Review of Medford, Oregon


Quality Of Life
Star Rating - 2/6/2014
Briefly, Medford has a very good quality of life. The weather here is very nice. Rarely too cold, but you need to like hot weather if you stay here in August and September, when it often is in the triple digits for several days. Not a lot of cooling at night, as evening breezes are rare in the Summer. Heavy ice-fog in the Winter can make air traffic problems for days. The politics here are moderately conservative, as it is a working-class town that is still fairly patriotic. You won't, however, have to worry too much about religious people, as they seem to be rare as hen's teeth. Surprising, as there are a lot of churches here. I've started to wonder if they are facades instead of real buildings. But then, Oregon has been recognized as the most non-religious state in the nation. In reality though, there are some very good churches and wonderful people that attend. You'll find a welcoming congregation. The people here are quite friendly and courteous. Initially, you'll be quite surprised to find that someone might actually make eye contact with and say "hello" just for the heck of it.
The job market is not great, but improving. Other than the high taxes, it is a great retirement area and a lot of retirees do live here and seem to enjoy it. If you are retired and have a good income, you may come to feel that your being taken advantage of with the high rate of tax and your probable low use of the infrastructure. I pay more income tax here than I would in California, due to the tax structure of being almost immediately in the top bracket. If you are a big spender, you might find the absence of a sales tax will offset the high income tax rate. Of course, if you get lost and end up in Ashland, they have their own little sales tax to bite the hand that feeds them (tourists). You'll find that if you own a home, you will be asked to pay a lot towards a lot of things you will never use. The medical care and facilities are way above average for an area with this population. Top rate medical care is available. The Medford Police Department does a great job and they are professional and courteous. They have a difficult job. There is a major meth problem in southern Oregon they must deal with and a college a short distance away, so there is the requisite marijuana problem as the children there try to learn to spread their wings and become their own little beings. The Fire Department and the non-profit ambulance service is top notch. Unfortunately, the city falls prey to a lust for easy money and uses sneaky white vans to "hide in plain sight" and take videos of speeding cars for ticketing. If there is a downhill incline, expect one to be there to take advantage of a moment of inattention to your speedometer, as you pick up a bit of speed. They also use cameras in certain intersections for the same purpose. These things tend to make you feel you are living in a police state at times. Perhaps, even more of a nuisance, are the one-way streets all over in the downtown area.
The downtown area is trying to revitalize itself, but does have to contend with the loss of people wanting to go there. Other than to go to particular function, I find that I almost never go downtown, as the one-way streets are confusing and dangerous, as you spend half your time looking upward for one-way signs, instead of watching the traffic in an intersection. Hard to imagine this has not been corrected. Downtown could otherwise be a fairly nice place to browse around. The main shopping mall is okay for a small town. Don't expect to go there at Christmas time and find any hint of the Christmas spirit however. It's not there. Then again, it is hardly to be found anywhere here. You'd do better going the Bay Area for a "Christmas Shopping Experience", surprisingly. If you are into "P.C." and a "holiday season" pleases you, you might be right at home. If you are into outdoor activities, you will like the Rogue Valley and surrounding mountains and rivers. It is a beautiful area. I've lived here around 6 years and love that part of this area. If I sound a bit disillusioned, yes I am. I'm considering moving on. I left California for a good reason, but found that I didn't go quite far enough north or east to lose their influence. My mistake, but you may find this area to your complete satisfaction. There are certainly much worse places you could live. Believe me, I lived in the Bay Area. If you come here, I wish you well. You would be hard pressed to find nicer people and the residents take care of their own in time of need, better than any place I've seen. Good luck to you.
Truth | Medford, OR
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4 Replies


I live in Lincoln Nebraska. And I hate with passion I cannot stand freezing cold weather here. I’m considering on moving to Medford OR but reluctant I hear different things about climate there does it snow if so for how many days and how cold does it gets also how long is the cold ? Thanks a lot very informative article by the way
Al | Bellevue, NE

Thanks for the good overview and details too. I'm semi-retired, currently lived in the SF East Bay for 30 yrs. and last 2 in N. San Diego County. Visited Medford/Ashland/Grants Pass are twice last 6 months and likely another trip shortly. After your 6 years, what has caused you to become disillusioned with Medford? Thanks/Bill
bill | Oceanside, CA

Bill, sorry for the almost 3 year late reply to my "Quality of Life" entry 2/6/14. I never looked back to see if there was a question until I just happened back upon this website. Surprisingly, I'm still in Medford. I'm gone a lot, so I can tolerate it and the weather is nice here. Why am I disillusioned at this point? (a) Income taxes turn out to be more than I would be paying, had I stayed in California, since the tax rate is 9% on almost your entire income. Not graduated levels to speak of. After about the first $5000, you jump into the 9% tax bracket. (b) Needlessly inflated gas prices, compared to most of Oregon. (c) Have gotten to know very few people here, being retired. (d) Government to liberal. Continuous assaults on Second Amendment. Governor Kate Brown, who was just elected, is extremely liberal and wants to heavily crush Second Amendment rights in Oregon. (e) Corrupt government officials in Salem. (f) Liberally biased colleges. (g) Legalization of marijuana for recreational use. (h) Too much tax money going to welfare programs instead of creating jobs. (i) Increasing gang and gang-wanabee toleration. (j) Almost a complete lack of "Christmas" observance. They would rather offend 95% of the people than 5%. Not that this is a religious city by any means, but even atheists like to hear a "Merry Christmas" now and then. Don't look for it here from the merchants. (k) To put it in a nutshell, even after living 40 years in the Bay Area, on the peninsula, this is just way to liberal for my taste. To top it off, we are only about 15 miles from Ashland, OR and it's "mean-faced clipped-hair" women, as Michael Savage would put it. Just imagine where all the hippies from Berkeley ended up. Yep. And you have to drive a Subaru to live there. I think it is a law. And put stupid stickers all over your car. (l) No real feeling of a community here, where you can go hang out and meet people easily. (m) Maybe I'm getting carried away here with my feeling that Oregon has just become WAY to liberal for my taste. I'm sure they will happily see me go, if I decide to clear out. One less conservative vote. If you already moved here from San Diego, I wish you well and hope you find it to your liking. There are certainly worse places to live. Also, Jackson County is still a slim majority conservative, so it is more livable than most cities north of Grants Pass. Grants Pass is in Josephine County. Oh, last but not least, there is a huge meth problem here. Being from CA, you'll be used to that sort of thing anyway. Take care
D | Central Point, OR

Bill, sorry for the almost 3 year late reply to my "Quality of Life" entry 2/6/14. I never looked back to see if there was a question until I just happened back upon this website. Surprisingly, I'm still in Medford. I'm gone a lot, so I can tolerate it and the weather is nice here. Why am I disillusioned at this point? (a) Income taxes turn out to be more than I would be paying, had I stayed in California, since the tax rate is 9% on almost your entire income. Not graduated levels to speak of. After about the first $5000, you jump into the 9% tax bracket. (b) Needlessly inflated gas prices, compared to most of Oregon. (c) Have gotten to know very few people here, being retired. (d) Government to liberal. Continuous assaults on Second Amendment. Governor Kate Brown, who was just elected, is extremely liberal and wants to heavily crush Second Amendment rights in Oregon. (e) Corrupt government officials in Salem. (f) Liberally biased colleges. (g) Legalization of marijuana for recreational use. (h) Too much tax money going to welfare programs instead of creating jobs. (i) Increasing gang and gang-wanabee toleration. (j) Almost a complete lack of "Christmas" observance. They would rather offend 95% of the people than 5%. Not that this is a religious city by any means, but even atheists like to hear a "Merry Christmas" now and then. Don't look for it here from the merchants. (k) To put it in a nutshell, even after living 40 years in the Bay Area, on the peninsula, this is just way to liberal for my taste. To top it off, we are only about 15 miles from Ashland, OR and it's "mean-faced clipped-hair" women, as Michael Savage would put it. Just imagine where all the hippies from Berkeley ended up. Yep. And you have to drive a Subaru to live there. I think it is a law. And put stupid stickers all over your car. (l) No real feeling of a community here, where you can go hang out and meet people easily. (m) Maybe I'm getting carried away here with my feeling that Oregon has just become WAY to liberal for my taste. I'm sure they will happily see me go, if I decide to clear out. One less conservative vote. If you already moved here from San Diego, I wish you well and hope you find it to your liking. There are certainly worse places to live. Also, Jackson County is still a slim majority conservative, so it is more livable than most cities north of Grants Pass. Grants Pass is in Josephine County. Oh, last but not least, there is a huge meth problem here. Being from CA, you'll be used to that sort of thing anyway. Take care
D | Central Point, OR
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