Sadly for Medford, it’s most often known as being neighbor to the creative hub of Ashland, already a popular destination for retirees and non–retirees, alike. Still, the cost of living in Ashland can be steep, whereas, Medford lies just 15 miles down the road, and median home prices here are nearly $200,000 less than in Ashland. Sounds like a good deal!
While Medford doesn’t gather nearly the amount of attention artsy Ashland accrues, the town offers plenty of creative and cultural outlets for retirees. In addition to gaining recognition as a burgeoning wine region, downtown Medford is home to a number of interesting galleries and boutiques. The town also hosts festivals throughout the year, including the popular Art in Bloom and Medford Jazz Festival. Should retirees want to explore further afield, Ashland lies just down the road.
Con: High unemployment and tax rates
Best For: Arts lovers
Cost of Living: 2.1% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $164,000
Top State Income Tax: 9.9%
Crime Rate: 21.8% higher than national average
The town’s scenic environs owe much to the local economy. Agriculture and timber play a large role in Medford’s economy, and the region is blanketed with sprawling orchards and trees. Outdoor lovers can also explore nearby attractions such as Oregon Caves National Monument, Crater Lake, and the Rogue River Valley.
Just 10 miles from Medford lie the Table Rocks, enormous sandstone mesas with a number of trailheads for hiking. Anglers will find themselves in a bit of heaven in Medford; more than 150 stocked streams and 17 lakes lie within an 80m mile radius of town.
There are downsides to retiring in Medford. The town’s crime rate is well above the national average, though residents say it’s easy to avoid troubled areas. Additionally, unemployment rates are currently high, and could impede those seeking a working retirement.