Portland : Maine

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What it's Like to Retire in Portland

Portland, Maine (population 66,000) has had a dramatic resurgence over the last 20 years. Always an important port and manufacturing center, Maine’s largest city is an ideal retirement community – in fact it is often mentioned as one of America’s most livable small cities. It combines New England history (founded in 1632), a vital downtown centered on the Old Port District, pristine beaches, and a friendly, small town feel. Having many successful years of redevelopment under its belt, this vital city also has many desirable suburbs that attract active adults 55 plus. Cape Elizabeth, for example, features the Portland Head Light and has many great neighborhoods along the ocean. There is an interesting variety of neighborhoods within Portland, many of which are named. The University of Southern Maine and several other colleges make this a college town.

Portland has many attractions for active adults. The downtown is bustling with good restaurants and interesting stores. The Maine Mall is the largest enclosed mall in Maine. There is an ample stock of Victorian buildings. There is so much to see and do, including a just-completed 30 mile network of bike and walking trails, some of it along the water. Picture of municipal boats on the Portland waterfront courtesy of Wikipedia and motionhero.

For a list of profiles of over 900 cities and towns go to retirement community reviews, or for more information on taxes and what it is like to retire in Maine


Where to Retire in Portland and Home Prices

The retirement community housing choices are very good, ranging from private homes to condos. Some retirees live here for the summer, and then migrate to a warmer climate. Cape Elizabeth is one of the nicest suburbs.  Prices are a relative bargain compared to other parts of New England.  According to the National Association of Realtors, the median selling price in Quarter 2 of 2016 was $248,800 in the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford area.


What is special about Portland

• Lively downtown with broad streets and excellent shopping • The Old Port • Livable small city • The 1873 Italianate Portland Custom House • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception • Portland Head Light and Museum • Maine College of Art • Fabulous coast of Maine • Back Cove designed by Frederick Law Olmstead • America's "Foodiest" Small Town by Bon Appetit Magazine, numerous other "Best Places"

Portland is above average in walkability when compared to other towns.


What is not special about Portland

Winters are long, cold, and dark

Who will like retirement in Portland

Portland attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a small city in the un-crowded and beautiful state of Maine

Local economy is driven by

The economy is driven by services (financial, healthcare, and social services)


Climate and Physical Environment

Portland is located on a peninsula beside Casco Bay on the Gulf of Maine and the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to the moderating presence of the water, Portland winters are several degrees warmer and summers cooler than just a few miles inland. The average July high is 79 and the January average low is 12. November is the wettest month with almost 5" of precip.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There is plenty to do thanks to the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Portland Museum of Art, Children’s Museum of Maine, and the Center for Cultural Exchange. Portland has a lively restaurant scene. Home of several colleges including the University of New England, Maine College of Art, and University of Southern Maine


The crime rate is slightly above the national average.


Medical facilities

Maine Medical Center Mercy Hospital


Portland International Jetport. There is intercity bus service and Amtrak service to Boston, MA with several trains per day. There is a local public bus system. Portland is also a great walking city and has a high Walk Score of 65 from walkscore.com.  The State Ferry Terminal has many daily ferries to Casco Bay Islands, many of which are inhabited year-round.


Valuable Links

Visit Maine


What people are saying about Portland

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Facts about PORTLAND
  • State: ME
  • Environment: Suburban,College Town,Coastal,Small-mid Sized City,Boating Community,Biking Community,
  • City Population: 50,001-100,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $200,001-$300,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: Jack

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Portland retirement communities
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 11 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.9/5 ( 8 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.4/5 ( 8 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 6 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.4/5 ( 7 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 9 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 9 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 9 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 4.1/5 ( 9 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 9 votes cast)


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