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How much money do I need to retire in Idaho Falls?

How much money do I need to retire in Idaho Falls?

May 10, 2023

How much money do I need to retire? This is one of the most common questions we get from clients and non-clients alike. It’s an important question too considering the fact that on average you will spend 16% of your life at this stage. The true, most accurate answer to this question is “it depends,” but that’s too boring, so we want to take a few minutes to lay out what the average retirement nest egg should look like if you live in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

If you want to know what the true number is for you based on your goals, health, and spending habits you’re going to want to give us a call to create a detailed retirement plan that gives you confidence when you decide to make the leap. But for now, let’s start calculating.

Cost of Living in Idaho


Before we get to some of the wants, let’s start with the needs.

The average annual housing cost per person including utilities in Idaho is $7,109. While some may find this absurdly low, you have to realize that some have paid off their homes and only have maintenance and insurance costs. So, given the fact that we are using averages we will stick with this number.

Average annual home maintenance in Idaho is $4,704 and property taxes in Bonneville County average $1,211 per home. When you add all that up, we get a total of $13,024 a year for housing.

Long-Term Care

Next, we have to consider a big expense that 7 out of every 10 Americans will end up needing in their lifetimes, and that is long-term care of some kind. This includes in-home care, assisted living facility, adult daycare, or even skilled nursing facilities. On average this care will be needed for 3 years, and on the low end in Idaho Falls, this care will cost $3,350 per month. At this rate for 3 years, the cost of care would total at least $120,600. Instead of calling it an annual cost, we will include this number in the total amount needed.

Total Needs for Retirement

The rest of the basic expenses are self-explanatory so we will list them all together below.


Average Annual Cost Per Person in Idaho

Housing and Utilities (including property tax)


Health Care




Gas and Energy Goods


All Other Personal Expenditures




Now that we have a number to work with for our cost of needs in retirement, let’s do a little more math to take inflation into account. As we all know very well, the cost of living has always gone up, and although it’s been higher than usual the last couple of years, the average rate of inflation over the last 10 years is 2.5%.

The average length of retirement in Idaho is 12.1 years, so if we take our $45,654 and adjust for 2.5% inflation every year for 12 years(rounded down), we arrive at a total of $629,822. We also have to add in our inflation adjusted cost of long-term care for the last 3 years of life which is $154,410.

All together this means you will need just shy of $800,000 to retire in Idaho Falls.. As we said above, we are working with averages here. Of course, there will be some people that can live for much less than that, and some will need more for a number of reasons, but what we’ve established is a good baseline.

Income Sources

If your retirement nest egg is $800,000 or bigger, you are probably feeling pretty good right now. However, if you are like the majority of Americans, you may be feeling some stress because you haven’t saved that much for retirement. Don’t worry though, your own nest egg will likely not be your only source of income, so let’s consider what some of those other sources might look like.

Social Security

Most Americans have worked in jobs in which you paid into Social Security and will be eligible for retirement benefits. The average monthly benefit amount in Idaho in 2023 is $1,517 a month or $18,204 a year. Living on these benefits alone is clearly not enough to meet all of your retirement needs, but it is a steady source of supplemental income.

Private, PERSI, Pensions

Employees of the state of Idaho that have worked at their employer for more than 5 years are eligible for a lifetime pension payment through PERSI. These benefit amounts vary based on your income and years of service, but the payment amounts are often comparable to Social Security benefits.

Many other employers also have pensions available to their employees that have spent a significant period of time with the company. These amounts vary as well depending on the employer, but the regular payments can also provide another source of retirement income.

Investment Growth

Once you have built up your retirement savings, invest your money so that it can be working for you. We have definitely met a few people in our time that use the cash and mattress method, but most people have their money invested to some degree. That way you can pursue growth and income to fund your retirement needs.

A Bucket List Retirement

While having your needs met is great, you may have a few wants in retirement. By the time you reach retirement you will likely have worked for four or five decades of your life. That’s a lot of time to work just to live on the bare minimum. They’re called the golden years because you are supposed to enjoy them. If you really want to travel, play, and enjoy the fruits of your labors, I suggest you plan on aspiring for more.

At 3 Peaks Financial we offer retirement planning services that help our clients cross off their bucket list items, and spend time on things that matter most, with the people that matter most. We give you permission to retire without worries or stress, because we plan out the details and show you where you are headed financially. We use software and our expertise to do the heavy lifting and strategize with you to provide clarity and confidence to your plan.

If you have questions like “When should I retire?”, “How much is enough for me?”, or “How should I invest my nest egg?”, then creating a retirement plan is right for you. Give us a call today or schedule an appointment by clicking the link in the top right of the page.