Beautiful Coeur d’Alene (“Core-da-lane”) is tucked away in the striking, rugged landscape of northern Idaho’s panhandle. Settled along shimmering Lake Coeur d’Alene, one of the largest freshwater lakes in North America, the town has about 45,000 residents. If visiting, you can expect a slightly upscale mountain vibe, an outdoor-oriented lifestyle, conservative Western values, ample outdoor recreation opportunities and plenty of fresh air. If you are thinking of retiring in Coeur d’Alene, you wouldn’t be the first. Thirty six percent of residents are age 45 or better, and the cost of living meets the national average.
The median home price is $233,000, making it affordable to most retirees. Neighborhoods are wooded, and residences range from ranch ramblers to stunning mountain lodges with lake views. Real estate is assessed at its full market value, but there is a 50% homestead exemption, up to $88,580. In Coeur d’Alene, yearly property taxes on a $200,000 home are approximately $1,550. The state sales tax is 6%, however prescription drugs are exempt.
Although residents celebrate in the outdoor recreation opportunities, Coeur d’Alene is not just about the great outdoors. The Coeur d’Alene Symphony performs classical and semi classical concerts several times a year at the local KROC Center. The Coeur d’Alene Ballet puts on three performances per year, and classes are also available. The Summer Theatre produces four Broadway quality shows each summer, and The Modern Theatre performs several productions each year. During the spring, summer and fall, public art walks happen multiple times a week.
Shopping and dining options are plentiful, with five-star restaurants, wine shops, bookstores, antique stores, brew pubs and coffee houses all within the city. The Resort Plaza Shops, part of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, is a fashionable, enclosed mall and the site of book signings, fashion shows, concerts and art displays. During the spring and summer months, many farmers’ markets will pop up around town. There is no Wal-Mart in Coeur d’Alene, but there are two within 10 miles away in the cities of Hayden and Post Falls.
Kootenai Medical Center (home to the respected Kootenai Heart Center) is accredited by the Joint Commission, and Medicare patients are welcomed. Spokane, WA (35 miles to the west) has four hospitals, all of which are award-winning. For military retirees, Coeur d’ Alene has a VA outpatient clinic, and Spokane has a VA hospital.
Free, local transportation is provided by City Link buses. It travels to Kootenai medical center, various shopping spots, recreation sites and more. The Spokane International Airport has daily non-stop flights to all major hubs, including Oakland, CA and LAX.