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Spokane Named Top Retirement City for 2024

Spokane is a surprisingly wonderful place to retire according to a recent report by Forbes.

My name is Phil Wells, I’m a Spokane & North Idaho real estate agent and over the years I’ve helped many people from all over the country, and even people living outside the US, retire in Spokane.

I’ve always felt that this area had a great combination of things that appeal to retirees, like great access to nature which keeps you active in your golden years, a relatively low cost of living which makes your dollar go further, no income tax which increases your take home pay however that comes, and the overall community feel which makes it easy to form relationships with people at a similar stage of life.

The Good

  • “Ample wilderness adventures, some of the food and coffee culture that permeate every corner of Seattle, and a growing economy, which includes a first-rate medical center and small tech-startup incubator, are some of the reasons Forbes now deems Spokane one of the 'Best Places to Retire.'"

  • Other boons for the city include its top-tier air quality and a low risk of natural hazards - important for those who enjoy a nature-oriented lifestyle - in addition to a high number of quality primary care doctors, and appealing tax rules.

  • Though Spokane is not perfect, those making the well-researched evaluations have determined that the city is one of the best places to retire for several years running.

  • For those with a specific set of tastes, the lifestyle remains incredibly attractive. Ample bike paths and hiking trails spread across the metro area, as well as seven public golf courses.

  • During the winter, desirable skiing destinations are also close by. And the culture scene outperforms expectations because Spokane is the central metro-area for the Inland Northwest region that includes the eastern parts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern Idaho.

  • Concerts, high-profile NCAA basketball games, and other sporting events are frequently hosted in the city, many in the recently opened Podium space - a $53million indoor sports facility. 

The bad

  • “At one point, Spokane was considered something of a 'Wild West' city, especially when it came to business schemes, many of which involved some degree of fraud. 

  • Spokane's Stock Exchange, the last regional exchange in the nation committed to a questionable over-the-counter market, was shuttered in 2009 at the strong suggestion of the SEC after an active 110+ year run.

  • As Spokane attempts to shed the remnants of its once-shoddy reputation, it is still fighting against several unappealing qualities, including a higher-than-average crime rate, very cold winters, and a state estate tax that undermines, to some extent, Washington's lack of state income tax.” ( I happen to know several great estate planning attorney’s who can help you navigate that state estate tax, so if you need a recommendation just give me a call.)

  • Another negative is that Spokanes popularity is causing strain on housing so expect to face competition when buying a house in most cases. The problem actually prompted the mayor in 2021 to issue a housing emergency proclamation which paved the way for zoning changes which now allow higher density buildings to be built in residential areas for the first time.

  • And last on the downsides list according to this article, if you visit downtown spokane you will see evidence of the growing homelessness and drug use issues. But Spokane isn’t downtown spokane. Downtown is just a part of Spokane so you can quite easily avoid it.


As you can see Spokane really punches above it’s weight in several key criteria which make is a wonderful place to live, work and yes, retire to.

If you are looking retiring in the Spokane area then please give me a call, shoot me a text, send me an email or send me a direct message on Facebook or instagram and I’d be honored to work with you too.

  • Phil Wells - Spokane/North Idaho Real Estate Agent - (509) 992-9332


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