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Retire in Waldport, Oregon?
Overview: The motto of this former logging town, which sits on Oregon's mid-coast, is "where the forest meets the sea,' and it is easy to understand why. Nestled on the peaceful Alsea River Bay, Waldport is just minutes away from the 630,000-acre Siuslaw National Forest. It has an "old salt" feeling, a rustic but comfortable waterfront village far from big city hassles.
The town's most recognizable landmark is the Alsea Bay Bridge, which spans the bay. The bridge has an interpretive center, guided walks and clamming demonstrations (because clamming and crabbing are particularly popular here). The Port of Alsea features boat moorage and a crabbing float, and the city has a free crabbing dock on the river. Small pleasure craft and commercial boats bob in the small harbor. The Waldport Community Center hosts a Wednesday Farmers' and Crafters' Market, and the Green Bike Co-op maintains a fleet of community-share bikes. The Kayak Shack, a project of the local high school, offers tours of the bay and Lint Slough Reservoir. Residents also enjoy whale watching, tide pool investigating and golfing on the town's nine hole course.
There are miles of explorable beaches nearby, and Waldport's Beachcomber Days, first celebrated in 1957, is a festival of music, dance, and food. Neighborhoods toward the Pacific are fairly well defined, while those on the east side meander through the woods. Housing consists primarily of single family homes, including bungalows, rambling ranches, cottages and Victorians. Some are a litle funky with plenty of character, and many sit on large, overgrown lots.
Population: 2,300 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 48%
Cost of Living: 5% above the national average
Median Home Price: $275,000
Climate: Waldport sees little snow but receives, on average, 68 inches of rain per year. Summer temperatures are in the 50s and 60s, and and winter temperatures are in the 40s and 50s. Skies are often overcast, and the wind is often blowing.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Samaritan Pacific is 15 miles away in Newport and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited By Joint Commission? No. The nearest accredited hospital is Good Samaritan in Corvallis, 42 miles away.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by the county, but it is an on call system.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Oregon Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? No
Cons: Jobs are few and low paying. The earthquake risk is 350% above the national average.
Notes: Waldport is remote, but has grown by 16% within the last decade. There are a few national chain stores, but most retailers are local mom and pop shops.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, although the distance to an accredited hospital should be weighed.
Oregon became a territory in 1846, but its request to become a state was bogged down by Congress and the free versus slave state debate. Southern politicians finally allowed Oregon to enter the Union as a free state on February 14, 1859.
Although the 42nd parallel marks its southern border, water delineates most of the Beaver State's boundaries. The Columbia River separates Washington from Oregon on the north. The Snake River helps form the state's eastern border with Idaho. The Pacific Ocean is on its western edge.
Oregon is one of the country's most geographically diverse states and is characterized by volcanoes, dense forests, high deserts, and abundant bodies of water. For its latitude, its climate is mild. Mount Hood, at 11,249 feet, is the state's highest point. Crater Lake, the center of the state's only national park, is the deepest lake in the United States.
Timber, fishing, and hydroelectric power have pushed the state's economy in the past. Technology, however, is finding a firm footing. Tektronix and Intel helped establish the state's Silicon Forest. Notable companies who are or have been part of the forest include Google, eBay, Airbnb, and WebMD. Sportswear companies like Columbia and Nike also bring in billions to the state.
Portland, the state's most populous city, has more breweries in its boundaries than any other in the world. As of 2016, there were more than 60. The city boasts the world's smallest park. Mill Ends Park, dedicated in 1948, is a total of 452 square feet.
Population - 4,093,465
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 89%
Bachelor's degree or higher, age 25+ - 31%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 12%
White persons, not Hispanic - 76%
Median household income - $51,243
Median home value - $237,300
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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