Michigan, aka the Wolverine state, is home to just over 9.9 million people. It is the home of the American auto industry as well as where Motown Records got its start.
Michigan is divided into two different landmasses, the upper and lower peninsula, but are joined by the Mackinac Bridge, which is 5 miles long. The Mackinac Bridge is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges and connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
And though it rated 24th in the most desirable states to retire according to Bankrate, it came in 1st for affordability. The median home price is much lower than the national average though some areas are more expensive, such as Ann Arbor and Grosse Pointe.
Michigan tax laws changed in 2011, significantly impacting the retirement community. For those 67+ years old in 2011, the tax laws remained the same, however for those under 67, taxes changed affecting pensions, 401K’s, IRA’s, and capital gains.
Michigan has many large urban areas such as Detroit and Grand Rapids, and also has several college towns like Ann Arbor and East Lansing. If you prefer a quieter place to retire, the upper peninsula is perfect for those looking to enjoy the outdoors. And for those who love the water, Michigan offers the longest freshwater coast in the world.
Michigan is a great location for active retirees. There are an abundance of outdoor activities available year round such as:
For those looking for more exciting nightlife and vibrant urban culture, some of the larger cities and college towns are the ideal location for you. You can explore:
- The Detroit Institute of Art
- The Henry Ford Museum
- Muskegon Museum of Art
- Michigan Historical Museum
- Opera Grand Rapids
- Detroit Chamber of Winds and Strings
However, one of the drawbacks of living in Michigan is their winter weather. Though enjoying the freshwater coasts in the summer is fantastic, the lake effect in the winter may drive you south to warmer climates a few months out of the year.
Places To Retire in Michigan
- Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Ann Arbor
- Grosse Pointe
- Percentage of Seniors: 11.5%
- Overall Population: 200,217
Grand Rapids has a little bit of everything for everyone. For those who love the outdoors as well as city life, Grand Rapids might be the city for you.
Those looking to save their retirement funds for more than just housing will love the cost of houses here, averaging $113,000, which is $70,000 less than the national average. If you would prefer to rent, the average monthly rent costs around $800.
Also, it isn’t just the housing that costs less; all of Grand Rapids offers a lower cost of living, including food and medical care. And, with all the money you save you will be able to afford to escape the Michigan winters.
But while you are in town, Grand Rapids will keep you as busy as you want to be with exploring Millennium Park’s six-acre beach or hiking the trails through this urban park. However, Millennium Park isn’t the only place where you can enjoy nature. The Frederik Meijer Gardens has beautiful botanical gardens just waiting to be discovered.
For the foodies looking for a great place to eat, Grand Rapids offers everything from the premier steakhouses to small cafes. You can find restaurants like the Chop House that offers steaks and seafood, or for those who enjoy sushi, Simple Fish is a little Japanese cuisine treasure. And if you would like to enjoy a good cold beer, Grand Rapids has over 80 different craft breweries.
And when you are ready to go on vacation or if you have family friends coming to visit, Grand Rapids is home to the Gerald R. Ford International airport—making picking up, dropping off, or taxing to the airport convenient and easy.
- Percentage of Seniors: 11.3%
- Overall Population: 121,890
Many retirees find college towns very appealing since they offer a fantastic nightlife, unique entertainment venues, and vibrant culture. Ann Arbor offers all of that and more. Retirees will never be bored in this town, especially football fans.
In addition to sports, Ann Arbor is an excellent location for art lovers, since it is home to the University of Michigan Museum of Art and 16 Hands, a shop where you can purchase beautiful artwork.
And Ann Arbor offers two beautiful outdoor areas, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum, where you can discover amazing flora to your heart’s content.
When the grandkids come to visit, you can take them to the Creature Conservatory, Petting Farm at Domino’s Farm, or the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, where they can view art from the Mediterranean area.
Plus, Ann Arbor has several medical facilities, including the University of Michigan Medical center. The University of Michigan Medical center is a full-service teaching hospital.
However, all of these conveniences come at a cost. Ann Arbor has a slightly higher cost of living compared to the rest of the state.
If you would prefer to live near a college city, but from the comfort of the suburbs, Chelsea is one of the best Ann Arbor suburbs to choose. Though it is a little short on senior communities, it does have a 22% senior population.
- Percentage of Seniors: 14.2%
- Overall Population: 13,348
Rochester is located just outside of Detroit and offers a quieter option of living. Though the city of Rochester has less than 20,000 residents, it does boast 20.37 medical facilities per 1,000 residents, so you will never have an issue finding medical care. Though Rochester doesn’t have a large senior population, it does enjoy a diverse age population.
For active retirees, Rochester features the Paint Creek Trail, a 9-mile path, built on the former train tracks. The trail is a multi-use trail and is ideal for walking, jogging, biking, and horseback riding. However, this trail is off-limits to motor vehicles.
If you are more of a golfer than a jogger, the Pine Trace Golf Club is rated in the top 20 best golf courses in Michigan.
And, if you are looking for a place for shopping and dining, the Village of Rochester Hills is an open-air mall home to more than 50 different commercial tenants. The Village of Rochester Hills even features a gallery and landscaped gardens.
One of the fun things about retirement is being able to enjoy a cold brew any time of the day, and Rochester Mills Beer Company is one of the best places to relax with a craft beer. Or if you would like to take in some live music, the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre hosts multiple concerts throughout the summer.
- Percentage of Seniors: 16%
- Overall Population: 10,565
Farmington is the sixth-best place to retire to in the US, according to Smart Asset. One of the primary benefits of living in Farmington is the easy access to medical centers. There are 21.79 medical facilities per 1,000 people.
Additionally, Farmington has 3.9 recreational centers per 1,000 residents, providing a great outlet to connect with others.
Farmington is a tranquil small town with a low crime rate. It is known for its beautiful Victorian-style homes and historic district. But don’t be mistaken. Farmington might be quiet, but there are a lot of things to do and see here:
- Holocaust Memorial Center
- Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
- Saturday Farmers Market
- Craft Breww City
And for those looking to stay active outdoors:
- Farmington Hill Nature Center
- Woodland Hills Nature Park
- Glen Oaks Country Club
- Heritage Park
- Farmington Hills Golf Club
When you are ready for a day trip or an evening out, Detroit is only 30 minutes away, giving you easy access to high-end restaurants, live entertainment, and shopping. Or if you are a Lions fan, you can always catch a game at Ford Field.
Plus, Detroit is home to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, so it is convenient for when you are ready to go on vacation or when you pick up guests coming to visit.
- Percentage of Seniors: 20.2%
- Overall Population: 5,170
Grosse Pointe has the highest senior population of all of the cities on this list. It is a smaller city, but it is one of Detroit’s neighbors allowing the residents easy access to urban life.
Even more impressive is the number of medical centers and recreational centers. There are 24.55 medical facilities and 4.53 recreational centers per 1,000 residents, making Grosse Pointe an appealing place to retire.
For retirees who love boating and fishing, Grosse Pointe is located on Lake St. Claire. Lake St. Clair is a boater’s dream since it is part of the Great Lakes system connecting Lake Huron and Lake Erie through the St. Claire River and Detroit River, giving unlimited access to multiple bodies of freshwater.
Even so, there are two drawbacks to living so near the water. The first is the cost of living. Housing and rental costs are higher in Grosse Pointe than in other cities in Michigan.
And the winter weather, living so close to a large body of water, means that residents have to endure the lake effect, causing the temperatures to be even lower.
Additionally, for those who enjoy shopping, art, and history:
- Eastern Market
- Theatre Bizarre
- Michigan Science Center
- Detroit Institute of Arts
- Motown Historical Museum
And when you are looking to for outdoor activities:
- Outdoor adventure center
- Belle Isle Park
- Belle Isle Aquarium
- Country Club of Detroit
And if that isn’t enough to convince you that Grosse Pointe is a great place to retire, it is also a very safe city; it is 52% safer than other US cities.