What Makes Seattle an Ideal City for Seniors
From the infamous Space Needle to the water taxi, Seattle has a lot that makes it unique, and we hope seniors looking for retirement options will think so too. Here in the Emerald City, you won’t want to tap your heels three times and return to previous locations. You’ll be too busy enjoying your retirement and taking advantage of everything Seattle has to offer — from stellar public transit services to free college degree opportunities for seniors. Let’s take a look at what makes the area one of the best cities for retirement.
A Potential Break on Taxes
Let’s be honest: Seattle is not going to be the cheapest place a senior can live. Although the city is competitive with other major metro areas when it comes to certain costs, median home prices in the area are double that of the national average. Luckily, seniors can get a bit of a break on taxes to offset housing costs. First, Washington doesn’t have a state income tax — no need to even fool with forms. Second, King County offers potential exemptions on property tax for seniors who meet income requirements.
The Opportunity to Learn More
Have you wanted to go back to college for years but simply couldn’t find the time while balancing a career, family and other obligations? Seattle colleges make it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree during retirement almost for free. Seattle Pacific University, for example, offers tuition-free education for those over age 65. You can choose to audit any number of classes as a nonmatriculated student just to broaden your horizons, but you can also work on a bachelor’s degree. Tuition and technology fees are covered, but you may have to pay specific class fees.
Numerous Housing Options
Seniors can find almost any type of home in Seattle. If you’re into stand-alone, single-residence structures, we recommend traditional ranch homes or contemporary modern designs that make use of open-space concepts. The goal is to find a home likely to support you long-term, and Seattle has plenty of properties with floor plans that accommodate options such as wheelchairs or walkers. You might also consider condo units to reduce outdoor maintenance requirements or one of the city’s senior living communities, where you can access 24-hour assistance and never worry about housekeeping tasks.
So Many Public Transportation Options
Seniors in Seattle can come and go on foot or by bus, train, streetcar or boat, depending on where they choose to settle. The city has a wide array of public transit options, and seniors can often take advantage of discounted fares. King County Metro, for example, offers reduced fares for those older than 65 throughout the Puget Sound Region. That includes fares for numerous bus lines, the King County Water Taxi, Washington State Ferries and Seattle Streetcars.
Excellent Health Care Providers
Seattle is home to top-notch medical facilities. The University of Washington Medical Center has more than 900 doctors on staff and is rated highly by U.S. News & World Report in numerous specialties, including geriatrics, oncology, and endocrinology. Downtown, seniors can seek comprehensive urgent and specialty care from the Virginia Mason Seattle Medical Center, and in West Seattle, residents can turn to Swedish West Seattle Primary Care for preventative care and minor emergencies. Other medical centers pepper the landscape throughout the city, so seniors in any neighborhood won’t need to travel far to get care for intermittent illnesses or chronic conditions.
We love Seattle and all that it has to offer and think seniors will too. We’d love to hear your retirement stories of choosing a home or living in Seattle.