Oregon lies on the West Coast, sandwiched between sunny California and rainy Washington. It’s well-known for its quiet beauty, a surprisingly versatile llama population, and its large retiree population. But is the Beaver State truly an excellent state to retire in?
Oregon can be a good state to retire in for individuals looking to enjoy relatively temperate weather, breathtaking scenery, locally-grown produce, fresh-caught seafood, and an endless array of outdoor adventures. But retirees on a tight budget may want to choose a different retirement location.
In this article, we’ll review the qualities retirees should look for when choosing a retirement location. We’ll also discuss the advantages (and potential drawbacks) of retiring in Oregon. You can use this information to help you choose the ideal retirement destination!
What Qualities Should Retirees Look for in a Retirement Destination?
Before you start packing your bags and scouting for your next home, it’s crucial to take a moment and consider the qualities that can make or break a retirement destination. Generally, retirees will want to choose a retirement location with:
- A low cost of living
- A high quality of life
- Temperate weather
- Affordable property taxes
- Nearby attractions
- Close proximity to loved ones
Naturally, some of these aspects might not be as important to you as others. For example, individuals and couples who aren’t close with family members may not want to choose homes near their relatives.
Equally, those who don’t mind temperature extremes might opt out of temperate climates. Still, the above factors tend to be some of the most influential for those choosing a state to retire in. To decide if Oregon might be a smart choice, you’ll need to determine which qualities are most important to you.
Once you’ve got that settled, you can peruse Oregon’s best and worst qualities for retirees and make a wise decision. To start, let’s address the positive aspects of retiring in Oregon.
What Are the Advantages of Retiring in Oregon?
There are quite a few potential advantages of retiring in Oregon. Of course, retirees may value some of these benefits more than others. However, generally, those who retire in Oregon can anticipate the aspects that we will discuss below.
If the following aspects of Oregon life sound exciting, then you may enjoy your stay in the Beaver State! Still, it’s a good idea to investigate these potential benefits to find out how accurate they are. After all, it can be challenging to judge a location if you’ve never visited or lived there.
Oregon’s climate is relatively temperate and mild, especially among the outer counties. While the state’s interior can experience bouts of dry weather in the summer season, many residents are kept somewhat humid thanks to the Oregon coastline.
The temperatures in Oregon typically fluctuate between about 40℉ (4.44°C) in the winter and 70℉ (21.11°C) during the summer. While residents can expect some snowfall during the winter months, the average depth is only a few inches.
Naturally, those living closer to the Cascade Mountain Range can expect heavier snowfall due to a higher elevation. Equally, individuals living close to the coast may only see cold winter rains and zero snowfall.
When you live in Oregon, you live in a realm of nearly endless scenic views. This state has a little bit of everything, and this diversity lends itself well to natural beauty. You can explore:
- Coastal Swamps
- Volcanic Areas
And these are only a few of the scenic options Oregon offers! If you appreciate aesthetic beauty in its most wild form, you’ll likely feel drawn to Oregon.
Should you also enjoy snacking on fresh, organically-grown fruits and veggies, you’ll also be able to enjoy the locally-harvest cuisine found throughout the state.
Access to Fresh Local Cuisine
Did you know that about 25% of Oregon is used for farming and ranching? The many restaurants, cafes, and farmer’s markets found throughout the Beaver State reflect deeply-held respect for sustainable agriculture and innovative cuisine.
If you’re a diner who appreciates clean, green eating, you’ll enjoy the variety of unique dishes and tasty experiences found here.
Abundant Public Transportation
Owning a car can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be a financial burden. Retirees hoping to alleviate themselves of car ownership may struggle to find retirement destinations with good public transport options.
Fortunately, Oregon has some of the most diverse forms of public transportation of any U.S state. Residents and visitors can use railway services, public bus systems, and hired cars to get around safely and quickly. Those living in metropolitan areas may also be able to utilize light rail.
Plenty of Outdoor Activities
While you’re catching some sun rays and enjoying the most scenic areas of Oregon, you may get a little exercise. There are a ton of outdoor activities available to Oregon residents, and they can be found everywhere.
You might get some fresh air while taking a hike to a nearby park, you might enjoy scaling the side of one of Oregon’s mountains, or you might make a splash while exploring the depths of an ancient lake. No matter what kinds of outdoor activities you enjoy, you can find them in Oregon.
What Are the Potential Disadvantages of Retiring in Oregon?
Now that we’ve discussed the pleasant aspects of retiring in Oregon, it’s time to address the less-than-pleasant truths that go along with them. If you retire in the Beaver State, you’ll need to prepare for:
- High cost of living
- Cold winter temperatures
- Costly property taxes
While Oregon’s average cost of living falls below the US average, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most affordable retirement destination. In the largest and most populated cities, property prices are competitive, and goods tend to be slightly more expensive than their rural counterparts.
In Ontario, Oregon, the average price for a home is about $160,000. But in Portland, a house might cost you upwards of $400,000. If you’re attempting to retire on a budget and you don’t already own property in Oregon, moving here might be somewhat pricey.
Additionally, those living closest to the Cascade Range may need to handle harsher winter weather than those near the coastline or the Midwestern states. Retirees in poor physical health may be unable to plow their front yard or driveway, or they may be sensitive to extreme temperatures.
As such, Oregon may be an unsuitable home for those incapable or unwilling to deal with regular rain and occasional snow. And while the state does enjoy a slightly lower property tax rate than the US average, higher-value homes incur heftier annual taxes.
Some retirees that already own a property in Oregon may find themselves with financial difficulties if their property increases in value during their retirement.
Is Oregon a Retirement Friendly State?
Oregon is home to several diverse retirement communities, and it’s little wonder why. This coastal state has lush forests, gentle sandy beaches, and mountainous trails that capture the eye and the imagination.
Oregon residents tend to enjoy fresh, local ingredients. Thanks to several hundred miles of coastline, there’s also an abundance of fresh-caught seafood throughout the Beaver State. Retirees with a taste for wholesome veggies, fruits, and fish are bound to fall in love with Oregon at first bite.
That said, Oregon may not be the ideal retirement haven for everyone. Individuals who don’t enjoy outdoor activities, annual snowfall, or natural, organic cuisine may not enjoy their time in Oregon. Additionally, some retirees cannot afford the high cost of living and staggering property taxes commonly found throughout this western state.
Others may find it too far from relatives and friends. Naturally, the best way to determine if Oregon is a good state for you to retire in is to consider your preferences, needs, and capabilities.
If you like the sound of things so far, and you know you can afford the move and upkeep, you might want to go ahead and make a move on a property in one of Oregon’s retirement-friendly communities.
Oregon could be the perfect place to retire, especially for those who enjoy wild forests, expansive beaches, winter snowfall, and jaw-droppingly beautiful surroundings. The fresh, local cuisine and absence of a sales tax are also alluring.
However, those hoping to retire in Oregon should be prepared to finance a relatively high living cost and a slightly punitive annual property tax. Retirees must also be willing to tough out winter snow and spring rainfall. Still, the overall quality of life that many retirees experience here could make the initial effort more than worth it.
- Britannica: Oregon | Climate
- Leisure Care: 10 Reasons to Retire in Oregon?
- Newsmax: Drawbacks of Retiring in Oregon
- Oregon: How property taxes work in Oregon
- Oregon Environmental Council: Sustainable Food and Farms
- Oregon Live: Now in Oregon you can have llamas dressed as a bride and groom attend your wedding
- Oregon Live: Oregon’s 50 most beautiful places
- Best Places: 2021 Cost of Living Calculator | Ontario, Oregon
- Best Places: Portland, Oregon Cost of Living
- Money U.S. News: How to Decide Where to Retire
- Visit Oregon: Top 10 Best Places to Retire in Oregon
- Wikipedia: Cascade Range