As we continue to search for our next home we are wondering which state would be the better state to retire in, Washington or Oregon? We’re not ready to retire yet, but as we get closer to retirement age we wonder where to retire, Washington or Oregon?
Both states seem to be experiencing amazing population growth. It’s no wonder as both states have incredible beauty, wonderful outdoor recreation as well as the cities of Portland and Seattle.
After searching the Internet I found a few facts. Washington is the more populous of the two states. In 1990 the population was just under 4.9 million and it is now 7.4 million.. Oregon’s population was 2.8 million in 1990 and now it is 4.1 million. Washington has a younger makeup than Oregon, 13.6% of its population is 65+, compared to Oregon’s, which is 15.5%.
Real estate prices seem to be very similar. Of course it depends on where exactly you are looking for a house. Washington’s home values have gone up 6.9% over the past year and it is predicted they will rise again this year. Oregon prices have also gone up 6% over the last year and they are also expected to continue to rise. We left an area where the real estate market has not been raising much at all. Unfortunately we will not be making a lateral move.
We do not plan to live in the city in either state, but if you compare the cost of living Seattle, Washington is 38% more expensive than Portland, Oregon!
Both Washington and Oregon have similar climates. The actual biggest differences are the very wet coast sections of each state as compared to the desert like eastern reaches. Most of our exploring has been along the western part of each state.
What about taxes? Both states are actually considered tax friendly. Washington does not have an income tax. They do have a sales tax, which is 6.5% statewide and higher in certain areas like Seattle and some other cities. In Oregon the reverse is true, they have no sales tax but a stiff income tax instead. Oregon exempts social security and some pension income from state income tax. Oregon seems to treat capital gains as regular income. Both states offer senior property tax exemptions to those with lower incomes.
After weighing all the comparisons I think it will come down to where we can find a house that we want to spend the next twenty years in. Both states have a lot to offer, beautiful scenery, lots of hiking trails, youthful big cities such as Portland and Seattle. You can choose to live near the water or near the mountains or somewhere in between.
So we’ll keep looking in both states and see what we can find as far as our next house goes.