Benefits of Retiring In Washington (Pros & Cons)

David Bolton

/

July 28, 2022

General Retirement
Benefits of Retiring In Washington (Pros & Cons) | Retire Fearless

Washington State is attracting an increasing number of retirees. This is mainly due to the many benefits of retiring in Washington.

For post-career retirees, what matters is a stress-free life in a state that offers them plenty of benefits, has pleasant weather, a variety of activities to do, and the opportunity to enjoy what they couldn’t during the years they spent working their regular 9 to 5.

Tax-related benefits, a wide variety of outdoor activities, mild climate, abundant entertainment options, and great coffee are some of the many reasons why Washington is a great place to retire. However, there are some cons too, including high housing costs, bad traffic, and a high crime rate.

Washington State has various places that are ideal for post-career retirees. While it’s not the first place that comes to your mind when you think about moving to another state after you retire, there’s every reason why you should consider retiring in Washington. Having spent a major part of your life working a 9 to 5 job and returning home all tired and exhausted, it’s absolutely okay to want to retire somewhere you get a chance to actually enjoy life. When in Washington, you can really make up for all the fun you’ve lost.

As DC residents, we know all about the state and, thus, are in a good position to tell you all about the pros and cons of retiring in Washington.

Table of Contents

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Benefits of Retiring In Washington (Pros & Cons)

The State of Washington – A Glimpse of Glory

Before we move on to the pros and cons of retiring in Washington, let’s first have a glimpse at why Washington attracts people. What is it about Washington that causes people to fantasize about living there after they retire?

Washington is one of the greenest states and is known for its excellent air quality. Now, who doesn’t want to spend their old age in a state where they don’t have to stress about the quality of the air they’re breathing? Another reason people consider moving to Washington after retirement is that it’s a huge state with plenty of options for retirees to lead a comfortable life. The weather is great, and Washington is also home to some of the best national parks – perfect for spending time with nature.

These are the many reasons why one may want to retire in Washington. But, should you really? Are there more pros of retiring than in Washington than cons? Let’s have a look at the benefits of retiring in Washington. We’ll also shed light on some of the cons of retiring in Washington that you must not undermine.

Pros of Retiring in Washington

So, you’re planning to retire in Washington and want to be absolutely sure about your decision. That’s great! We’ve listed down some of the pros of retiring in Washington that might entice you.

Tax-Friendly State

Washington State is one of the best places to retire because it’s tax-friendly for retirees. The state charges no tax on social security, retirement, and pension accounts, so you don’t have to worry about any part of your post-retirement money going into taxes. Not only are retirees exempted from income tax, but the average property tax that you’ve got to pay when living in Washington is also lower than in other states.

As if all of these tax-related benefits for retirees weren’t enough, if you own property in Washington whose value is less than $2.193 million, you don’t have to pay any inheritance tax as well! Taxes are one of the biggest pain points for retirees, and Washington addresses this issue just right, making it one of the most desirable places to retire.

Boosts a Good Health

If you want to live someplace that helps you work on your physical and mental health, Washington is definitely an option worth considering. Kiplinger has ranked Washington among the best places to retire – and that’s partly due to the fact that it promotes a healthy lifestyle. The state has a huge variety of locally grown food options, water recreation, stunning trails for hiking, a breathtakingly beautiful shoreline, and one of the best healthcare.

Not only can you engage in healthy activities that’ll help ensure you stay physically and mentally fit, but there are also educational lectures that you can sign up for to keep yourself busy and active. Another benefit of retiring in Washington is the excellent air quality.

The state has plenty of trees, making it one of the greenest states. It won’t be wrong to say that Washington has everything you need to stay fit and age well, making it a great place to retire.

Beautiful Landscape

Washington has a beautiful landscape. The coastline extends over several miles. If you’re a beach person, Washington is your place to be. However, if you’re a mountain person, Washington is a place to be for you too. The state is home to the Cascade Mountain Range. The coastline and mountain range offers a variety of landscape, thereby satisfying people of all sorts of preferences.

Mild and Pleasant Climate

The climate in Washington stays pleasant all year round. Although it does rain a lot, the summers aren’t too hot, and the winters aren’t too cold. By the time you retire, you’ve aged enough not to be able to bear extreme weather conditions, be it extreme cold or heat. In this state, you may not feel the need to turn on your air conditioner during the summers, and you won’t have to stress about having to clear your driveway of snow in the winters.

Friendly Environment

Washington has a very friendly and welcoming aura, which loving and accommodating people, so you probably won’t find it too hard to fit in. You’ll be welcomed warmly. People moving to a new state are worried about whether or not the people are friendly and helpful, and when in Washington, that is something you won’t have to worry about.

World-Class Healthcare

Washington is known for its world-class healthcare. It has some of the best hospitals in the world. It is also home to the renowned University of Washington Medical Center. The state has all the right medical equipment and technologies to offer high-quality healthcare services. Not all states have the right kind of healthcare for the elderly, but Washington does.

Variety of Outdoor Activities

You don’t have to worry about not having something to do when in Washington. Since we’re talking about retiring in Washington, you may want to know if the state has enough activity options to keep you entertained and busy in your post-retirement days. One of the biggest benefits of retiring in Washington is you’ll get to enjoy numerous outdoor adventures. From camping to hiking to picnicking by the lake, you can have a taste of it all!

Thriving Economy

The economy of Washington is thriving. It is home to some of the biggest companies and industries, including Amazon. Microsoft, Starbucks, and Nordstrom. You can always look for post-retirement opportunities if you’re up for it, or you can look into investment opportunities. If nothing else, you can just enjoy a stress-free life in an economically stable state with strong, intact values.

High Level of Resident Satisfaction

The residents of Washington are quite satisfied with the state’s living conditions, which is yet another reason why you should opt to retire in Washington. Apart from the picturesque landscape, thriving economy, tax relaxation, residents don’t face problems related to inclusion. It’s home to people of different ethnicities and cultures, and the people of Washington are welcoming and friendly in general (as mentioned earlier).

Heaven for Wine-Lovers

If you love wine, Washington might just be the place for you. The state has more than 1,000 wineries and 300 breweries. You can enjoy some of the finest and freshest wines here. One thing that not many people know is that the state has legalized the recreational use of cannabis. If you want to live and enjoy life to the fullest (let’s face it; most of it was spent in a robotic lifestyle before you finally retired), Washington will give you endless opportunities.

Cons of Retiring in Washington

There are definitely numerous pros of retiring in Washington, but as we said earlier, you should also consider the cons of retiring here (which are quite a few) before making your decision. Some of the most notable cons of retiring in Washington are listed below:

High Housing Cost

The cost of housing in Washington is very high. The real estate prices are much higher than the national average. To be specific, the cost of property in Washington is about 65% higher than the US average. Although the property tax rate in Washington is quite a catch, it doesn’t make up for the exceedingly high housing costs. If you think you can rent a nice house, you should know that even the rent costs are 25% higher in Washington than the national average.

High Cost of Living

Not only is housing in Washington super expensive, but the cost of living is also pretty high too. From grocery to fuel, everything is more expensive. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced state where you could live after retirement, Washington surely isn’t one of the best options.

High Sales Tax

Another con of retiring in Washington is high sales tax. You’re exempted from income tax, but sales tax is something you can’t run away from. The sales tax rate is 9% higher than the US average. The gasoline tax is quite high too. This is one of the reasons why everything in Washington is so expensive, be it groceries, gasoline, or anything else you buy for yourself or your home.

Poor Traffic Conditions

If you aren’t too fond of driving in traffic, you shouldn’t consider retiring in Washington. The traffic conditions in Washington are bad – so bad that Wallet Hub has ranked the state as the third-worst state for drivers. The traffic congestion in Washington is brutal, to say the least. The road conditions are poor, and of course, the fuel prices are steep.

High Crime Rate

One of the biggest cons of retiring in Washington is the high crime rate. The state is beautiful, economically stable, and tax-friendly for retirees, but it’s not safe. The crime rate in Washington is higher than the average. We aren’t only talking about minor crimes; both property-related and violent crimes are quite common here. Car theft is a problem too. The occurrence of robberies, rapes, murder, and assault is pretty high.

Too Much Rain

Although we said the milder climate is a pro of retiring in Washington, you might not love the climate if you aren’t too fond of rain. The state receives about 73-inches of rain every year. Although the frequent rainfall keeps the state as green as it is, it also means there won’t be much sun to enjoy. There are approximately 150 days a year when it’s raining and several days when it’s cloudy, leaving you with just a few sunny days. Even people who love rain might get tired of seeing rain and clouds all year long.

About THE AUTHOR

David Bolton

With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.

Read more about David Bolton

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