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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Grants Pass, Oregon?

Overview:  Just an hour north of the California border in rugged, scenic southwestern Oregon, Grants Pass sits on the banks of the Rogue River and is known for its down to earth people and outdoor way of life. It dates from 1865 and was named after Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant.

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The attractive downtown has wide streets, red brick sidewalks and short yellow and red brick buildings with cafes, bookstores, shops and galleries. The Rogue Theatre, a farmers' market and the Grants Museum of Art are here, too. Interstate 5 runs through town, making it easy for outdoor types to venture in to raft on the river and to hike, fish, bike and camp in the next door mountains and lush Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest. Residents enjoy an outdoor pool, a community center and 20 parks, including Riverside Park, which has a rose garden and festival grounds. There is a boat launch at Baker Park, and Cathedral Hills County Park has trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Crater Lake and the Oregon Caves National Monument are easy day trips.

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Cultural events are in good supply, too, and include Art Along the Rogue, First Friday Arts Night, Boatnik, Back to the 50s and a summer musical theater. Many of these events are geared toward tourists, but locals enjoy them as well. The Rogue Community College campus has continuing education programs, and its Wiseman Gallery has a national reputation. Neighborhoods are neatly laid out and have a lot of pine trees. Housing stock includes ranch ramblers, raised ranch ramblers, bungalows and manufactured homes.

Population:  37,000 (city proper)

Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better:  43% 

Cost of Living:   7% above the national average

Median Home Price: $220,000

Climate:   Summer temperatures are in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s.  On average, the area receives 30 inches of rain and 5 inches of snow each year.    

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?   Yes

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?  No, but Asante Three Rivers Medical Center is accredited by  the National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (NIAHO).

Public Transit:   No

Crime Rate:    Below the national average

Public Library:   Yes

Political Leanings:   Conservative

Cons:   The poverty rate is well above the national average, thanks mostly to the decline of the area's timber industry.  The earthquake risk is 445% higher than the national average.

Is Oregon Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    No

Notes:   People seem to like Grants Pass, and it has doubled in size during the last 10 to 15 years. Some long time residents, though, complain about increasing traffic and say that the town is losing some of its rural charm. Class lines are evident - many of the people doing well have income from sources other than a job (retirement income, house proceeds, etc.) since jobs are few. The city is trying to replace timber revenue with tourism revenue. A lot of newcomers are California transplants.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes, although the high poverty rate is a concern.

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