Magazine: Sandpoint is ‘Where to Retire’ - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard

Magazine: Sandpoint is ‘Where to Retire’

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 10:00 am | Updated: 12:10 pm, Sat Jun 9, 2012.

SANDPOINT — Bonner County is already well-known among folks around the country as a prime spot to rest after a hard life’s work.

Now that reputation has spread even further.

“Where To Retire,” a nationwide magazine that assists individuals in selecting a retirement location, will feature Sandpoint in its upcoming June 19 issue. In a feature entitled “Laid-back Lakeside Living,” the magazine staff list out the many qualities that make Sandpoint a popular destination for retirees seeking an exciting location to spend their twilight years. In addition to Sandpoint, the magazine also examines seven other towns known for their great lakeside locations — Traverse City, Mich., Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., Murray, Ky., Gainesville, Ga., Granbury, Texas, Lake Tahoe, Calif. and Nev. and Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

“While our eight featured towns share many similarities, including proximity to health-care services, shopping and entertainment, they vary greatly in climate and setting — from mountains to the desert,” said Mary Lu Abbott, editor of “Where To Retire.”

According to Abbott, lakeside towns are a big draw for the recently retired. After all, the geographical feature offers both a natural beauty and a ready-made source of fun.

“Lakeside communities, such as Sandpoint, offer retirees a laid-back lifestyle away from big-city hassles and with all the recreational perks of water access,” Abbott said.

Of course, Sandpoint has plenty of other advantages that make it popular with migrating seniors. As a mountain town, the landscape, woods, wildlife and trails are all big bonuses as well. According to Abbott, towns centered around inland lakes also tend to be more affordable than coastal communities.

Individuals seeking a pleasant retirement location usually bring more to their new community besides themselves. Abbott said the 700,000 individuals a year seeking a new residence for their retirement tend to be healthier, better educated and more financial affluent. That means they can have a lot to contribute to the local economy and community.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Bill Litsinger posted at 8:57 pm on Mon, Jun 11, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @Corey Greve - post of 9:29 a.m. We have the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation. They have a lot of talent and horse power within the group. Building the economy will take time, especially now, due to the current national economic pitfall.

    I sense there are many in positions of power that want to keep Bonner County the way it is. Changing things will take a whole new outlook on Sandpoint and the county. Will it happen, I don't know???

  • Corey Greve posted at 9:29 am on Mon, Jun 11, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 916

    I have heard many times in my past that people don't want to vote for school issues since they no longer have children in school. It's sad, but true. I would agree with the theory that the more affluent tend to value education higher.

    What could the powers-that-be do to improve the economic condition in Bonner County?

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 11:49 am on Sun, Jun 10, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @Corey Greve - post of 11:16 a.m. - Corey, thanks for speaking up. Neither one of us really knows how a person votes once they get in the booth. I am only guessing when I make the following statement. " I believe that the older more financially secure voter is more apt to vote for a school levy than someone who makes 12-14 dollars per hour." The more affluent know the value of education. I appreciate the fact that those before me paid their taxes so I could attend schools. When my daughter was in school (public from 1st grade to college) I voted Yes on all school levy bonds. I don't mind educating the next generation, hoping they will make this world better and at the same time make discoveries that will help me as I grow old.

    Real estate is something else. Instead of complaining about it as we have since at least 1994, why don't those in power do something about the economy of Bonner County???

  • Corey Greve posted at 11:16 am on Sun, Jun 10, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 916

    How about this, Bill? When those affluent retired folks mover here, they can afford the higher asking prices for homes, which in turn raises those prices for the next buyer. That drives home prices out of reach for that local family making twelve bucks an hour. They then must rent, and gain no equity for their future, or they can only afford to buy in less desirable areas that are far from their source of income, and their transportation costs stretch out of reach.

    Those child-less, affluent retired folks are also often reticent to support the public school system, and they vote against possible improvements and upkeep of that system.

    Understand, I am not against anyone becoming successful in life, and doing as they wish with their resources. I just wanted to point out a few things that you may not have considered.

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 8:21 am on Sun, Jun 10, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @Helen Newton - post of 4:45 a.m. You sure get up early. I'm happy to hear that you don't know "any" people that have collected welfare or food stamps. I've only lived here for a short period of time and I know of some that have collected and continue to collect for a variety of reasons. You certainily know a lot more people than I do.

    I've never mentioned the term "Burden to the system." My approach was to challenge the comments by some that older out of staters are bad for the local economy and create financial problems for others. I don't believe that to be true, so I wrote a rebuttle to it. I'm not in the loop as much today as I was 8-10 years ago. I attended a church back then and there was a divide between those that were born and raised here and the new residents. When I looked at the preople involved I saw what really takes place when older people move in.

    If I was wrong about the draws (criminal justice system, food stamps, low income housing, schools, tax revenues) on the local, regional economy I would like to be shown where. These are not statements / beliefs originated by me but standards taught in most University Public Administration curriculums all over the country.

    Thank you for your comments.

  • Helen Newton posted at 4:45 am on Sun, Jun 10, 2012.

    Helen Newton Posts: 476

    Bill, Bill, Bill,

    I've lived here for 65 years so I guess you could call me a local...but I don't personally know any people who have collected welfare, or food stamps, or been a burden to the system. The vast, vast majority haven't and don't. Perhaps condescending attitudes shared by some of the well eucated, financially secure people who have descended on Bonner County could be why "newcomers" are sometimes not welcomed . Just as newcomers shouldn't be labeled by one label, neither should those of us who've spent our lives here buliding the community to what makes it so attractive for the newcomers. It didn't just happen overnight by itself, you know. For instance, it took a lot of people like me buying $10.00 shares of stock to make Schweitzer Basin happen - and it took me 2 months of payroll withholdings to pay off that $10.00!

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 10:18 pm on Sat, Jun 9, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @Helen Newton - post of 7:31 p.m. - The vast majority of people that I know that have come to Bonner County in the past 10-12 years have many things in common. They don't have school age children ( of all the new comers from out of state that I know, NONE of them have any school age children). All of them, as far as I know have health insurance, so they would never go to Bonner General or their doctor and not pay their bill (sometimes when people don't pay their bill, the county reimburses the hospital) When people don't pay their doctor, the doctor has to make it up somewhere (I'm not saying the doctor should turn those people away, but the doctor has to maintain the practice somehow.)

    I would be hard pressed to find any of my friends or acquaintances that were ever arrested and put a burden on the criminal justice system. I don't know of any of them that were ever on any kind of public assistance to include low-cost housing (with reduced property tax rates that are paid up by others).

    Shopping Downtown: Shopping downtown is something that many people do. My guess is that if you have 2-3 children and a typical north Idaho job you don't do a lot of shopping at CWC, Zany Zebra or some of the other tourist stops. I can't quote any specifics, but my guess is that if you have 2-3 children, make 12.00 per hour with no benefits you probably don't eat out as much or shop the more expensive stores. Just a guess.

    It is pretty well documented that middle to upper middle class seniors (50 or over) are a lot less expensive to support at the local level than those that have low paying jobs with children to raise or those that happen to run afoul of the law on a regular basis.

    If you were to visit the Bonner or Kootenai County jail sometime I doubt if you would find many prisoners that were upper middle class, educated, owned their own home and financially secure. The basis of my 5:03 p.m. blog was that certain groups are less expensive to maintain than others.

    How many people do you know up here that fit this description that have ever collected any type of energy assistance, food stamps, housing subsidy, etc., etc. I've been here since 1994 and can't identify one person.

  • Helen Newton posted at 7:31 pm on Sat, Jun 9, 2012.

    Helen Newton Posts: 476

    And how is it, Bill, that these people give "more than they receive"? They pay property taxes based on the value of their property just like the rest of us. They have access to 9-1-1, EMS, our roads, fire protection if they're in a city or district, water & sewer if they're in a city or a district - paying exactly the same as everyone else - that is, they pay for utilities what they choose to use but it is the utility companies or districts who benefit from that, not local residents. Are you saying perhaps that they shop more in Sandpoint than the rest of us? I've heard you say dozens of times on your radio show that YOU can't find anything to shop for in Sandpoint and you often talk about your frequent trips to CDA. Don't you suppose that these financially secure folks are going to CDA and Spokane to shop? Perhaps you could be more specific in hos these "better educated, financially secure" folks are giving more than they receive....

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 5:03 pm on Sat, Jun 9, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    @The Dog - post of 10:41 a.m. I don't understand your post. It reads "a new residence" not "residents." I beleive the mistake was made further down the sentence where the word "financial" should be "financially."

    Most of the people coming to Bonner County give more than they receive. Most are better educated, have financial security, own their home, don't have children in school, have medical insurance and pay more in taxes than the average person.

  • Scott S posted at 4:16 pm on Sat, Jun 9, 2012.

    Scott S Posts: 360

    I grew up here. Graduated from Sandpoint High School 30 years ago. I love the publicity as my dream is to sell out in about 10 years and leave this area to retire elsewhere so bring it on. Would be real nice to see 40-50 thousand retirees flood the area and drive the real estate thru the roof. OOLALA. I wont shut the door on my way out.

  • TheDog posted at 10:41 am on Sat, Jun 9, 2012.

    TheDog Posts: 5

    "Abbott said the 700,000 individuals a year seeking a new residents for their retirement..." A new residents?

  • Corey Greve posted at 8:26 pm on Fri, Jun 8, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 916

    Maybe we can get some more retired California cops in town?

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 7:22 pm on Fri, Jun 8, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    Oh the natives are going to love this bit of publicity.