Active adults and retirees don’t usually think about Idaho as a retirement destination. Idaho is known mostly for its outdoor attractions and scenic natural landscapes of mountains, farmlands, valleys, and rivers. Active adult communities in Idaho offer a lower cost of living, plenty of outdoor recreational activities, and reasonably priced homes within age-targeted communities. Active adults and retirees should consider this lesser-known retirement location to find a suitable 55+ neighborhood that meets their needs.
Climate & Geography
Idaho is the 14th largest state and is located in the northwestern region of the United States. The capital of Idaho is Boise, which is also the largest city in the state. Idaho is mostly made up of rugged mountains, lakes, and canyons. Idaho is bordered by six states and one Canadian province. These are British Columbia to the north, Montana to the northeast, Wyoming to the east, Washington and Oregon to the west and Nevada and Utah to the south.
Active adults and retirees can enjoy Idaho’s natural landscapes and wildlife. The largest wildlife preserve is the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area that is 2.3 million acres. The major rivers in Idaho are Snake River, Clark Fork/Pend Oreille River, Clearwater River, and Salmon River. Idaho’s highest mountain peak is Borah Peak at 12,662 feet and its lowest peak is Lewiston at 710 feet.
55+ residents in age-targeted communities in Idaho can experience two time zones, depending on the location. Southern Idaho active adult communities near the Boise metropolitan area, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Twin Falls are in the Mountain Time Zone. Northern Idaho active adult communities near Salmon River, Coeur d’Alene, Moscow, Lewiston, and Sandpoint are in the Pacific Time Zone.
Active adult communities in Idaho enjoy a varied climate that is based off the weather patterns of the Pacific Ocean with Northern Idaho 55+ communities getting more precipitation, while Southern Idaho age-targeted communities enjoy a much warmer climate. Active adult communities in southern areas in Idaho have winter temperatures that range in the low 20s to high 40s with 20 to 40 inches of snow on average and summer temperatures in the high 80s to high 90s. Age-targeted areas in northern Idaho experience low 10s to high 30s in the winter with 20 to 50 inches of snow and temperatures in the low 70s to high 80s during summer months.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
With so many outdoor activities, active adults and retirees are sure to find something that suits their passion near a 55+ community in Idaho. There are numerous state parks and wilderness areas near age-targeted neighborhoods that offer hiking, golfing, camping, fishing, white water rafting, horseback riding, skiing and snowboarding. Some attractions are Bonneville Point, Burgdorf Hot Springs, Stone Ridge, Meadow Creek, Boise Depot, and Clearwarter National Forest.
There are also plenty of museums near active adult neighborhoods in Idaho that offer art, culture and history for 55+ residents who love absorbing new information. The American Heritage Tours, Bear River Heritage Area, Bear River Massacre Site, Boise Basin Museum, and Central Idaho Historical Museum all offer great tours, attractions and history lessons about everything Idaho has to offer.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Idaho is 5% below the national average. Cities like Boise and Coeur d’Alene have a 3.8% higher than average cost of living while Idaho Falls has a 7.9% lower than average cost of living, and Sandpoint has a 1% higher than average cost of living. Idaho income tax rates range from 1.6% to 7.4% of taxable income.
There are 48 licensed hospitals near active adult communities in Idaho, and five are top-ranked in the U.S. Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene and St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise are two of the top-ranked hospitals for high-performing specialties. Other hospitals like St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa, Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello are also well-known hospitals in Idaho.
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