Skip to main content


For those of you planning on moving to Idaho for retirement, listen up. The decision to retire, by itself, is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. Moving to a new state is a big decision. Retiring and moving to a new state can be overwhelming. As you make this move (from employment to not and from some other state to Idaho) there are a number of concerns you’ll need to address: you’re going to want to review your finances and life insurance, understand the different estate planning and probate laws from your current state compared to Idaho, and get your estate plan reviewed and improved.

We know that’s a lot to take in. Take a deep breath, and let’s get into the details you’ll need to know prior to jumping on a plane to Idaho. Just know that it’s a big life decision, but you can make it happen knowing you and your loved ones are protected.

You don’t necessarily need a million dollars to retire

Retiring on a million dollars appears to be the “magic” number financial advisors suggest. However, some can do well with $300,000 to $400,000 for their retirement – everyone is different. Part of it comes down to how you handle money. Another part of it has to do with the cost of living in your area.

Idaho has the second lowest cost of living among the 11 western states, according to Visit Idaho. For a family of four to soundly reside in Idaho, they’d require approximately $56,491 annually, just to give you an idea expense-wise. It’s no wonder that many consider retiring to the beautiful state of Idaho.

Plus, if you’re moving from California or other states that tend to rank relatively higher on cost of living, consider the expenses listed below that could come out of this. If you’re moving from San Francisco, California to Boise, Idaho with a base salary of $50,000, according to AAPA’s Cost of Living Calculator, you’ll be saving quite a bit:

  • 28.62% less in groceries
  • 72.06% less in housing
  • 26.67% less in utilities
  • 20.62% less in transportation
  • 16.82% less in healthcare
  • (and 100% more in lifestyle)

But reviewing your finances is still important just to make sure you’re on the route to retirement in general.

When deciding how much you’ll need to retire in Idaho, there is still something important to keep in mind: People are living longer as healthcare continues to improve and expand over time. You may plan to live, say, 20 years longer after retirement – but what happens if you live beyond that or even require medical treatment in the coming years? That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-structured plan and not just assume you’ll be financially preparing for the next couple of decades.

Review your life insurance along with your other financial assets

Life insurance plays a crucial role in providing for your beneficiaries after you pass. Life insurance can help significantly with the heavy expenses that your passing may cause from funeral expenses to debts that still have to be paid. Leaving your children or other loved ones with not just a physical loss but also with a financial burden will never be easy. That said, protect your loved ones, and make sure they’re taken care of financially – but do it now rather than later.

Idaho’s estate planning and probate laws may be different

Each state has laws pertaining to estate planning and probate, but they may vary. Currently, 18 states, including Idaho, have what is known as the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). California, of course, being one of the states that does its own thing. Via this code, if no will is present, for instance, the property will be distributed based on a certain succession. Other states may have similar aspects of this law but may also have differences. Some states may even have a completely different probate.

Estate planning laws can also be different. For example, Florida does not recognize holographic wills, but Idaho does. In Vermont, euthanasia is legal whereas it is not in Idaho (but the refusal of food and/or medical treatment is). There are both minor and major aspects that can affect the estate planning process from one state to the next.

Due to the differences among estate and probate laws, get an attorney involved to make sure everything is covered before making the move to Idaho. Ensure your estate will carry on over with you or if you need to make some adjustments.

Even if you’re not retiring, get your estate plan reviewed anyway

So, maybe you’re just moving to Idaho without planning to retire just yet but still want to be ready for that next stage in your life. Maybe you even want to have interstate properties. Regardless, updating your plan is still important as you’re now in a different era of life. Things change.

Perhaps you recently got divorced, bought a new car, got a new grandchild, or you’re opting for a new property in a different state. All of these, plus more, are great reasons to get your current estate plan reviewed. Get power of attorney, a will or living trust, and other estate planning tools to protect you and your loved ones based on your current standing in life, no matter where you move.

Reach out to us at Idaho Estate Planning, and our team can look over your plan and decide what needs to be changed as you make the move to Idaho. Having a relevant estate plan can help best prepare you for your golden years and leave you knowing you have taken care of some of the legal aspects of your present and future.