Located in Central Oregon, retirees who choose to make Bend their retirement destination will not be disappointed. The city offers its residents an active arts culture and a pleasant climate, with plenty of scenic views and outdoor recreation.
Climate & Geography
Bend has a semi-arid climate, characterized by summers that are short, warm, and dry, while winters are very cold and wet. The city is situated 3,600 feet above sea level, and this high altitude causes snowy winters and fluctuating temperatures. Residents can expect less rain and snowfall than the national average, and around 162 sunny days throughout the year.
Bend is on the border of the East Cascades and Blue Mountain region. Deschutes River runs through the center of Bend, with Pilot Butte, a 500-foot cinder cone resting in the middle of the city.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Bend has an lively art and entertainment scene to explore. Live musical performances are held throughout the year, and Bend has an award-winning collection of public art. The expanding collection of paintings can be found throughout the downtown area in alleys, parking garages, and on the sides of buildings. Old Mill District and Downtown Bend has a mix of chain stores as well as local boutiques to fulfill residents' shopping desires.
Active adults interested in outdoor recreation will find plenty on offer in Bend. Residents can visit Pilot Butte, which offers hikers a 360-degree view of the city. There are also more than 15 trails in the area that vary in difficulty, and winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are available during the snowy months.
Portland is also close enough for a weekend getaway, putting even more fun opportunities within reach.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Bend is higher than the state and national average. Though housing costs are the main factor for the elevated cost, other indexes such as health care, utilities, and transportation rank below the national average.
Oregon is somewhat tax friendly for retirees, depending on their source of retirement income. The state does not tax Social Security benefits and has no sales tax, in addition to property taxes that are slightly lower than the national average. However, income from retirement savings accounts are fully taxed at rates between 4.75 percent to 9.9 percent, and are not eligible for any exemptions or deductions. Pensions are also taxed, but some retirees may qualify for a pension tax credit.
St. Charles Medical Center, located in Bend, is ranked the No. 6 hospital in Central Oregon. The medical center is rated high performing in six procedures and conditions by U.S. News.