Thinking about moving to Tacoma to retire? While Tacoma might not be the most obvious place people think of when they imagine retiring, many people do choose Tacoma when it’s time to retire. Since starting MovetoTacoma.com in 2015 I’ve spoken with hundreds of people moving to Tacoma, and plenty of retirees! To learn the most common reasons I hear from them about why they’re retiring in Tacoma, Washington check out the video below or read on!
Why are people retiring in Tacoma?
1. To Be Near Family and Friends in the Tacoma area
The most common reason I hear (by far!) that people are moving to Tacoma is so that they can be near their family and friends. In these conversations I hear things like “My kids live in Seattle and I’m looking for a smaller more affordable home in Tacoma so be close by… but not too close by…” or “We have family and friends who’ve moved to Tacoma and they love it and now that we can live anywhere we want to be near our people.”
Finding community is a big part of settling in when you move to Tacoma. Here are some resources for finding community in Tacoma:
- How to Find Community in Tacoma – a blog post with loads of places where new Tacomans can plug in and find friends and community in Tacoma
- How to Move to Tacoma – Move to Tacoma Podcast episode where a new Tacoman, Marc, talks about moving to Tacoma from the midwest
2. The Weather in Tacoma
The next most common reason I hear for people retiring to Tacoma is the weather. I know, especially for those of you from warmer states, that might sound a bit wild! But it’s true. People do retire to Tacoma for the weather. Certainly some folks have a place in Tacoma and a place in a warmer state and they split their time between the two. More often than not though, people are attracted to the mild climate in Tacoma where we have relatively warm winters and cooler/less humid summers. Extreme weather events in Tacoma are very unusual. You’re not likely to encounter tornados, hurricanes, wildfires (though we do get wildfire smoke!), or blizzards in Tacoma. Folks from other parts of the country find Tacoma’s gloomy winters a small price to pay for the mild weather.
That said, if you ARE moving to Tacoma from a sunny state, you need to be prepared. Check out this interview with Destiny. She moved to Tacoma from California and has a lot of thoughts about acclimating to the weather in the Pacific Northwest!
3. Incredible Access to Natural Beauty
People retire in Tacoma to have access to the natural beauty found in the Pacific Northwest. You can experience the old growth forest in Point Defiance Park and see orcas in Commencement Bay without even leaving Tacoma. Whether for kayaking, skiing, cycling, or hiking people looking to retire somewhere with access to nature love the Pacific Northwest. Looking for ideas on how to enjoy adventures in and around Tacoma? Check out the Travel Tacoma website.
4. No Income Tax in Washington State (for now!)
Not having a state income tax is a big one for some people. As of 2024, Washington State, (along with Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming) does not have a personal or corporate income tax. Of course people or businesses that engage in business in Washington are subject to (B&O) and/or public utility tax. I know from speaking with many retirees this is a big draw. That said I always advise folks to speak with their CPA about the realities of that change for their individual situation to make sure their expectations are aligned with reality.
Remember, governments always find a way to get the money they need somehow. Make sure your expectations align with the reality of our sales tax, capitol gains, and property taxes too! You can dig into Washington’s Tax code over here at the Department of Revenue Website. Have fun with that!
5. Tacoma is Relatively Affordable
Tacoma can feel super expensive to people who live here. That said, Tacoma is very affordable compared to other cities on the West Coast. People moving to Tacoma to retire are often able to sell their homes in more expensive cities. After they’ve collected that cash from that sale they can pay cash for a smaller home in Tacoma. The median home price in Tacoma right now is right around $450,ooo, although this varies by which Tacoma Neighborhood you’re looking at. For Pierce County the median home price is more like $525,000.
For more information about how much it costs to buy a house in Tacoma check out these resources:
Wondering how Move to Tacoma can help you as you explore neighborhoods?
Our clickable neighborhood map of Tacoma’s neighborhoods is our pride and joy. Click through to find images and videos of each neighborhood. The Neighborhood guides on the map also include median home price information, blog posts about the neighborhoods, podcast episodes about the neighborhoods, and candid quotes from local neighbors.
The best way to learn about Tacoma is to hear from the people who live here. On the Move to Tacoma Podcast Marguerite interviews Tacomans who’ve been here generations and Tacomans who just got here. From business and technology leaders to politicians and activists and everyone in between. The Move to Tacoma Podcast will give you insight into why people move here and how they find meaning and happiness in Tacoma.
On the Move to Tacoma Blog we have been writing about things to do in Tacoma, where to eat in Tacoma, hot button community topics, neighborhoods and more since 2015. There are hundreds of posts to help you find what you love in the City of Destiny. From posts about where to eat and drink to interviews with locals- the blog is a great place to keep up one what’s happening in Tacoma and Pierce County.
Marguerite Martin is a different kind of Tacoma real estate agent. Reach out to find out answers to questions you have about neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the time is right to start looking, Marguerite can connect you with a local real estate agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you love most. You can see reviews from past clients who’ve worked with Marguerite on Yelp and on Google.