The state of Oregon is in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, with a population of Oregon that is close to 4.1 million residents, and it ranks 27th in the nation for population. Oregon has the 17th highest percentage of senior citizens in the country, with approximately 13.9% of residents who are seniors age 65 or older. Oregon is surprisingly large in area, at 98,381 square miles it is the 9th largest state in America. There are almost 40 people per square mile in this now trendy state in the Pacific Northwest.
Although the state capital is Salem, Portland is the largest city in the state with approximately 632,000 residents – far ahead of Salem’s 165,000. Portland is also the 26th highest populated city in the United States and the Willamette Valley, where Portland is located, is also the place where eight of the ten highest populated cities in Oregon are located. Oregon is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, Washington state to the north, California to the south, Idaho to the east, and Nevada to the southeast.
Oregon is the leading producer of timber in the lower 48 states although it is also the headquarters of quite a few major companies. There are nine federally recognized Native American tribes in Oregon with which the state has formal relationships. There is a strong tourism industry in Oregon, much of which is based on the state’s natural beauty, including: Crater Lake National Park, Multnomah Falls, Painted Hills, Deschutes River, Mount Hood, and the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve. It is a state that has no sales tax and it also has a “kicker law.” The “kicker law” is in place so that when the income tax collections exceed the economists’ estimates by 2% or greater, the excess must be returned to the taxpayers. By 2014, when Oregon legalized using marijuana for recreational purposes, Oregon was second of all states to have done so. It also legalized physician-assisted suicide and gay marriage.
Is this state, with beautiful nature and progressive rules for health care and senior care, a good option for someone who is looking to retire?
Costs of Assisted Living in Oregon
The median cost of care in an Assisted Living Facility in Oregon is $4,065 per month while the national average is $3,628. While the cost of Assisted Living Care is higher in Oregon than the national average is higher than the national average, the cost of goods and services in Oregon are also higher. Also, as housing is one of the most expensive costs, it is imperative to remember that one of the services provided within an Assisted Living Facility include the cost of housing, as well as 24-hour health care. Costs may vary within a facility due to the needs of the residents in the facilities and the need to provide those residents with the care that they need - which may mean more staff, better trained staff, and a higher staffing to resident ratio. Across Oregon alone, the costs of assisted living facilities vary from $3,625 in Corvallis Oregon to almost $4,839 in Albany, Oregon.
Other popular options in Oregon for caring for older people are Adult Day Health Care and Home Health Care. A Home Health Aide in Oregon costs, on average, close to $4,285 a month, over $52,500 annually. Adult Day Care in Oregon costs on average $2,026 or a bit over $24,000 annually. Care in Oregon Assisted Living Facilities is cheaper than having a Home Health Aide and it should be noted that senior care facilities provide 24-hour care as well as professional nurses around the clock, something that would be prohibitively expensive to provide in your home. A semi-private room in an Oregon Nursing Facility costs around $101,000 per year, and a private room will cost over $107,000 annually.
By the year 2030, various studies have estimated that the cost of Assisted Living in Oregon will be close to $51,000 per year. The cost of Oregon Nursing Home Care will increase to approximately $80,000 for a semi-private room and over $91,000 for a private room by 2030.
Costs of Assisted Living Care in Oregon vary in different cities. For instance, these are the latest approximate costs of a monthly stay in Assisted Living Facilities in Oregon:
- Corvallis, Oregon - $3,625;
- Salem, Oregon - $4,000
- Portland Area, Oregon - $4,072;
- Eugene, Oregon - $4,108
- Bend Area, Oregon - $4,119;
- Medford, Oregon - $4,424;
- Grants Pass, Oregon - $4,555; and
- Albany, Oregon - $4,839;
Pros and Cons of Senior Living in Oregon
Picking the best place for senior living is a tough task. Seniors who are looking to become part of an Oregon senior living community should keep the following things in mind:
- Cost of Living in Oregon is above the nationwide average;
- Violent and property crimes in the Oregon state occur more frequently than in the rest of the nation – up to 13% higher. The crime rate for violent crimes is 2.6 and for property crimes it is 29.47. The chances of become a victim of a violent crime in Oregon is 1 in 385 and 1 in 34 for property crimes. There are around 57 crimes per square mile in Oregon as compared with the national median of 32.85;
- Oregon is looked upon as a moderately tax-friendly state for senior citizens, but overall the taxes are higher in many Oregon cities. Although there is no state sales tax, you will pay taxes on your retirement unless it is from Social Security or the railroad;
- Weather – severe weather is rare in Oregon and the temperatures rarely reach extremely high or extremely low;
- Increasing Oregon senior population – Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in general have become quite trendy for people of all ages, however it is estimated that by the year 2030 the number of people age 65 and older will increase over 100%; and
- Beauty – with the mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, hiking trails, and ski resorts there is plenty for an active senior to do in Oregon if one enjoys spending time in the outdoors.
Financial Information for Oregon Seniors
Oregon has a state income tax that is falls into five different brackets. Taxes are due annually on April 15th or the next business day should April 15th fall on a weekend. In Oregon, registered domestic partners are treated the same as a married couple and entitled to the same tax breaks as a married couple. Oregon has no state sales tax. Oregon taxes all privately owned real property (land, buildings, fixed machinery, and equipment) and any personal property that is used in a business. There is no property tax on household furnishings, cars, crops, orchards, business inventories, or personal belongings.
The Oregon inheritance tax , which is officially called “Oregon estate transfer tax” requires that a dedicated estate transfer tax return must be filed.
Oregon also collects an income tax on the estate of all trusts and estates which is paid by either the trust or the estate, but the beneficiaries will also be taxed.
Oregon is a moderately tax-friendly state for seniors because it does not tax Social Security income, partially taxes public and private pensions and fully taxes all withdrawals from retirement accounts. It taxes all wages at 9%.
Seniors living in Oregon should keep in mind that it has a higher cost of living than most other states and it is higher than the United States average, with housing being the most expensive item as compared to the national average. Out of 100 points, Oregon ranked higher than the national average with a cost of living of 118.00. Oregon rated higher than the average overall (118) and in the categories of: health (116), housing (143), transportation (114), and miscellaneous (104), but lower in grocery (99.4), and utilities (97).
Places of Interest for Seniors Living in Oregon
Oregon is a state where seniors will find many attractions worth checking out. Here are some points of interest to consider for seniors living in Oregon:
- Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area – located in Hood River, Oregon. This has been designated as a National Scenic Area. It is a 1243-mile-long river with 80 miles of canyons that is located between the states of Oregon and Washington in place where the Columbia River goes through Cascade Mountains;
- Astoria Column – located in Astoria, Oregon. This 125-foot-tall column is on Coxcomb Hill in Astoria and overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River. It was originally built in 1926 and the column has a 164-step spiral staircase that leads to an observation deck at the top of the tower. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is available for senior citizens and other tourists to explore;
- Crater Lake National Park – located near Klamath Falls, Oregon. This United States National Park was established in 1902 and is the fifth-oldest national park in the nation and the only one in the state of Oregon. The park is 183,224 acres and includes Crater Lake, the destroyed volcano Mount Mazama, the hills and forest surrounding the lake, the Pumice Desert, the Pinnacles, Mount Scott, Union Peak, Crater Peak, Rim Drive, Llao Rock, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Crater Lake is 1,949 feet deep at its deepest and is the deepest lake in the United States, the second-deepest in North America, and the ninth-deepest in the world;
- International Rose Test Garden – located in Portland, Oregon. It is the oldest public rose testing garden in the U.S. with over 8,000 roses;
- Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon – located in Portland, Oregon. This garden is known as the most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan. Currently, there are renovations underway which will add a Cultural Village.
- Gordon House – located in Silverton, Oregon – a house that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is one of the last Usonian houses. It is available for rental as well as public tours. The Gordon House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004;
- Hughes Historic House – located in Port Orford, Oregon – a historic house in the style of Queen Anne that was put together in 1898 on Cape Blanco. It is now a historic house museum and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980;
- The Office Bridge – located in Westfir, Oregon. This covered bridge in Lane County, Oregon is the state’s longest bridge (180 feet), one of two that use triple Howe truss construction, and the only covered bridge west of the Mississippi River that has a separate pedestrian walkway. It was built in 1944 by the Westfir Lumber Company to replace the bridge that washed away in 1941;
- Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum – located in McMinnville, Oregon. This museum is home to the “Spruce Goose” and other vintage aircraft.
- National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center – located in Baker City, Oregon – a museum that offers various programs, living history exhibitions and demonstrations, and four miles of trails.
Some cities to consider for Oregon Senior Living
Not sure where to live in Oregon? Consider some of these cities:
- Florence, Oregon – located in Lane County, Oregon. The coastal city of Florence is at the mouth of the Siuslaw River and is approximately midway between Newport and Coos Bay. There are lots of opportunities for seniors to hike and fish as well as stunning views. The population of Florence, Oregon is approximately 8,700 residents of which around 38% belong to the senior community of 65 or older. Last year, Florence ranked #2 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #23 of 63 of the “Safest Places to Live in Oregon,” and #62 out of 124 of the "Healthiest Places to Live in Oregon";
- Roseburg, Oregon – located in, and the county seat of, Douglas County, Oregon. It is the most populous city in Douglas County and the home of Roseburg Forest Products. The population of Roseburg is approximately 22,000 residents, of which over 19% are elderly citizens age 65 or older. Last year, Roseburg ranked #10 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #62 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Live in Oregon,” and #69 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Oregon;”
- Hood River, Oregon – located in, and the county seat of, Hood River County, Oregon. Hood River is a port on the Columbia River and the town is named for the nearby Hood River. The population of Hood River is approximately 7,700 of which close to 13% of the population are elders age 65 or more. Last year, Hood River ranked #98 out of 124 of the "Best Places to Retire in Oregon," #13 out of 124 of the “Healthiest Places to Live in Oregon,” #17 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Live in Oregon City,” and #20 out of 129 of the “Most Diverse Places to Live in Oregon;”
- Newport, Oregon – located in, and the county seat of, Lincoln County, Oregon. Newport is also where the Rogue Ales, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Nye Beach, the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center are located. The population of Newport is estimated to be around 12,000 of which approximately 19% are age 65 or older. Last year, Newport ranked #6 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” and #26 out of 119 of the “Most Diverse Places to Live in Oregon;”
- Grants Pass, Oregon – located in, and the county seat of, Josephine County, Oregon. The Rogue River is nearby as is the Oregon Caves National Monument. The population of Ada, Oregon is approximately 38,000 of which over 18.5% belong to the elderly community of 65 or older. Last year, Grants Pass ranked #11 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #65 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Live in Oregon,” and #45 out of 129 of the “Most Diverse Places to Live in Oregon;”
- King City, Oregon – located in Washington County, Oregon. King City was founded as a planned community for older adults in 1966, although there are plans to expand the city without age restrictions. The population of King City is estimated to be around 3,700 people with a staggering 48% of the population who are seniors age 65 or older. Last year, King City ranked #1 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #11 out of 124 of the “Healthiest Places to Live in Oregon,” and #11 out of 30 of the “Safest Suburbs in Portland Oregon Metro;”
- Brookings, Oregon – located in Curry County, Oregon. The population of Brookings, Oregon is estimated to be around 6,500 of which around 24% belong to the 65+ senior living community. Last year, Brookings ranked #3 out of 124 of “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” and #10 out of 63 of the “Safest Places to Live in Oregon;”
- Raleigh Hills, Oregon – located in Washington County, Oregon, and a census-designated place within the Portland Metropolitan Area. The population of Raleigh Hills, Oregon is approximately 6,000 residents, with around 18% of residents age 65 or older. Last year Raleigh Hills, ranked #7 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #8 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Live in Oregon,” #5 out of 124 of the “Healthiest Places to Live in Oregon,” #7 out of 88 of the “Best Suburbs to Live in Portland, Oregon Metro,” and #26 out of 88 of the “Best Suburbs to Buy a House in Portland, Oregon Metro;”
- Sutherlin, Oregon – located in Douglas County, Oregon. The population of Sutherlin is approximately 7,850, 24% of whom are at least 65 years old. Last year, Sutherlin ranked #8 out of 124 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #75 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Buy a House in Oregon,” and #32 out of 63 of the “Safest Places to Live in Oregon,” and
- Lake Oswego, Oregon – located primarily in Clackamas County, Oregon. The town was founded in 1847 and is today one of the affluent suburbs of Portland. The population of Lake Oswego is approximately 39,000 with over 16% of the residents who are part of a senior community of 65+. Last year, Lake Oswego ranked #15 out of 129 of the “Best Places to Retire in Oregon,” #3 out of 127 of the “Best Places to Raise a Family in Oregon,” #5 out of 88 of the “Best Suburbs to Live in Portland, Oregon,” #8 out of 88 of the “Best Suburbs to Buy a House in Portland, Oregon Metro,” and #8 out of 30 of the “Safest Suburbs in Portland, Oregon Metro.”