6 Best Cities to Retire in Washington State

While Washington State may not possess Florida’s constant sunshine, the Evergreen State has plenty of characteristics that make it a desirable destination for retirement living.

Washington State offers everything from vibrant cities to charming small towns and rural countryside living. Plus, it is one of the more tax-friendly states for older adults and appeals to individuals nationwide thanks to its mild climate, wealth of outdoor recreation, and gourmet coffee.

Retirement-Friendly Cities in Washington State

The western portion of Washington State is generally dominated by a lush, green landscape because of the generous amount of rain it receives. Yet you can find a warmer, desert climate in the eastern part of the state in what is known as Washington’s Wine Country. Washington State doesn’t have an income tax, nor does it tax social security, pension, or retirement accounts. Meanwhile, residents enjoy low property tax compared to the average, and as long as your estate is less than $2.193 million, there is no inheritance tax.

If you are looking to retire in Washington State, the next step is choosing the right destination. There are several factors to consider, including:

• Your financial situation
• Proximity to family and friends
• Whether you are aging in place or moving to a retirement community
• Your favorite hobbies and activities
• Your level of health

Of course, not every city will appeal to retirees in the same way; it depends on your personal goals and lifestyle needs.

To help you start narrowing down your selections, here is a look at some of the best retirement cities in Washington State. These spots were evaluated based on affordability, tax burden, accessibility to healthcare, recreation centers, and retirement communities, among other factors.

Gig Harbor

Gig Harbor is known to be one of the best places to retire in Washington State. Situated on the Puget Sound, Gig Harbor is in close proximity to the larger cities of Tacoma and Seattle, as well as quaint little cities like Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo. In addition, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is only about 30 miles from downtown Gig Harbor. 

Plus, you have great access to healthcare through St. Anthony’s Hospital, MultiCare Health Systems, and Franciscan Medical Group.


Olympia, Washington’s capital, is another one of the best cities to retire in. The city only hosts a few retirement communities because older adults comprise less than a quarter of the population, but it has robust healthcare offerings. In addition, there is plenty to do and see in Olympia, from nature conservation areas and public parks to recreation centers. 

The South Sound Wine Trail and the South Sound Coffee Trail also run through Olympia, and it’s only an hour away from the Seattle metro area, but with a notably lower cost of living.

West Seattle

The West Seattle area often ranks high in terms of overall livability, but it is also building a reputation as a desirable retirement destination. Due to the many parks and local recreation, it is often seen as one of the best places to retire for good health on a national level. The urban center is surrounded by waterways, nature trails, and parks meaning active adults are never far from the outdoor recreation they crave.

Additionally, you can find excellent healthcare in the West Seattle metropolitan area because it is part of the larger Seattle Metro area. The city also has an abundance of culture and diversity, and Seniors can take full advantage of the local flavor that adds to the city.

Seattle Water Taxi, Alki Beach. A Seattle water taxi departing Alki Beach for a trip across Elliott Bay to downtown Seattle


Forbes and MoneyWise have once described Wenatchee as one of the nation’s top places to retire. Wenatchee, as well as the greater Wenatchee Valley area, is located in Central Washington. This small, scenic city—known as the Apple Capital of the World—boasts a low cost of living, a low serious crime rate, plenty of performing arts centers and wineries, high-quality healthcare, and less rain than the western cities.

Residents can enjoy shopping, dining, cultural activities, and outdoor recreation between the revitalized downtown and Wenatchee’s location on the Columbia River.


Sequim has the highest percentage of seniors in the State of Washington, with roughly 37% of the local population comprising older adults. This beautiful, active community on the Olympic Peninsula has very reasonable housing prices for those wanting to age in place and several retirement communities. Retirees can also enjoy some of the best access to healthcare and a relatively affordable cost of living.

Because Sequim is situated in the Olympic rain shadow, the average annual rainfall is only 17 inches and most days are sunny and mild.

Federal Way

Perhaps we are biased, but to us, Federal Way is one of the top places to retire in Washington. Conveniently located within the Seattle metropolitan, it shares all the same desirable characteristics as all of the top places in Washington State; however, it also has its own distinct culture and atmosphere. Federal Way offers a dense suburban feel, with many restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, so you can get the best of the city and the outdoors while not in the middle of urban congestion. 

Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge their interests on a daily basis at PowellsWood Garden, West Hybloes Wetlands Park, Dash Point State Park, or via the numerous community parks and biking trails in the area. Federal Way also boasts some of the state’s top retirement communities, including Village Green Senior Living. And retirees can cultivate an active, comfortable, and rewarding lifestyle in Federal Way.

Retiring in Washington State

Finding the right city to retire in is essential. The community that surrounds you plays a critical role in determining your quality of life for the next several years or even decades. In conjunction with the city, you must find a retirement community that offers what you need for a comfortable, fulfilling future. 

From its beginning, Village Green has focused on creating a breathtaking natural setting for older adults to enjoy unparalleled peace and tranquility during their retirement. Whether you need independent living or assisted living, you will find the ideal housing situation and access a wide range of amenities, activities, and other enrichment opportunities at Village Green.

We invite you to discover active living, enhanced wellness, and a beautiful environment by exploring life at Village Green Senior Living! 

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