If the idea of living in the most politically important place in the nation—possibly the world—holds some appeal for you, consider retiring in Washington, DC. Inside the Beltway, you’ll find the White House, the administrative buildings and courts where our country is run, and many historically significant monuments and museums—including the world-class Smithsonian collection of art, historical, and cultural museums. There’s plenty to do in Washington DC throughout the year—from participating in one of the many political protests that come to the city to enjoying the Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring.
Washington DC is the capitol of the United States, named for George Washington. When it was made the capitol, the city of Washington, Georgetown, and select outlying areas were placed under the authority of the federal government—to this day, Washington DC is not part of any state. It’s bordered by Maryland and Virginia. Over 600,000 people live in the city; over one million live in surrounding suburbs and commute into the city for work.
A major metropolitan center in its own right, Washington DC offers as diverse a range of shops, great restaurants, cultural activities and entertainment as you’ll find in any of the country’s major cities. DC is home to a wide range of ethnically and nationally diverse people who tend to be very highly educated. The city is also within day-trip distance of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York City—if you need to get out of town for a little while.
In Washington DC, you’ll find four distinct seasons characterized by fairly mild weather; residents enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons without suffering in severe cold or sweltering summer heat. In addition to other major metropolitan centers, Washington DC is within a short drive from outdoor recreation spots at the beach and the mountains—so active retirees who enjoy outdoor activities can easily find excuses to get away from the city. You can also find plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in and around the city—with hundreds of miles of scenic trails for bicyclists and joggers
You can find Washington DC assisted living communities set in spacious suburbs, urban condo and apartment environments, and single-family homes. Despite its small area, Washington DC has plenty of variety to satisfy a wide range of retiree tastes.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to living in the DC area. Housing prices are among the highest in the country; many people who can’t afford the city live in Maryland or Virginia suburbs, where homes are cheaper. There’s plenty of traffic and congestion, and public transportation options are a bit limited—especially for those living outside the Beltway.
DC levies an income tax that ranges from 4% to 8.5%, depending on income level; the highest income bracket starts at $40,001. The city does not tax Social Security income; up to $3,000 of military retired pay, pension and annuity income from the federal government or the city are exempt from taxes, and over half of real property owned by District of Columbia residents is exempt from taxation.
It’s not cheap to live in Washington DC. But many retirees, especially those who are politically active, love living here. Washington DC is a vital metropolitan city with a lot to offer—including museums, cultural attractions, a rich history, and plenty of shopping and fine dining. Those who love the outdoors appreciate the city’s scenic location on the Potomac River, as well as the many miles of walking, jogging and biking trails. Check out our exhaustive listing of Washington DC assisted living communities, and get your start finding the ideal assisted living options in Washington DC today.