The latest "Best Places to Retire" feature in this weekend's Wall Street Journal visits our hometown to interview some local retirees and find out why they moved here.
The reasons they cite are the reasons why people of all ages are choosing to live in Portland. Here's a sample of quotes from the article:
- The working waterfront: "Nancy Vaughan, 60, a pre-K teacher in Southbridge, Mass., and her husband Donald, 72, felt so energized by the harbor activity that they bought their future retirement condo on a former fishing pier. Now, they can smell the briny air. At night, the lights from boats, wharves and buoys glimmer on the water. 'We look out, and there is always something moving, whether seagulls making noise or ferry boats blowing their horns,' Ms. Vaughan says."
- The vibrant civic community: "Ralph Carmona, 61, a former electric-utility executive, who moved to Portland from Sacramento, Calif., has kept busy teaching a course in Portland politics and policies at the University of Southern Maine's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers courses for $50 each to people 50 or older. Active in liberal causes, he ran for mayor and recently raised funds for a Cesar Chavez tribute at Portland's historic First Parish Church."
- The walkable neighborhoods, and the ability to live a car-free lifestyle: "Doug Bruns, 57, a retired head of an office-furniture company, and his wife moved to Portland to downsize. They sold their 4,500-square-foot-house in the Maryland suburbs and bought a 1,600-square-foot condo on the city waterfront. When they lived in Maryland, the Brunses had three cars and drove most everywhere. In Portland, they have one car and two bicycles. 'With a two-minute walk, we can go to movies or have a nice dinner,' Mr. Bruns says."
It's still affordable (and the taxes are worth it): "'For an East Coast city, it's still a very good buy,' says Bob Krug, 87, who moved to Portland from Taos, N.M. It is taxing, though: Maine has both an income and a sales tax, and Portland property taxes are relatively high. 'Portland is a service-rich town that does a great job of snowplowing and repairs,' says Mr. Krug. 'You pay for it in a high tax rate.'
"Still, he says, it's a good trade-off. 'The amenities and really good restaurants would be hard to imagine in a city of even twice the size,' he says."