Advertisement
retirement

Olympia, Wash.: A Smart Place to Retire

Enjoy the tax-friendly city's wine trails and college courses.

Population: 52,555

Cost of living: 106

Median home price: $345,000

College perk: Evergreen College offers free classes for retirees 60 and older.

Olympia, the state capital, is only about an hour away from Seattle but significantly more affordable. The median single-family home price is roughly $330,000, compared with more than $700,000 for Seattle, says Jim Greene, the designated broker and owner of Greene Realty Group. If renting is more your speed, you can get a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom house for about $1,750 a month.

At Evergreen State College, older adults can register as “special students,” which allows them to take courses without going through admission. Residents 60 and older can have tuition waived for up to eight credits per quarter.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Active retirees will find plenty to do. The Olympia Film Society showcases independent and classic films at the historic Capitol Theater, a city landmark. Art collectors won’t want to miss the semiannual Arts Walk, featuring paintings, sculptures, photography and more.

The South Sound Wine Trail and the South Sound Coffee Trail run through Olympia. It’s also home to the South Sound Craft Crawl, which highlights locally made beer and cider. If you’re looking for an actual trail, the 14.5-mile Yelm-Tenino bike trail lies 40 minutes southeast of Olympia. Kennydell Park, seven miles from downtown, is home to 40 acres and 1,000 feet of freshwater beach.

Washington has no state income tax, so income from pensions, Social Security and withdrawals from retirement accounts is tax-free.

For population figures, we used the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Cost-of-living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research (100 represents the national median). Median home prices were provided by Redfin, Zillow and local associations of Realtors.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

11 Dividend-Paying Stocks You Should Think Twice About
dividend stocks

11 Dividend-Paying Stocks You Should Think Twice About

Dividend-paying stocks often can be a store of safety, but 2020 has been difficult on income equities. These 11 picks look like shaky plays despite th…
September 21, 2020
Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know
Medicare

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know

There's Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and so on. We sort out the confusion about signing up for Medicare --…
September 16, 2020
Where You Should Invest Now
investing

Where You Should Invest Now

Kiplinger.com senior investing editor Kyle Woodley joins our Your Money's Worth podcast to answer investor questions about tech stocks, the election a…
September 22, 2020

Recommended

25 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations
investing

25 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations

Large concentrations of high-net-worth households are found in surprising locales across the U.S. Check out the latest list of American small towns te…
September 15, 2020
How to Catch a Rock-Bottom Rate
Buying & Leasing a Car

How to Catch a Rock-Bottom Rate

Rates on everything from home mortgages to car loans are at record lows. We’ll tell you how to qualify for the best rates.
August 27, 2020
Why ‘Rent vs. Buy’ Is the Wrong Question
buying a home

Why ‘Rent vs. Buy’ Is the Wrong Question

The equation for owning a home or renting isn’t as straightforward as it may first appear. The deciding factor for you could come down to something ot…
August 11, 2020
12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2020
real estate

12 Cheapest Small Towns in America 2020

Affordable small towns aren't necessarily the best places to live for everyone, but each cheap small town on our list has its charms.
August 6, 2020