The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington For 2023


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

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Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2023. This is our tenth 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 2023, and this is how we did it.

First, we took a look at the latest FBI and Census data for 89 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.

Why did Port Townsend 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 Port Townsend 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 2023

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,002
Rank Last Year: -
Median Rent: $1,076
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Port Townsend: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Port Townsend, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 25,774
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $1,504
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Camas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,888
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,006
Distance to Closest Airport: 29 miles
More on Port Angeles: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Port Angeles, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,437
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,360
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
More on Anacortes: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Anacortes, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 69,957
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,548
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Marysville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Marysville, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 12,743
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $956
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
More on Cheney: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cheney, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 225,709
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $956
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
More on Spokane: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Spokane, WA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 23,556
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Rent: $1,704
Distance to Closest Airport: 15 miles
More on Kenmore: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kenmore, WA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 16,664
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 7)
Median Rent: $1,311
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Washougal: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Washougal, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 24,557
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $1,771
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Bainbridge Island: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bainbridge Island, WA

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Evergreen State for 2023

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 89 places from across the state.

For these 89, 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 89, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Port Townsend, 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.

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

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

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

  1. Fife
  2. Yelm
  3. Sunnyside

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Washington?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Port Townsend 10,002 $1,076
2 Camas 25,774 $1,504
3 Port Angeles 19,888 $1,006
4 Anacortes 17,437 $1,360
5 Marysville 69,957 $1,548
6 Cheney 12,743 $956
7 Spokane 225,709 $956
8 Kenmore 23,556 $1,704
9 Washougal 16,664 $1,311
10 Bainbridge Island 24,557 $1,771

How Is The Area In ?

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.