Retirees are flocking to Idaho, especially to Kootenai, Coeur d’Alene, and Boise. The state has a mild climate, low crime rate, and is very retiree-friendly. However, there are still a few things you can do to make your future retirement a lot better.
Buy a Home
Renting in Idaho will cost you around $800-$1,000 a month. While your Social Security benefits and 401k payouts can certainly cover that amount, your money will be better spent on paying for your own home. Property in Idaho sells for around $260,000 (more if you’re buying in more affluent neighborhoods).
A home loan with a 20-year plan will have you paying premiums of only a few hundred dollars more than your rent, and the payments stop after the term. Once you retire, you can spend the bulk of your money doing things you want to do instead of using most of it on rent. Property values in Idaho are constantly increasing, so you can always sell for a profit if you decide to move to an assisted facility later in life.
Medical costs in Idaho, particularly for seniors, are some of the lowest in the US. However, you’ll be missing Idaho’s majestic parks, lakes, and mountains if you lose mobility. Staying fit allows you to stay mobile and maintain your quality of life. Idaho has numerous activities for seniors to keep you fit, whether it’s Tai Chi, exercise classes, line dancing, or various hobby-related activities like woodcarving, art classes, or bridge.
Losing weight also keeps you out of the hospital. Obesity is a big factor in senior hospitalizations and mortality in Idaho. As little as 10 minutes of exercise a week lowers your chances of dying prematurely by 18 percent. Losing 10 or 20 pounds can minimize, or even eliminate, your need for medication, putting less strain on your kidneys and allowing you to live a more natural life. Staying fit will undoubtedly save you money, but it can also save your life.
If you’ll be living on your own or with only your partner, going solar is a good option. Prices for solar power systems have dropped significantly and 8-kW systems are selling for around $8,000. An 8-kW system is more than enough to provide for the energy needs of 2 people, even if you have guests during weekends and special occasions.
If an outright purchase isn’t an option, a 10-year loan with decent rates will still have you paying less than $90 in premiums a month. Your savings on your electrical bill should cover that amount and you’ll have free electricity after 10 years. Limiting your reliance on the grid will also insulate you from incoming price hikes. Idaho is switching to 100 percent green energy sources by 2040, and if things go the way they did in California, expect electricity rates to spike.
In the end, remember that Idaho is a great place to spend your retirement, especially if you have disposable income. Make a few preparations and ensure you can save money for future spending.