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Washington Best Places to Retire - A Guide

Overall
The scenery, setting, and people make it very popular for baby boomers looking for the best  Washington State retirement communities in the Evergreen State. Olympia is the capital and Spokane is the largest city in the eastern part of the state. Washington's cost of living can vary a great deal - Seattle, its largest city, tends to be much more expensive than other parts of the state. The Cascade mountains and an extensive waterfront make for a spectacular setting with extraordinary recreational opportunities. Washington has 3 national parks. The population is estimated at just under 6.9 million in 2012, up 11% since the 2000 census. The Wikipedia entry for Washingtonhas more interesting facts.

 

Port Townsend Lighthouse

Popular retirement community of Port Townsend

Best places to retire in Washington state
Active adults looking for retirement information on the exciting city of Seattle, home of the University of Washington, will find vital information to help them assess that community. Want to live on an island? Check out our profile of the idyllic San Juan Islands. Port Townsend is especially nice, almost all of the town has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Ellensburg, Kennewick, Wenatchee, Issaquah, and Pasco are also great places. For each community - from interesting Bellingham to ihe interesting small town of Centralia, the college town of Olympia to Walla Walla- you will find community reviews written by active adults, not marketers. 

Climate
The Washington climate is characterized as Marine West Coast - moist air from the Pacific controls the climate. Year round temperatures are in a fairly narrow band. Washington is known for a lot precipitation, particularly in winter. The Olympic Peninsula has some of the only temperate rain forests in North America.

Washington Economy & State Home Prices
Washington's median household income at $55,600 is $5000 higher than average for all U.S. states. Agriculture, hi-tech, and aviation are important to the economy. The statewide median price of a home in early 2012 was $210,300 (Zillow.com). The first quarter of 2013 median home in the Seattle/Tacoma area sold for $312,600 (NAR); the cost of living index there is 120 (national index is 100). In Spokane during the same period, the median home was $166,200 and the cost of living index is 94.

Washington Taxes

Tax Burden: Total tax burden in Washington at 8.9% is 35th of the U.S. states, well below average.

Marginal Income Tax Rates. Washington is tax-friendly for retirees, primarily because it has no income tax.

Sales Tax:  State sales tax ranges from 7 to 9.5%, depending on location and type of sale.

Property Taxes:  State law requires that county assessors appraise all property at 100 percent of its true and fair market value. In terms of per capita property tax, Washington is about average. The state offers a property tax exemption for those with household incomes of $35,000 or less. 

Estate and/or Inheritance Taxes. Washington has an estate tax.

Link to Washington State Department of Revenue.

Certified Retirement Communities
Washington does not have a certified retirement community program.

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