The Pacific Northwest is a lush and beautiful region if you don’t mind the overcast winters. The state of Washington may not have the retirement reputation of Florida, but for those who are looking for cooler temperatures and an outdoor life, it is an excellent choice. Washington is not one of the cheaper states to live in, however, this is offset a bit by the lack of state income tax, free outdoor entertainment, and a climate that means you will rely a little less on air conditioning. The website InsiderMonkey.com compiled data on physicians per capita, senior population, crime rates, and cost of living to rank retirement spots in Washington. Here are the best nine options.
1) Vashon Island
Only 20 minutes from Seattle, Vashon took the top spot on the list. It’s close enough to enjoy the perks of the big city, but far enough away to get more peace and quiet. Its rural atmosphere is aided by the fact that it is on an island in Puget Sound, accessible only by ferry service. It’s definitely not the cheapest option. In fact, the cost of living is 53 percent above the national average, but there are 426 doctors per capita and 17.6 percent of the population is 65 and older. The annual strawberry festival pays homage to the island’s economic history with strawberry farms and orchards, and many small farms still operating on the island provide fresh, organic produce to residents. The Vashon Senior Center offers classes, transportation, and meal programs.
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