Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Here you go, I'm lazy this month :)

Yes sometimes I pull a rabbit out of a hat and sometimes I pull a re-run out. SW Washington's coast is still a great opportunity for retirees. There are not many coastal beach towns that are reasonably priced, but the Long Beach Peninsula area is. So with out further ado, here is an article from a few years back, that still rings true today.

Originally posted 2/6/2018 on Evergreen Coastal Living, 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!

Here's are-run from a few years back..

Yes sometimes I pull a rabbit out of a hat and sometimes I pull a re-run out. SW Washington's coast is still a great opportunity for retirees. There are not many coastal beach towns that are reasonably priced, but the Long Beach Peninsula area is. So with out further ado, here is an article from a few years back, that still rings true today.

Originally posted 2/6/2018 on Evergreen Coastal Living, 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 6, 2021

Coastal Communities need some Normalcy

Will this year get back to some semblance of normal? Coastal communities rely on summer tourism to survive and last year was a lethal blow to business. The state at large has entered phase 3 of the reopening. That certainly makes things a bit easier on businesses particularly those offering outdoor activities. But ultimately the restaurants and shops need to be able to serve a full capacity of customers because the coast gets 90% of its revenue in the summer.

Meanwhile everyone in the city should plan a trip to the beach or two this summer. Why not? Its a two hour drive, it's fun, and a heck of a lot easier than flying somewhere what with all these COVID protocols. According the the Long Beach Peninsula website, the Razor Clam Festival is happening this year but rather than the traditional April it will be the first weekend in May. That is good news so all you clammers, get ready for some fun!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

February Brought Some Snow to the Beach.

How about that, a little winter precipitation managed to hit the sandy shores of the mighty Pacific last month. My sister reported a light dusting at her home in Oysterville on the Long Beach Peninsula. Although snow isn't super rare on Washington's beautiful coast, it is rather unusual. The arctic outbreak brought a full foot of deep powder to the Portland - Vancouver metro area over the Holiday weekend for Presidents Day and of course Saint Valentine's Day.

I've never managed to be at the coast during a snow event, so I figure one of these days I'll pay sis a visit during a winter event :)

Stay tuned for updates on coastal activities as the Governor seems to be loosening his grip on the COVID restrictions and hopefully coupled with vaccines we can have a fun summer at the beach. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Merging with Retire to Washington.

I will be merging this blog with my Retire to Washington blog. The blog will still post once a month as will retire to Washington but articles from each may appear on the other from time to time. This month I will present a post from the aforementioned blog originally posted late last year.


Well Christmas is just three days away! Perhaps the best present in 2020 is a plan to move to Washington State in 2021. In particular SW Washington which offers everything from the beach to the mountains. There is a broad range of housing costs across the region with rural counties offering median home prices below the national average and urban areas costing well above the national average. SW Washington truly has something for everyone. Well no desert life, but central Washington has all the desert you could ever want :)

Although some say Olympia is part of SW Washington it has really become an extension of the greater Seattle-Tacoma Metro area. The counties that comprise the area are Pacific, Lewis, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark, and Skamania counties. 

This portion of Washington State offers a wide variety of topography and demographic variance. Everything from the urban jungle to the backwoods to the beach. Below is an outline of the counties and some facts about each.

Clark County

  • Median home price $414,000
  • Median income $67,300
  • Median age 37
  • Population 500,000
  • Population Density 750/square mile
  • Largest city, Vancouver 200,000 (340,000)
  • Seat of government, Vancouver
  • Highest point, Sturgeon Rock 4,080 ft (Silver Star 4,364 ft)
  • Lowest point, Columbia River @25 ft
  • 2nd city, Camas 23,000
  • 3rd city, Battle Ground, 20,000
  • 4th city, Washougal, 15,000
  • 5th city, Ridgefield, 8,000
  • 6th city, La Center 4,000
  • 7th city (township), Yacolt, 1,800
  • Notable #1 Oldest county in Washington
  • Notable #2 Bounded on south and west by Columbia River
  • Notable #3 Third largest seaport in Washington
  • Notable #4 Second most densely populated county in Washington
Cowlitz County

  • Median home price $321,000
  • Median income $55,000
  • Median age 40
  • Population 112,000
  • Population Density 91/square mile
  • Largest City, Longview 40,000
  • Seat of government, Kelso
  • Highest point, Goat Mountain 4,965 ft
  • Lowest point, Columbia River @25 ft
  • 2nd city, Kelso 13,000
  • 3rd city, Woodland, 5,700
  • 4th city, Kalama, 3,000
  • 5th city, Castle Rock, 2,400
  • Notable #1 4th largest seaport in Washington
  • Notable #2 Contains a portion of the St Helens NVM

Skamania County

  • Median home price $376,000
  • Median income $61,540
  • Median age 44
  • Population 12,500
  • Population Density 7/square mile
  • Largest City, Stevenson 1,750
  • Seat of government, Stevenson
  • Highest point, West Slope Mt. Adams , 8,920 ft (Mt Adams 12,245 ft)
  • Lowest point, Columbia River @25 ft
  • 2nd city, North Bonneville 1,000
  • Notable #1 Beacon Rock 2nd largest rock monolith in the world
  • Notable #2 Mount St. Helens 8,366 ft
  • Notable #3 Bonneville Dam
Lewis County

  • Median home price $296,000
  • Median income $53,358
  • Median age 42
  • Population 82,000
  • Population Density 33/square mile
  • Largest City, Centralia 18,000
  • Seat of government, Chehalis
  • Highest point, Big Horn, 8,000 ft 
  • Lowest point, Cowlitz River @55 ft
  • 2nd city, Chehalis 7,700
  • 3rd city, Napavine 2,000
  • 4th city, Winlock 1,500 
  • 5th city, Morton 1,200
  • 6th city, Mossy Rock 900
  • 7th city, Toledo 770
  • 8th city, Vader 670
  • Notable #1 Midway between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA
  • Notable #2 Portions of Rainer National Park
Wahkiakum County

  • Median home price $458,000
  • Median income $47,260
  • Median age 52
  • Population 4,600
  • Population Density 25/square mile
  • Largest City (township), Cathlamet 600
  • Seat of government, Cathlamet
  • Highest point, Huckleberry Ridge , 2,673 ft 
  • Lowest point, Columbia River @20 ft
  • Notable #1 Named for prominent Chinook Indian Chief
  • Notable #2 Smallest land area of any non island county in Washington
  • Notable #3 2nd lowest county population in Washington
Pacific County

  • Median home price $210,259
  • Median income $51,450
  • Median age 51
  • Population 23,000
  • Population Density 22/square mile
  • Largest City, Raymond 3,000
  • Seat of government, South Bend
  • Highest point, unnamed peak in Willapa Hills, 3,020 ft 
  • Lowest point, Pacific Ocean 0 ft
  • 2nd city, South Bend 1,700
  • 3rd city, Long Beach 1,500
  • 4th city, Ilwaco 1,000
  • Notable #1 Mouth of the Columbia River
  • Notable #2 Long Beach, drive on beach is actually a state highway

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Happy New Year!

Wintertime at the coast can be a relief from the chillier interior temps. Although we have had rathew mild weather these past few weeks, the coast is often 5° to 10° warmer than locales inland such as Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR. The coast is generally quite mild and often a nice getaway in the winter months. This warmer tendency is particularly noticeable during extreme cold events where cold air is trapped in the inland valleys but kept at bay from the coast. That said, storms that approach the coast in the winter months can be rather wild, wet, and windy. Do peek at local weather forecasts when visitng in the winter; dress and prep approapriately :) I do beleive we have a great chance of seeing the COVID-19 restrictions largely eased by springtime. Vaccines and natural herd immunity are already moving a ahead and we should be able to get back to some semblance of normal over the next few months. That will be a most welcome event. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Happy Holidays

Well December is here and things are going to get a bit chilly. Of course the coast is typically 10 degrees warmer so may an escape to the beach is still a viable thing :) Some people enjoy storm watching as well. The mighty Pacific Ocean can be very angry at times and the storms she produces can be quite the spectacle. 

As for me I'm taking the month off, actually, no I'm not. I am going to keep this post short however and I'll be back in the new year... let's hope 2021 is better than 2020 :)