Bend : Oregon


What It Is Like to Retire in Bend

Active adults looking for a place to retire where the outdoors is important should consider Bend, Oregon. Located on the Deschutes River on the eastern edge of the Cascades, the area offers great scenic beauty, skiing, mountains, golf, fishing, and more. Word about how nice this city is has gotten out: the population was just over 77,000 in 2010, an increase of over 48% from 2000. Bend makes just about every list of “best retirement communities”. The town is located in Deschutes County in the center of the state.  Bend’s economy is strong thanks to tourism and its popularity as a community for active adults. There are 2 colleges in Bend, Central Oregon Community College and the Oregon State University - Cascades Campus. La Pine is a neighboring town of about 6,000 that could be a lower key alternative to Bend. Photo of Drake Park courtesy of Wikipedia and Jondroot.

Watch this short Youtube video prepared by Visit Bend Oregon:

Where to Retire in Bend and Home Prices

Housing choices are many and diverse. You can live in town or in a newer development. Sun River is one of the largest of these with almost 4,000 housing units. It is about 15 miles away.
Prices range widely depending on the development. The median home value in Bend was $616,047 in mid-2021, according to Zillow. 


What Is Special about Bend

Bend has wonderful scenic and recreational activities; Mirror Pond in downtown Bend; 71 parks and 48 miles of trails; Mount Bachelor ski resort; Bend Film Festival; Minor league baseball, basketball, and soccer; Pilot Butte State Park; Smith Rock State Park


What Is Not Special about Bend

• Far from a big city or international airport • Traffic is building • After a real estate boom in 2005-2006 prices have fallen back drastically • High unemployment rate

Who Will Like Retirement in Bend

Retirees will like living in Bend OR because it has beautiful natural surroundings and a vital and prosperous downtown. There is a strong economic base with ample opportunities for work. People who especially enjoy outdoor living will love it here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, heath care, professional services, education. There are quite a few companies with a large number of employees in the Bend area, the biggest of which is the St. Charles Medical Center. Unemployment was over 12% in 2009.  View Google Map for Bend For Bend OR Craigslist

Climate and Physical Environment

Bend is located in central Oregon on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range as it transitions into the drier Great Basin high desert plateau. The terrain is characterized by junipers, sagebrush, bitter-brush, and little water. Pilot Butte State Park is an extinct cinder cone inside the city limits. Annual precipitation averages 10-13 inches; annual snowfall is 34 inches.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Performing arts institutions and venues in Bend include the Cascade Festival of Music, Cascades Theatrical Company, Central Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Les Schwab Amphitheater , 2nd Street Theater, the Tower Theatre, and the Obsidian Opera Company. There are 3 museums in the area, including the Deschutes County Historical Museum and the High Desert Museum. There is an Art in Public Places program in addition to a number of private galleries. Central Oregon Community College is here with 1,600 students.


The crime rate in Bend is well below the national average.

Medical Facilities

St. Charles Medical Center is the main medical facility in Bend OR


Transportation in the Bend area includes Roberts Field in Redmond, Oregon, 18 miles north. Portland's International Airport is about a 3 and a half hour drive. A municipal bus system started in late 2006.
For more about retirement in Oregon


Valuable Links

Bend Chamber of Commerce


What people are saying about Bend

Oregon and taxes
There are some lovely areas in Oregon but this is not a tax friendly state for retirees. Be sure to check this out before making a commitment to move there.
Posted by kteissere on March 16, 2016
Which is better - Asland or Bend
Reader Question: Q: We enjoy your Website! Which retirement is preferred: Ashland or Bend Oregon... and why one is preferred. We wil be choosing one. A: Glad you are enjoying the website. Ashland and Bend are quite different - Ashland more cultural, Bend more outdoorsy. It's a very personal preference. I recommend you read our reviews of both towns and then visit both and form your own impression.
Posted by topretirementseditor on December 30, 2010

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