Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Pacific County Enters Phase 2

The beaches of the Long Beach Peninsula have been authorized by the governor to enter Phase 2 of the COVID-19 response. This means that restaurants and some pubs can partially open. This should be good for the communities along the coast that are so reliant on visitors for the economy. I would recommend taking a trip to the coast and enjoying those tasty treats offered. Be sure to follow the guidelines set forth regarding social distancing and face masks and such.

So this is good news and hopefully we can lick this messy disease for the summer and let the doctors and scientists figure out how to corral it for next fall when it will almost certainly return for another go round.

There will not be many large events if at all this summer but the coast may be delightfully quiet this summer offering a more sedated and relaxing opportunity for travelers and day trippers. For those Jonesing for a beachfront property to own, the real estate market is still open for business and there could be strong values for those willing to look around.

Be it fun in the sun with the crashing surf or looking for a new home, the beach is open again :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Governor Extends Stay Home till May 31

The nicest and warmest weather of the year thus far is headed our way later this week, but we can't really do much on the beaches as parks and beaches are largely closed under COVID-19 emergency orders.

On this the least festive Cinco de Mayo in many years, I'll sign off early. I will resume regular activity when this pandemic is over, for now here is an older post to ponder.

originally posted on February 6th, 2018 by Rod Sager

Many people that move to the Southwest Washington Coast are retired. It makes sense, really as retired people do not rely as much on the availability of high paying jobs as do those still in the working years. The coast is not exactly a hotbed of high tech nor is it filled with factory jobs. The only real stumbling block is that the coast is a fair distance away from the larger cities along the Oregon-Washington Interstate 5 corridor. The Long Beach Peninsula enjoys very reasonable housing costs and that can be a big bonus for fixed income retirees.

However there does come a time when we get older and need to visit our doctors a little more often. It is here that living on the quasi-remote coast can be an issue. There are plenty of physicians operating a practice on the Long Beach Peninsula and on the northern Oregon Coast, but hospitals and specialists may require an inland run to Longview which is 60 miles away.

This is probably the primary concern for retiring to the coast. If the medical services are adequate for your needs the rest is easy. Who doesn't want to enjoy the spectacular Pacific Ocean coastline? The weather at the coast is also more mild with wintertime temps a solid 8-10° warmer overnight and summertime highs an easy 10-15° cooler than most of the Portland Metro Area. Although the temps tend to be better moderated the rainfall is not. The coast can take a lickin' from frequent winter storms and that can mean a lot of rain and wind. Long Beach receives on average 79 inches a rain a year and that is double what Portland and Vancouver get on average. It's not that it rains more often, but more that it just rains harder.

But the coast is not that much different in terms of weather patterns and a nice long period of relatively dry conditions which arrive in July and stick around through the middle of September most years. 

Yes friends, retiring to the beach isn't for everyone, but it could be just the ticket for you so check it out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

COVID-19 May put the Clamps on Razor Clams this Year

This is Razor Clam season, more or less. The annual Razor Clam festival is a big deal on the SW Washington Coast. This year the event has been postponed till the fall. I have written about it in the past check this out:

I wrote about the Razor Clam festival a few years back. I am having a lazy moment and decided to repost the original from 2014. The website is the same and there is a long list of events scheduled for 2019. Do you really need an excuse to go to the coast? Well, just in case you do, now you have one.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
It's Back! Yes the classic Razor Clam Festival is back in Long Beach. Clamming has long been a favorite past time on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest and the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival has roots dated back to the 1940s.

The community has teamed up with private sponsors and the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to put on a great big festival April 19th and 20th. Check out the website for the event here.

The Southwest Washington Coast is a great place to visit and a fabulous place to live. I have spent many a word writing about the great value afforded to property in this Long beach Peninsula market and now could be an ideal time to buy your dream getaway home or retirement home in tax friendly Washington State.

Whatever you fancy, get out to the coast and check out the Razor Clam Festival starting on the 19th.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

State Parks Galore

Did you know that SIX state parks reside in Pacific County on the Long Beach Peninsula Area? That's a fair number and from the mouth of the mighty Columbia up the peninsula to Leadbetter you can dive into the wilds of nature or wonder at the historical buildings of Cape Disappointment and Fort Columbia. There's more to an outing at the coast than a walk on the beach.

Check out the six parks at the beach.

  • Cape Disappointment
  • Fort Columbia
  • Leadbetter Point
  • Pacific Pines
  • Loomis Lake
  • Willie Keils Grave

March is here and soon the weather will turn the corner to spring. For now it is still a bit of winter but sunny days are ahead with late evening sun. Next month the Razor Clam Festival returns so keep your calendar clear.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Coast Has Seen Some Snow despite WARM Winter

The coast doesn't see snowfall very often and this winter thus far has been undeniably warm. Portland, OR recorded the second warmest January on record! Yet there were a couple of days that produced some snow on the Long Beach Peninsula, mostly on the northern tip up near Oysterville and Leadbetter Point.

Now the photo at left was taken last month by my sister who lives in Oysterville. That isn't a lot of snow, but it is sea level at the beach, so having one of the warmest Januaries on record and still getting a light dusting of snow is, well, kind of weird.

Such is life on the wild and wet coast! Speaking of wet, the Peninsula reported more than 20 inches of rain last month and that is a fair wallop of water. Our rain gauges all over Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon have been running a bit dry for several seasons so this is a welcome drenching.

All of these warm and wet systems tend to produce excellent storm watching opportunities along the shore. Just be careful, stand back away from the crashing waves and NEVER turn your back on the mighty Pacific Ocean!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Happy New Year!

It is storm watching season, take a peak at this article from the winter's past.

Originally posted on November 3rd, 2015, by Rod Sager

Many people flock to the coast during the autumn to revel in the majesty and power that is delivered to the coast in our fall storms. This time of year can bring strong and even violent storms that churn up the Pacific Ocean into a frothing menace. Although the ocean can be dangerous and caution is always advised it is extra important whilst strong weather disturbances are present.

For storm watchers the autumn provides a more mild temperature than the winter. Storm watching in January can be a freezing cold experience, literally. This time of year offers the excitement of an angry sea with the comfort of temperatures in the 40s and 50s rather than the 20s and 30s.

This past weekend we had a doozy of the system wallop the coast with high winds, foaming ocean and big waves. Nearly four inches of rain pelted the beach the last two days of the month. There is something awe inspiring about these storms. It is so much so that people come in hordes to witness its display of power.

Come out to the coast sometime and enjoy the weather, it matters not if it is sunny and mild or angry and wet, you can still enjoy it. For information on other great fall activities at the beach, check out the Long Beach Peninsula Visitor's Bureau.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Yet Another Reason to Choose the SW Washington Coast

Washington State has very favorable taxes for retired people on a fixed income. In fact our tax situation is far better than the other two Pacific Coast States. The coast offers a mild climate that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer compared to the Washington State interior. But that lack of an income tax is a big benefit to all residents and in particular, retirees. The blog post below talks a bit about it.

Originaly published on Retire to Washington, April 23, 2019 by Rod Sager

Let's look at why an income tax is more of a killer than a sales tax especially for retirees. Retirees often do not have many tax deductions or exemptions. So a retired couple earning a taxable household income of 35,000 will pay about $3150 in Oregon State income tax. Contrast that with the a typical annual sales tax paid in Washington at $1200.

Sales tax is something you only pay when you buy a taxable item. In Washington food for example is not subject to sales tax. An income tax is levied before you receive your net check. You are going to pay it whether you buy things or not. Sales tax is almost always a lower expense than income tax with the notable exception of being poor. Those in Oregon who have a taxable income of $0 will not pay any income tax, obviously. But in Washington a person with a taxable income of $0 will still need to buy things and some of those things will be subject to sales tax.

Please take note I am using taxable income, because retirees are not subject to income taxes on a sizable portion of their Social Security, ROTH IRA's are tax free, and standard exemptions and deductions reduce taxable income. So someone earning $20,000 could in fact have a taxable income of $0.

So the rule of thumb is, if you are poor live, in Oregon, if you are middle or upper income, move to Washington. Well it isn't always quite that simple, but that simple solution is not to far from reality in actuality.

So in case you needed another reason to move to the coast, there it is, taxes in Washington and better than Oregon.