Olympia : Washington

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What it's Like to Retire in Olympia

If you have been looking to retire in a relaxed college town with ample access to the great outdoors and where something is always going on, then Olympia, with 45,000 people in southern Washington, might be the place for you. Outside Magazine recently named Olympia as one of the best college towns in America. There are 3 community colleges, led by Evergreen State College which creates a youthful presence here. The city, the capital of Washington, serves as a regional shopping, cultural, and entertainment center.

There are many cultural activities which is one reason why this town is a popular home for retirees. There are plenty of open spaces and beautiful parklands. Olympia National Park is perfect for hiking and other activities. The presence of Puget Sound should appeal to sailors and fishermen.  The area gets plenty of rain but it also has a relatively mild climate. All that rain results in a lush and picturesque environment that is second to none, with Puget Sound on one side and the Olympic mountains on the other. This diverse city has a wet but mild climate in the winter. Photo of Capital Theatre courtesy of Wikipedia and Joe Mabel. For more information on taxes go to what it is like to retire in Washington State. Here are our reviews of Bellingham and the San Juan Islands
 

Where to Retire in Olympia and Home Prices

Retirees can live in town in nice neighborhoods, the suburbs, or in some of the active adult communities in the region (see link to Active Communities at top right).  Retirees coming from the west or east coasts will find real estate to be relatively inexpensive by those standards.  Zillow reports the median sale price of homes in early 2015 was about $220,000.

 

What is special about Olympia

• Small college town and the state capital • Relatively low cost of living • the evergreen forests of Olympic National Park • Puget Sound • Procession of the Species, a community arts-based festival and parade •  One of Washington’s largest flea markets • Vibrant cultural scene
 

What is not special about Olympia

 Earthquakes

 

Who will like retirement in Olympia

Olympia attracts a community of who would like to live in a college town, who like culture, and who enjoy being close to one of the world's great outdoor environments. Here is a review of another great college town in WA, Walla Walla
 

Local economy is driven by

The state capital, tourism, and 3 colleges drive the economy.
 

Climate and Physical Environment

Olympia is located on the extreme southern tip of Puget Sound on Budd Inlet. The majestic mountains of the Olympia National Park and Puget Sound provide a rare backdrop. Several strong earthquakes occurred here in 1949, 1965, and 2001.
 

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Olympia has become a hub for artists and musicians, and there is a popular Mozart at a Music in the Dark concert.  Theater companies include Capital Playhouse, Olympia Family Theater, Theater Artists Olympia, Olympia Little Theater, and Harlequin Productions at the historic State Theater. The Olympia Symphony Orchestra performs five regular season concerts at the Washington Center and two pop concerts. There are art galleries in some of the community colleges, as well as a film festival.

 

Crime

The crime rate is slightly above average in Olympia.
 

Medical facilities

Columbia Capital Medical Hospital. Providence St. Peter Hospital
 

Transportation

Olympia Airport; Olympia walkability is average compared to other cities.

 

Valuable Links

Olympia, Washington

 

What people are saying about Olympia

Olympia
I read the facts but can anyone who has retired to Olympia weigh in on the pros and cons please? Kim
Posted by gordonkm54 on August 06, 2014

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Facts about OLYMPIA
  • State: WA
  • Environment: College Town,Small-mid Sized City,Boating Community,
  • City Population: 25,001-50,000
  • 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: No
  • Name of the Guide: jb

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

Vote on the Ratings for Olympia
Update Your Ratings
1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 2.9/5 ( 51 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.9/5 ( 42 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 1.3/5 ( 44 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 2.1/5 ( 35 votes cast)

5.Recreation:
None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 5 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

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

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 2.1/5 ( 9 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 2.3/5 ( 47 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 2.6/5 ( 62 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

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

 
 

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