles east of Seattle along Interstate 90.

Des Moines, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 31,518
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,282
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Des Moines: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Des Moines is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 29,673 as of the 2010 census.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Evergreen State for 2020

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 -- 617 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 78 places from across the state.

For these 78, 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 78, with the lowest number being the best.

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

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Washington Yet...

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

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

  1. Monroe
  2. Redmond
  3. Bonney Lake

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Washington?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Camas 22,615 $1,217
2 Vancouver 178,413 $1,142
3 Anacortes 16,725 $1,163
4 Washougal 15,484 $1,108
5 Kenmore 22,546 $1,358
6 Cheney 11,962 $872
7 Bainbridge Island 24,060 $1,399
8 Ferndale 13,622 $959
9 Spokane 214,804 $842
10 Des Moines 31,518 $1,282

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.