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Spokane Makes "Top Ten" List for Affordable Living

The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane. Photo courtesy of the museum.
The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane. Photo courtesy of the museum.
July 18, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. - Those looking for an affordable place to retire - or save for retirement - have 10 options to consider, in new rankings from aarp.org/magazine AARP The Magazine - and Spokane is one of them.

The researchers looked at where a person or couple can live on $100 a day, or an average annual income of a bit more than $36,000, including buying a home.

Spokane made the list. The winning cities showed some economic stability along with good medical facilities, public transportation, and fitness and cultural activities.

For today's baby boomers, says Gaby Redford, editorial project manager at AARP The Magazine, where to live isn't only about being near family - it's very much about finances.

"From a pure cost perspective, if you happen to be living in a very high-cost area, you really do need to look around in retirement - or even just after 50 - and make your money last a little bit longer."

She cites the fact that Washington doesn't tax pensions as another benefit of choosing the Evergreen State for retirement. Spokane's virtues in the article also include a median housing price of $145,000, good weather and the city's "easy-going livability."

One of the cultural "must-see" attractions named in the article is the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution that includes five galleries. Rebecca Bishop, the museum's communications and marketing director, relocated to Spokane 19 years ago from the muggy Midwest - and says she's glad she did.

"We have something for everybody here. There's water, there's climbing. We're close enough to Seattle to get your big-city fix on if you need it. But it's just beautiful here, and enough culture and activities that keep you busy."

A few other cities on the Top 10 list are Grand Junction, Colo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Pittsburgh. The complete article is online at aarp.org/magazine. The museum's website is northwestmuseum.org.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA