Salem : Oregon


What It Is 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 175,000 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 Capitol Center in downtown Salem, and photo of Bush’s Pasture Park, courtesy of Wikipedia and M.O. Stevens (public domain).

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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 left).  The National Association of Realtors reports the median price of homes during the 1st quarter of 2022 was $433,700.


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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