Idaho is becoming a popular place for people who are retiring. Sounds weird right? When you hear people talk about retiring, the locations that usually come up are places like Florida or Arizona. But yes, retiring in Idaho is actually gaining popularity. Especially those who enjoy an active lifestyle. Even if you aren’t up for spending a ton of time outside, there are plenty of reasons Idaho is a great place. And sometimes just having a new home to decorate can be just what the doctor ordered. There are quite a few national parks. And the Snake River gives you access to water activities all the way across the state. Taxes and healthcare are also important factors that many people consider when choosing where to retire. Idaho is a good place to live for those reasons too — among many others. Here are 10 benefits of retiring in Idaho.
10 Reasons For Retiring In Idaho
- National Parks. Idaho features more than 30 state parks — including a portion of Yellowstone National Park.
- Walkability. Forbes Magazine has called Boise a top retirement location. One reason for this is the easy walkability and biking options for active retirees.
- Cost of Living. With Idaho’s low cost of living, many retirees are able to use their savings for their wants and not just their needs.
- Healthcare. Idaho has low medical costs for seniors and hospitals are more affordable than in most other places.
- Taxes. Idaho’s sales tax is just six percent. Plus, prescriptions and Social Security income are not taxable.
- Crime. Idaho is one of the safer places to live in the United States. The crime rate is a little higher than half of the national average.
- Scenery. Many people do not realize that Idaho has some beautiful mountain areas with great sight-seeing possibilities. Combine that with the numerous lakes and prairies and you have tons of picturesque locations to see.
- Climate. You like a variety? Idaho will give you all four seasons in a mild climate.
- Drinking. If you are into craft and micro-breweries and vineyards, you’ll be happy in Idaho.
- Culture & Education. Boise State University offers many world-class opportunities for seniors.
You are now convinced that Idaho would be a great place for retirement. So let’s examine what might be the best for retiring in Idaho.
Best Places In Idaho For Retirement
Smartasset put together a list of the 10 best places for retirement in Idaho. Taxes, medical centers, recreation centers, retirement communities, and percent of seniors were part of the formula used for this list.
Here’s their top 10 list.
- Sandpoint. Sandpoint is in north Idaho and has great opportunities for biking, boating, skiing and more. Not to mention many activities in the city. It also scores high for the number of recreation centers, medical centers, and retirement communities. It also boasts a high senior population.
- Emmett. Emmett also has a high senior population. But it does not fare as well for medical centers, recreation centers, and retirement communities. The close proximity to Boise does add to those opportunities though.
- Idaho Falls. Attention active retirees … Idaho Falls may be just what you are looking for. You’ll be close to Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks as well as Jackson Hole and some national forests. On the downside, I.F. scored low for recreation centers and retirement communities. Its senior population was just 13.1 percent, but there are plenty of medical centers.
- Hayden. Hayden offers a good senior population of 19.6 percent. It’s also right close to Hayden Lake and Coeur d’Alene National Forest. Medical centers are abundant, but retirement centers are not.
- Garden City. Garden City is just on the edge of Boise. It is lacking in medical centers — the lowest on the list. Good thing Boise is so close! Plus, Garden City has the highest score for the senior population at 21.8 percent.
- Twin Falls. There are lots of great sights around Twin Falls with the Snake River and the Snake River Canyon. Get ready for boating, camping, golfing, hiking, and more outdoor activities. Not into the outdoors? There are a number of recreation centers to visit but not many medical centers.
- Eagle. There are a decent number of retirees and several great recreational opportunities like Eagle Island State Park. Eagle scored in the average range for recreation centers, retirement communities, and healthcare options.
- Lewiston. You’ll find there is a lot to offer in Lewiston. There is a good senior population so you’ll have plenty of friends. And there are lots of fun events and festivals to attend. There are also a good number of recreation centers for retirees, but a relatively low number of medical centers.
- Blackfoot. Who wouldn’t want to retire in the “Potato Capital of the World”? Other than the potatoes, Blackfoot ranks near the bottom of all the places on the list in most categories — including the lowest number of recreation centers and the smallest senior population. But it is located right along the Snake River!
- Rupert. No Grinches here. Rupert is known as “Christmas City, USA”. About 14 percent of the population are seniors and there is a fair amount of medical centers.
So now you have decided to retire in Idaho and chosen the perfect city. What else do you need to do for a great retirement? Here are a few suggestions.
Tips For Retiring
If you have designs on a comfortable retirement, it’s time to start saving. That is — if you haven’t already. For most of us, it is tough to set aside much. But every little bit will help when retirement time comes. Here are a few more suggestions to help with your retirement from The Balance.
- Be sure you are ready. Sometimes people think they want to retire when the are really just unhappy with their work situation. You might even consider a career change. Your desire to retire might go away if you start doing something new. It might help to talk to a career counselor.
- Check your savings. It will require some careful planning to make sure that you’ve got the finances necessary to retire comfortably. You’ll probably want to have at least 70 percent of your normal yearly income available. It is highly recommended to visit with a financial professional to discuss your Social Security, 401(k), or any other finances you have.
- Take small steps into retirement. You might give yourself a little taste of what retirement is like by cutting back your hours and working part-time or taking on a different role with less responsibility and time required. You might even be able to do a test run to see what it will really be like.
- Stay healthy. Or at least do what you can to make it happen. Get all the information about health insurance, Medicare, and all of your options. Keep in mind that most people won’t have all of their expenses covered.
- Do it together. If you retire, you’ll be spending a lot more time at home. It would be wise to make sure anyone living with you at home is on the same page with your retirement plans.