Salem : Oregon

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What it's Like to Retire in Salem

Salem, located on the Willamette River in the northwest part of the state, is the capital of Oregon.  This growing city depends on state government and agriculture for economic support.  This city of over 157,000 always has something going on - a festival, museum show, or some entertainment from the several colleges hosted in Salem. It has a park system with 46 parks encompassing over 1800 acres. The climate is ideal for retirees, relatively mild winters and great access to outdoor activities. The Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains are close. Photo of Willamette College Library courtesy of and per license of Wikipedia and Cacophony.


Where to Retire in Salem and Home Prices

There are 19 different neighborhood associations in the City. in addition there are some active adult and 55+ communities in Salem (see link at top right).  The National Association of Realtors reports the median price of homes in the first quarter of 2016 to be $221,800, with a steady rise from $193,900, in the first quarter in 2015. 


What is special about Salem

The state capitol of Oregon is in Salem. Huge park system with trails for hikers, bikers, and horses.  Year round festivals including the Oregon State Fair. At least 3 colleges including Willamette College, Chemeketa Community College, and Corban College.

What is not special about Salem

Property taxes are high because much of the land is government (federal, state, county, city) owned and not taxed.  Salem is one of the cloudiest and rainiest places in the country. While it is the capital it doesn't seem to have the life that Eugene or Portland have.


Who will like retirement in Salem

People looking for a mid-sized city with access to the outdoors will enjoy Salem.

Local economy is driven by

State government, healthcare, and agriculture drive the Salem economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

The average July high temperature is 82 and the average January high is 47 (the average low is 33). The wettest month is December (6.5").

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Salem's cultural resources include the Mission Mill Museum, Hallie Ford Museum of Art,  and the Elsinore Theatre. The Oregon Symphony plays 10 classical concerts in Salem each year.  The annual Salem Art Fair and Festival is a big event. In addition the local colleges have cultural events.


The crime rate is slightly below average.


Medical facilities

Salem Hospital serves the community.


Salem has local bus service with connections to Portland. Amtrak has daily service from Salem. The Salem Municipal Airport serves private aviation. The Portland Airport is the nearest big airport.

Valuable Links

Salem Chamber of Commerce
Oregon Retirement Guide

What people are saying about Salem

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Facts about SALEM
  • State: OR
  • Environment: Suburban,College Town,Small-mid Sized City,Outdoor Oriented,Biking Community,
  • City Population: 100,001+
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • 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: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: No
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 2.8/5 ( 6 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 2.8/5 ( 6 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 2.8/5 ( 5 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 6 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.7/5 ( 6 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 1.7/5 ( 6 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 2.6/5 ( 5 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 2.5/5 ( 4 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

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

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 6 votes cast)


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