10 Best Places To Retire In Idaho For 2019


We analyzed over 23 places in Idaho to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best places to retire in Idaho.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Idaho.

Where exactly in Idaho is the best place to retire? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data — which returns Weiser as the best place to hang up your cleats.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Idaho that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Weiser don’t mind us spreading the word.

Why did Weiser take the top spot? And where are Meridian and Nampa?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

For Idaho state reading:

Weiser, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,350
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $641
Distance to Closest Airport: 230 miles
More on Weiser: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Weiser is a city in the rural western part of the U.S. state of Idaho and the county seat of Washington County. With its mild climate, the city supports farm, orchard, and livestock endeavors in the vicinity. The city sits at the confluence of the Weiser River with the great Snake River, which marks the border with Oregon. The population was 5,507 at the 2010 census.

Rupert, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,702
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 8)
Median Rent: $565
Distance to Closest Airport: 153 miles
More on Rupert: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rupert is the county seat and largest city of Minidoka County, Idaho, United States. It is part of the Burley Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 5,554 at the 2010 census.

Sandpoint, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,698
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 12)
Median Rent: $764
Distance to Closest Airport: 64 miles
More on Sandpoint: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sandpoint is the largest town in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho, United States. Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.

Payette, ID

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,402
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $644
Distance to Closest Airport: 239 miles
More on Payette: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Payette is a city in and the county seat of Payette County, Idaho, United States. The population was 7,433 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Ontario, ORID Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Review Of Payette by HomeSnacks User

That’s just a few incidents in one small town,,Every town has issues,,Let’s take a look at the big cities,, Detroit filed for bankruptcy,,The CITY is all but abandoned,, Halloween people burn down houses for sport,, Homeless People freezing on Church Doorsteps,,Most of the businesses are run by people who aren’t citizens and g*d forbid you have a life threatening situation and have to be ambulanced to the hospital because it will take hours for them to get to you if they decide to show up at all,,then if you do manage to make it,you spend an hour going through security before you are triaged and treated,,Children run the streets 24/7 unsupervised and if they go to school,,the usually end up dropping out before they reach middle school,, Idaho is full of small town communities where people help eachother and a handshake still means something,,Jus because we live in Payette does NOT mean we are living in poverty,,are uneducated or poor,, Crime is everywhere not just in Small Town Idaho

Moscow, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,855
Rank Last Year: 28 (Up 23)
Median Rent: $658
Distance to Closest Airport: 66 miles
More on Moscow: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Moscow is a city in northern Idaho along the state border with Washington, with a population of 23,800 at the 2010 census. The county seat and largest city of Latah County, Moscow is the home of the University of Idaho, the state’s land grant institution and primary research university, as well as the home of New Saint Andrews College, a Christian liberal arts college.

Review Of Moscow by HomeSnacks User

I was born in Napma, raised on a farm in Homedale, went to school in Marsing, graduated from Weiser and then moved to Moscow. I kind of agree with the article, which does state it is opinion based! I certainly prefer northern Idaho to southern for sure. I definitely feel safer in norther Idaho than southern, people are more friendly too.

Emmett, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,590
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 5)
Median Rent: $719
Distance to Closest Airport: 240 miles
More on Emmett: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Emmett is a city in Gem County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,557 at the 2010 census, up from 5,490 in 2000. It is the county seat and the only city in the county. Emmett is part of the BoiseNampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Preston, ID

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,252
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 13)
Median Rent: $680
Distance to Closest Airport: 90 miles
More on Preston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Preston is a city in Franklin County, Idaho, United States. The population was 5,204 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County. It is part of the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Rexburg, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,114
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 16)
Median Rent: $655
Distance to Closest Airport: 209 miles
More on Rexburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rexburg is a city in Madison County, Idaho, United States. The population was 25,484 at the 2010 census, up from 17,257 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Madison County and its largest city. Rexburg is the principal city of the Rexburg, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Fremont and Madison Counties. The city is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private institution operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,058
Rank Last Year: 25 (Up 16)
Median Rent: $897
Distance to Closest Airport: 222 miles
More on Hailey: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hailey is a city in and the county seat of Blaine County, in the Wood River Valley of the central part of the U.S. state of Idaho.

The city is named after John Hailey, a two-time Congressional delegate from the Idaho Territory.

Lewiston, ID

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 32,484
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 11)
Median Rent: $666
Distance to Closest Airport: 88 miles
More on Lewiston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lewiston is a city in north central Idaho and the county seat of Nez Perce County. It is the second-largest city in the northern Idaho region, behind Coeur d’Alene, and ninth-largest in the state. Lewiston is the principal city of the Lewiston, ID – Clarkston, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Nez Perce County and Asotin County, Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lewiston was 31,894, up from 30,904 in 2000.

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Gem State for 2019

To create our list of the best places in Idaho to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Gem State — 224 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 5,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 23 places from across the state.

For these 23, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 23, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Weiser, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire In Idaho Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Idaho goes to Weiser.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. Nampa
  2. Caldwell
  3. Meridian

For more Idaho reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Idaho?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Weiser 5,350 $641
2 Rupert 5,702 $565
3 Sandpoint 7,698 $764
4 Payette 7,402 $644
5 Moscow 24,855 $658
6 Emmett 6,590 $719
7 Preston 5,252 $680
8 Rexburg 27,114 $655
9 Hailey 8,058 $897
10 Lewiston 32,484 $666

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.