retirement

Richland, Wash.: A Great Place to Retire for Your Health

This Washington city has sunny weather that makes for good wine, along with access to three large hospital systems.

With more than 300 days of sunshine and less than 8 inches of rain annually, Richland attracts plenty of retirees from soggy Seattle, which is a three-and-a-half-hour drive to the northwest. The climate has given rise to a burgeoning wine industry, with 160 wineries within an hour’s drive. Local breweries, distilleries and cideries also use locally grown crops as ingredients. It’s one of 10 small or midsize cities we found that offer first-class health care.

Richland stats

Population: 56,200

What $300,000 will buy: 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath, 1,900-square-foot home with a master suite and a two-car garage

Best place to exercise: Sacagawea Heritage Trail

5-star hospital*: Kadlec Regional Medical Center

Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers, Richland boomed during World War II as thousands of workers came to produce plutonium for the Manhattan Project. Richland is still a center of scientific research and home to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other facilities.

Outdoor recreation is big. The Columbia River is a playground for all sorts of aquatic activities. Richland has two marinas, one public and one private, as well as a private yacht club on the Columbia. The Sacagawea Heritage Trail, named for the lone woman on the Lewis and Clark expedition, provides 23 miles of paved loop trail for walking and biking along the Columbia.

Locals enjoy the Parkway shopping area, home to a farmers-and-artisans market in the summer. Nearby is John Dam Plaza, where the Community Stage, an outdoor performance venue, hosts local performing arts groups, movies and a summer concert series with live music, food vendors and—no surprise—a beer and wine garden.

The median home price in Richland is $310,000. Retirees from Seattle who have sold a home there can often pay cash to get a nice place near things they want to do. For many, that means a home next to the river or in a golf-course community, says real estate agent Jeff Smart. You can rent a two-bedroom apartment or condo for about $1,100 to $1,200 a month.

The region is the health care hub of eastern Washington, with three large hospital systems: Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Lourdes Health in Pasco and Trios Health in Kennewick. Kadlec has an open-heart surgery and interventional cardiology program, an intensive-care unit, a neuroscience center, and health care providers in numerous specialties.

Washington has no state income tax, so retirees don’t have to worry about state taxes on retirement income, pensions or Social Security benefits. The state has an estate tax on estates valued at more than $2.19 million.

The Tri-Cities Airport offers direct daily flights to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City and Minneapolis.

* Rating developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
11 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

11 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy

Your bills come monthly. Why not your dividend checks? These are some of 2021's best monthly dividend stocks and funds for easier income planning.
May 25, 2021
4 Strategies to Reduce Taxes in Retirement
retirement planning

4 Strategies to Reduce Taxes in Retirement

Don’t let the possibility of higher taxes in the future sink your retirement income plan. Consider these four ways to help manage your taxes, keeping …
May 31, 2021

Recommended

3 Essentials for a Successful Retirement
retirement planning

3 Essentials for a Successful Retirement

To plan for the next phase of your life, you need clear strategies to provide for these three retirement needs.
June 13, 2021
Invest in a Roth 401(k) If You Can
401(k)s

Invest in a Roth 401(k) If You Can

Workers of all ages can benefit from stashing away after-tax money now in exchange for tax-free withdrawals in the future.
June 11, 2021
5 Key Considerations as You Craft Your Retirement Plan
retirement planning

5 Key Considerations as You Craft Your Retirement Plan

No retirement plan is complete without covering these five key areas.
June 10, 2021
8 Surprising Ways to Prosper From Annuities
annuities

8 Surprising Ways to Prosper From Annuities

You can use a fixed annuity to do more than just generate retirement income. These insurance contracts can also help you give to charity, leave money …
June 3, 2021