Forget the sandy and simmering beaches of Florida. For those looking to retire, Idaho not only offers a dry, sunny climate for seniors, but also a suitable economic climate as well. The state has made an appearance on several guides as one of the best states to retire because of its green spaces and affordable living.
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- With 30 state parks and ample green spaces, Idaho is a place for active seniors to explore. Parts of Yellowstone National Park call Idaho home. Midway between the capital Boise and Yellowstone, the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve features massive lava fields created by cracks in the Earth's crust. In Boise, the 25-mile Greenbelt gives those living in an urban setting ample scenic views of the Boise River. In his 2014 guide to the best places to retire, Forbes contributor William P. Barrett noted Boise's walkability and ease of bicycling. For those looking for an active and outdoorsy way to spend their retirement years, Idaho nears the top of the lists.
- The Gem State also boasts a low cost of living for seniors. The median home sale price of $176,010 is lower than the national median. More importantly, the state capital's medical care is ranked as more affordable in comparison with other national cities.
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- The tax climate for seniors in Idaho is a third benefit. Sales tax remains at 6 percent, and prescription drugs are not taxable. Neither are Social Security payments, which is a huge benefit to retirees. The Tax Foundation ranks Idaho's tax burden as average. In 2010, it was ranked as the 25th highest in the nation.
- Finally, the crime rate in Idaho remains among the nation's lowest. The FBI reported Idaho's violent crime rate to be about 204.7 incidents per 100,000 people, while the national rate is 367.9 crimes per 100,000 people. This same report named Idaho's resort towns, like McCall, Sun Valley and Coeur d'Alene, the most crime-ridden areas of the state, namely for the large swell of tourists visiting the area. Crime rates in Boise are much lower, with one violent crime per 357 residents. Compare these statistics with those of the Sunshine State, which contains 11 of the country's 100 most dangerous places to live.
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