Retiring in Oregon

1 min readLast updated April 26, 2024by Kate Morgan

This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Oregon.

Oregon, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a unique and picturesque environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a moderate climate. With its stunning coastline, mountains, and charming cities, Oregon offers a retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year.

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According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Oregon had a population of approximately 4.2 million people, with over 17% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.

What age can you retire in Oregon?

Like many states, Oregon has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in Oregon: 

  • Social Security benefits: The earliest age at which you can begin receiving Social Security benefits is 62, but if you delay taking benefits, your monthly payments will increase. Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. Delaying benefits until after FRA can result in even higher monthly payments. 

  • Medicare eligibility: Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, regardless of retirement status. However, if you choose to retire before age 65, you will need to find alternative healthcare coverage until you become eligible for Medicare. 

  • Age discrimination: It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on age. 

  • Retirement savings: Regardless of retirement age, it is important for individuals to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement. 

However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state. 

Why do people retire to Oregon?

  • Picturesque environment: Oregon is known for its natural beauty, from its stunning coastline to its majestic mountains. Retirees can enjoy living in a picturesque environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and outdoor activities. 

  • Moderate climate: Oregon's climate varies greatly depending on the region, but many areas have a moderate climate with mild winters and warm summers. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who want to avoid harsh weather conditions. 

  • Outdoor activities: Oregon is home to numerous national parks, forests, and beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. 

  • Cultural scene: Oregon has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Portland Rose Festival, and the Bend Film Festival. 

What puts people off retiring to Oregon?

  • Cost of living: Oregon's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income. Housing and healthcare costs, in particular, are higher than in many other states. 

  • Traffic: Oregon is known for its traffic congestion, particularly in and around the major cities of Portland and Eugene. 

  • Natural disasters: Oregon is prone to natural disasters such as wildfires, earthquakes, and floods, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas. 

Best places to retire in Oregon

If Oregon is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in: 

  1. Bend: Bend is a vibrant city located in Central Oregon. It offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and skiing. Bend is also known for its cultural scene, with several museums, art galleries, and music venues. 

  2. Ashland: Ashland is a small city located in Southern Oregon. It is known for its Shakespeare Festival, which draws visitors from all over the world. Ashland also offers plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and fishing. 

  3. Eugene: Eugene is a college town located in the Willamette Valley. It offers a laid-back lifestyle and a vibrant cultural scene. Eugene is known for its natural beauty, including the nearby Cascades Mountains. 

  4. Salem: Salem is the capital city of Oregon and is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley. It offers a diverse range of cultural activities, including the Oregon State Fair and the Salem Art Fair. Salem is also close to several vineyards and wineries. 

  5. Portland: Portland is the largest city in Oregon and offers a wide range of cultural and outdoor activities. It is known for its food scene, microbreweries, and coffee shops. Portland is also close to several natural attractions, including Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. 

  6. Corvallis: Corvallis is a small city located in the Willamette Valley. It is home to Oregon State University and offers a vibrant cultural scene. Corvallis is also known for its outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and fishing. 

  7. Hood River: Hood River is a small city located in the Columbia River Gorge. It is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities, including windsurfing, kiteboarding, and skiing. Hood River is also close to several vineyards and wineries. 

In conclusion, Oregon offers a range of benefits for potential retirees, from a mild climate to picturesque scenery and outdoor activity opportunities but prepare for a higher cost of living. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Oregon, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement. 

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Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.

Want to retire in Oregon?

A financial advisor can help you plan and realize your dream retirement.