Retire in Bellingham

Best Retirement City - Bellingham

See why many believe that Bellingham is the best city to retire

For some retirees, there's no substitute for the Pacific coast, and Bellingham, Washington is a great example of this. The city boasts an abundance of outdoor activities, including hiking, golf, and even a local beach. The food scene is strong, with an access to local specialties such as fresh salmon that is difficult to obtain elsewhere in the country. The city is located in a tax friendly state, but one should note the cost of living is considered to be higher than the national average. We think that Bellingham is definitely worth a look for those retirees who may be looking for a change of pace in a different and exciting geographic area. Bellingham has a variety of unique neighborhoods, with Geneva, Happy Valley, and Edgemoor to name a few. Geneva lies on the west shore of Lake Whatcom, and is one of the most popular areas of Bellingham with over 2,000 residents. Happy Valley consists of mainly retirees and single families, as well as college students who attend nearby Western Washington University. Edgemoor is located in the southwest corner of Bellingham, and is filled with large houses with spectacular views of the lake. Click on the tabs to learn even more about what it's like to retire in Bellingham.

City Highlights

  1. Surrounded by natural beauty
  2. Access to hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities
  3. Coastal location
  4. Low unemployment rate for retirees
  5. Close proximity to Vancouver

Potential Drawbacks

  1. Earthquake risk
  2. High cost of living

At a glance



Median age:


Median Household Income:

$ 40,648

Nearest City with Population of 200k+:

Seattle, WA

Population Growth Last 3 Years




Age Breakdown (%)

  • 55 and under
  • 55 to 64 years
  • 65 to 74 years
  • Over 75

Gender breakdown over 65 years (%)

  • Men
  • Women


Closest Airport:

Bellingham International Airport

Distance to Closest Airport:


Closest Major Airport:

Vancouver International Airport

Distance to Closest Major Airport:


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