Retiring in Redmond, WA
Situated between the dramatic Cascade Mountains and sparkling waters of Puget Sound, Redmond is probably best known as the home of Microsoft, and Nintendo of America. Thanks to the global success of these companies, and the associated large population of highly paid tech workers, the area has gained a reputation for affluence.
But what makes Redmond a great place for active adults to retire is that it abounds with natural beauty. It’s a city that boasts 34 parks totaling over a thousand acres with over 25 miles of trails; all within 20 minutes of downtown Seattle and only a short ride away from some great skiing.
Realizing full well that “active adults” includes a variety of activity levels, it’s an area that just about everyone can enjoy. There are trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding, and many of the parks are “neighborhood parks” with benches and picnic tables, sports fields or courts. Marymoor Park in particular is one of the most popular in King County. It features a climbing rock, a big off-leash dog park, a model airplane field, an outdoor theater, and Washington’s only velodrome.
Cycling enthusiasts will probably be also interested to know that Redmond is “the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest”. In addition to the velodrome, there’s the annual Derby Days bike race that takes place on the city streets, and is the oldest bike race in America. July of 2010 will see the 70th anniversary of this event.
Along with the race, Derby days is a great example of this small town’s community spirit. There are booths and attractions from most local businesses, and the events are designed to raise funds for local schools and holiday decorations downtown. During the rest of the year, the historic downtown, adjacent to modern downtown Redmond, offers a robust small businesses community and some great shopping in a relaxing environment. There’s live theatre, music, film and literary arts for every taste, along with an abundance of first-class restaurants to explore.
If finally owning your own business is part of your retirement plan, you should know that the City of Redmond does not have a Business & Occupation tax on income. Rather, a business license fee of $85 per employee helps offset the costs of road improvements for businesses. For those concerned that the regional economy is driven entirely by the big tech firms, it should also be noted that by some accounts Redmond’s economy, as well as Puget Sound’s, continued to expand even when general technology slowed.
Of course, the strength of the local economy did not make the area immune to recent upheavals in the national economy. In an odd way, the housing crash has presented an opportunity for retirees looking at this area. Falling home prices have actually created a phenomenal buying opportunity at places like Redmond Ridge.
For example, Trilogy at Redmond Ridge is a planned community that’s designed around 55+ active retirees. Well situated with easy access to surrounding areas such as Bellevue, Trilogy’s location is naturally beautiful and features almost 500 acres of protected Sammamish River wetlands and preserved forest. Homes are constructed using the best modern practices and offering the latest in green technology, much of which reduces the total cost of owning and maintaining a home month to month. Check out their web site for details, but overall the amenities are stunning and represent a highly desirable retirement lifestyle. Of course, as home buyer confidence returns, expect values (and prices) to inch their way back up. Let’s face it, low prices don’t last for long in such an idyllic locale. Now is the time for action, and you owe it to yourself a look at this opportunity to realize your dream retirement.