Seattle is a large city in Western Washington with pride in its rich history that dates back to the early settlement of the United States. The city is home to many revolutionary companies like Amazon and Starbucks, making the city a hub of innovation with many attributes attracting people to visit the city. There is plenty to do year round and easy public transportation that allows residents to really take advantage of all their city has to offer.
Climate and Geography
The climate in Seattle is considered a mix between a Mediterranean and an oceanic climate type. Typically winters are cool and rainy, while summers are mild and comparatively dry. The city's close proximity to three large bodies of water—the Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean, and Lake Washington—help regulate temperatures, preventing extreme highs and lows. The Seattle area is considered the cloudiest in the U.S., with an average of just 152 sunny days each year. Seattle also averages 38 inches of rainfall and 4.6 inches of snowfall.
The city is nestled among several hills such as Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Magnolia, Denny Hill, and Queen Anne. Seattle is the northernmost major city in the U.S. with a significant portion of their population living higher north than many Canadian cities like Toronto and Montreal. Seattle is also located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Seattle is rich in culture and history, with its early settlement in the 1800s. It is home to many national attractions and residents are sure to find something that peaks their interest. Some of the top attractions include the Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Pike Place Market, Woodland Park Zoo, Green Lake Park, Washington Park Arboretum, Museum of Pop Culture, the Seattle Public Library, and many more. The city is also easy to navigate through with many choices of transportation including a link light rail, the King County Metro Transit, Seattle Streetcars, the Seattle Center Monorail, car and bike sharing, and shuttles vehicles.
Vancouver, BC in Canada and Portland are also both less than three hours away from Seattle, providing the perfect opportunity for a day trip or weekend getaway to enjoy everything these cities have to offer.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Seattle is higher than the national and state average with the driving factor primarily being housing while other factors like utilities and health are lower than the national average.
Washington does not have income tax which means that retiring residents can rest assured that Social Security benefits and all other retirement income will not be taxed by the state. Because of the high cost of homes, property taxes can be quite expensive, however there are various property tax exemption, deferral, and assistance programs for residents who qualify based on age, income, and property value.
Seattle residents have access to great hospitals with a wide range of specialties. The University of Washington Medical Center is nationally ranked, rated high performing, as well as being the No. 1 medical center in Seattle. The hospital is recognized for its outstanding services in specialties like Cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, rehabilitation, orthopedics, heart bypass surgery, just to name a few.
Other prestigious medical centers in Seattle include Virginia Mason Medical Center, EvergreenHealth Kirkland, Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, Swedish Medical Center-Cherry Hill, Swedish Medical Center-First Hill, Overlake Medical Center, St. Joseph Medical Center-Tacoma, UW Medicine-Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, and UW Medicine-Valley Medical Center.