Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Idaho Falls, Idaho
A Peaceful, Well-Managed City, Idaho Falls Sits Next to the Snake River in Eastern Idaho and Often Lands on "Best Places to Live" Lists
Peaceful, welcoming Idaho Falls often lands on "best places to live" lists and sits along the Snake River in eastern Idaho. It began to grow as an agricultural center once the railroad arrived in the late 1800s.
Named for rapids along the river, this is a clean, well-managed city with a varied economic base, and it serves as a hub not only for eastern Idaho but also for western Wyoming. A beautiful greenbelt meanders parallel to the the Snake River, and the downtown is a nice mix of trendy shops, established retailers and office buildings. It is also home to a Saturday's farmers' market, art shows and concerts. The city's neighborhoods are not clearly defined, but the original section of town, on the east side of the river, has homes from the 1930s and later, many having been restored to their original state. Neighborhoods on the west side of the river date from the 1960s and continue to grow. New retail and residential centers include Taylors Crossing and Snake River Landing.
Residents also enjoy the Tautphaus Park Zoo, the Idaho Falls Symphony, the Repertory Artists' Theatre, the Willard Arts Center and the historic Colonial Theatre, which hosts music and theater performances. Outdoor recreation beckons at every turn, with fishing along the river particularly popular. Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are just two hours away by car.
Population: 68,000 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 32%
Cost of Living: 3% below the national average
Median Home Price: $400,000
Climate: Idaho Falls sits at 4,700 feet above sea level and enjoys four seasons. Winters usually bring temperatures in the teens, 20s and 30s, and summers are cool with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. On average, the area receives 30 inches of snow and 12 inches of rain per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Public Transit: Yes, provided by Targhee Regional Transportation Authority.
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 29%
Is Idaho Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The earthquake risk is 230% above the national average.
Notes: The city has a sizable Mormon population and has grown 12% within the last decade. Home prices have decreased 1% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Named by the eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing, Idaho was one of the last regions in the lower 48 to be explored by Europeans. The Lewis and Clark expedition entered the area through Lemhi Pass in 1805. Trappers and fur traders soon followed.
The Gem State encompasses mountain ranges, river gorges, and lakes. Boise, its capital, is set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is halved by a river. Weather can be as variable as the landscape. Maritime influences moderate winter temperatures in the west. The east can experience lower temperatures, wetter summers, and drier winters.
Manufacturing has become the state's main economic driver. Idaho is still a major producer of cattle, potatoes, and trout. Even though mining has faded in importance, Idaho continues to extract gold, silver, molybdenum, as well as 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones. Sun Valley has nurtured the state's newest industry - tourism.
Famous Idaho natives include writers Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound along with Olympians Pikabo Street and Dick Fosbury.
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