Seattle is a beautiful city with lots to do. No trip there would be complete without checking out the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the Museum of Flight, and the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Music Project).
The city is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty—with gorgeous places such as Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park beckoning your name. Seattle is also home to the Mariners and the Seahawks; there’s an NHL team coming to town beginning with the 2021-22 season as well. And although the SuperSonics left, you never know whether an NBA team will return to town!
In addition to these attractions, there are also several major businesses—including Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks—headquartered in the vicinity. Seattle is also within striking distance of other awesome cities—such as Portland; Olympia, Washington; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Add it all up, and there’s never a shortage of things to do or places to visit in the Emerald City—which makes it a top retirement destination for many.
Are You Thinking About Retiring in Seattle?
Seattle is an incredible city with amazing employment opportunities. Whether you want to work for a startup and get shares or join a Fortune 500 and take advantage of stock options, the city has it all.
If you’re thinking about retiring in Seattle to be closer to your kids, to stay in the area you’ve lived in for decades, or to explore a city you’ve enjoyed visiting over the years, the sooner you start planning ahead, the easier it will be to enjoy a smooth transition into retirement.
Although home prices in Seattle are more expensive than they are elsewhere in the country, they’ve been falling in recent years. If you’ve owned a home for a while, there’s a chance that the asset has lost some value lately—which is definitely something to keep in mind. On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy property in the area, this decrease in housing costs can be particularly appealing.
Beyond housing prices, you’ll also have to consider the cost of living. Recent data also suggests that Seattle has a higher cost of living than the average area of the United States. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that the median income in Seattle is on the high end at $93,500.
Money isn’t the only consideration you need to make. For example, you’ll also want to consider the weather. The last thing you want is to end up in a place where you aren’t comfortable.
On the whole, Seattle’s climate is pretty mild. It rains a lot, of course. But the summers can be temperate and beautiful.
Financial Planning Tips for Retiring in Seattle
Because Seattle isn’t the cheapest place for retirement, you need to do your due diligence and develop a plan that ensures you’ll be able to afford the lifestyle you desire during your golden years.
So first things first: The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better the position you’ll be in when the time to call it a career finally comes.
Part of your saving plan may include regularly setting aside what you can for retirement. It might also include maximizing your retirement plans—or creating one for yourself if you are a small-business owner. If you happen to work for one of the publicly traded companies that are in the Seattle area, such as Starbucks, Microsoft, and Amazon, you may want to considerany stock options and employee benefits you might have. While these stock options may have grown rapidly, having a concentrated stock position includes a higher risk in your portfolio. If you want to diversify and have a more balanced position as you near retirement, there are tax consequences that may require both tax and investment advice.
It bears repeating: If you’re thinking about retiring in Seattle, you need to prepare for high housing costs and an above-average cost of living. So the sooner you start reducing unnecessary expenses, saving, and investing more money, the better off you’ll be.
You’ll also want to keep your eye on Seattle’s potential income tax law—which was struck down in 2019. The city has expressed its desire to enact a 2.25 percent tax on individuals who make at least $200,000 and households that make at least $500,000. But a judge recently ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it wasn’t uniformly applied to all residents.
For now, Seattle’s lack of income tax makes it a rare location with high incomes and no income taxes. .
Retiring in Seattle? Contact a Financial Advisor
Retirement planning is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider beyond simple finances—such as insurance, Social Security, trusts, investments, and more.
With so much on the line, you may not want to do it all on your own. By partnering with a trusted advisor, you can collaborate and build a plan that helps you meet your retirement goals.
If you’re looking to retire in Seattle, contact EP Wealth today to see how we can help. We have a brick-and-mortar presence at 1301 Fifth Ave., Suite 1301, so stop by and say hello. We look forward to helping you create a retirement plan that makes sense for your unique circumstances!
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