The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2021


We analyzed over 77 places in Washington to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Washington.

You don't have to play the lottery to win a list of the best places to retire in Washington, Homesnacks has them listed here for free!

Yes, we've taken the guessing out of the equation and created a list of the best places to retire in Washington for 2021, and this is how we did it.

First, we took a look at the latest FBI and Census data for 77 cities with 10,000 residents. Once we identified this list, we looked at important factors like safety, affordability, rent, and how close a place is to an international airport.

Now, Washington is great for many reasons, but it's especially great for people looking to retire in the great Northwest. And the secret is out. Washington's population of 65 and older residents is currently at 12% and that number is expected to increase dramatically. The state as a whole is pretty safe and there's a ton of great stuff to do. Yes, if you love hiking, there's Colville National Forest just north of Spokane; and if you love fresh fish, definitely check out Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.

And if there's one piece of advice that we give anyone looking to retire in The Evergreen State, you should probably buy a house instead of renting. Rent here is as steep as Mt. Olympia: it's significantly above the national average steep.

Want to know more? We suggest you grab your favorite seat at Denny's, order that early bird special, and scroll down. We promise there's going to be some surprises.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2021

  1. Camas
  2. Anacortes
  3. Washougal
  4. Kenmore
  5. Bainbridge Island
  6. Spokane
  7. Des Moines
  8. Lynden
  9. Vancouver
  10. Longview

Why did Camas take the top spot? And where are Seattle and Spokane?

Many places in Washington get close to 40 inches of rain a year, so the biggest question is: what do 7.5 million residents, 825,000 retirees, find so appealing about this corner of the country? We'll tell you. The people here are very nice and every place in the state is postcard worthy.

But what's the best place to retire in Washington? That would be Camas according to the latest FBI and Census data.

But, our list identifies the top TEN best places to retire in Washington, so take a look below to see the other great places that deserve a congrats. And if you don't see what you are looking for there, head to the bottom.

For more Washington state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2021

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 23,200
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,236
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Camas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Anacortes, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 16,977
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,193
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Anacortes: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Washougal, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 15,769
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,171
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Washougal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kenmore, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 22,724
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,433
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Kenmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bainbridge Island, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 24,486
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,555
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Bainbridge Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Spokane, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 217,353
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $866
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Spokane: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Des Moines, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 31,734
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $1,337
Distance to Closest Airport: 4 miles
More on Des Moines: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lynden, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 14,281
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $1,209
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
More on Lynden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vancouver, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 180,556
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 5)
Median Rent: $1,219
Distance to Closest Airport: 3 miles
More on Vancouver: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Longview, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 37,520
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $859
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
More on Longview: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Evergreen State for 2021

To create our list of the best places in Washington to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Evergreen State -- 617 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 77 places from across the state.

For these 77, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 77, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Camas, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Washington Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Washington goes to Camas.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Fife
  2. Monroe
  3. Sunnyside

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Washington?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Camas 23,200 $1,236
2 Anacortes 16,977 $1,193
3 Washougal 15,769 $1,171
4 Kenmore 22,724 $1,433
5 Bainbridge Island 24,486 $1,555
6 Spokane 217,353 $866
7 Des Moines 31,734 $1,337
8 Lynden 14,281 $1,209
9 Vancouver 180,556 $1,219
10 Longview 37,520 $859

How Is The Area In ?

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.