|With scenery like this, Oregon is naturally attractive|
"Oregon ranks dead last on Bankrate's list of bad states for retirement for a variety of reasons. Its crime rate, state and local tax burden and cost of living are all higher than the national average. Its annual average temperature is 48.8 degrees, which is colder than the 30-year national average of 52.8 degrees."
Bankrate does balance that bad news with this:
"However, The Beaver State offers spectacular scenery from Mount Hood to the Pacific coast, and plentiful opportunities for hikers to climb its rugged terrain and kayakers to experience its exhilarating white-water rapids -- perhaps unsuitable activities for all but the hardiest retirees."
All in all, that's a good summation of life here for retirees, but it's got to put a damper on real estate marketing campaigns.
For the last couple of decades, Oregon, and Central Oregon in particular, have relied on out of state retirees to snatch up all those "bargain" properties when compared with real estate prices in California and Washington state.
The lack of a sales tax may seem great, but for retirees who have made most of their life purchases, it's not that big of a deal.
Plus, as the TV show "Portlandia" says, Portland, where the vast majority of Oregonians live, is the city where young people go to retire.
Alaska, Washington, and California take the top four slots on Bankrate's list.
Native Oregonians, though, appreciate stories like Bankrate's, because if it discourages more people from moving here, the better it'll be for everyone already here.
That's the head-in-the-sand attitude, though, that has prevented Oregon from rising above its chronic provincialism.
It really won't matter, because when compared with urban environments in California and Washington state, Oregon looks pretty good. We have less people in the entire state, which is the country's 10th largest in size, than does the city of Los Angeles.
And, what does Bankrate consider the best states for retirees?
How do Tennessee, Louisiana, South Dakota, Kentucky and Mississippi suit you?
I thought so.
As I type this on a Thursday afternoon, it's 77 degrees and clear with a few puffy clouds dotting the sky. Plus, there's no smog.
There are no sounds of sirens or helicopters.
It's actually quite nice.