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Known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan is full of diverse cities, people, lakes, and plenty of local attractions that make it a fun place to spend your golden years. But, where exactly is the best place to retire in Michigan and what does retirement look like in some of these cities? Our list goes through the 15 best cities to retire in Michigan along with important information about each city and how your retirement might look there.

Let’s get take look!

How We Compiled Our List Of Best Cities to Retire In Michigan

Our research takes into account different factors that make retirement enjoyable to people. It’s worth noting that some of the cities in our research are considered more expensive to retire to while others are less expensive. This is noted in our “affordability retirement” factor on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being considered very affordable. We also took into account the median home value in each city to give people an idea of the housing cost associated with each city. Another important element for retirement is access to medical care.

As such, we have included the number of hospitals within a 25-mile radius of the city. Safety for retirement is extremely important as you want to have peace of mind when you retire. We have also included the annual property crimes along with annual violent crimes associated with each city. This was included to give people a perspective of the safety associated with each city. Lastly, we have featured the quality of life factor and the value associated with living in each of these cities. We also wrap our research up with local attractions in each city and what each city is best known for so you will have an idea of what your retirement could look like.


1. Traverse City

traverse city
(Traverse City )
  • Population – 15,570 (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $388k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 2
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 219
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 91
  • Affordability Retirement – 6/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 7/10

Conclusion: Traverse City is not considered one of the most affordable places to retire to. With the median home value surging to nearly 400k as of 2022, settling down to retire in Traverse City can be quite expensive. There are however plenty of retirement communities for adults in the city for people to chose from which can be an affordable retirement alternative to consider. Although there are only 2 main hospitals in the city, there are plenty of other medical centers available to retirees who need access to health care.

Local Attractions: Below are some of the most popular local attractions in Traverse City.

Best Known For: Traverse City is best known for its freshwater beaches, vineyards, skiing areas in the winters, golf courses, casinos, and forests. The city is also known for being the largest producer of tart cherries in the US. However, most Michiganders know it for its wineries and beaches and is considered a very popular summer getaway destination for families with second homes in Michigan.

Recommended Reading: 15 Best Places to Retire in South Carolina


2. Grand Haven

grand haven
(Grand Haven)
  • Population – 10,994 (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $343k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 7
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 119
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 25
  • Affordability Retirement – 7/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 7/10

Conclusion: Grand Haven is considered one of the best cities to retire to in Michigan. The city boasts a long beach with an amazing navy pier. Although the median home value is considered high for Michigan, there are plenty of affordable living options within the city of Grand Haven. There are plenty of retirement communities within Grand Haven that offer affordable retirement options for adults. The city is considered 46% safer than similar U.S. cities of its size. The quality of life in the summer is considered one of the best in Michigan, but the winters can be a bit harsher due to the natural lake effect that takes place.

Local Attractions: Grand Haven features plenty of local attractions to keep retirees entertained year round and especially during the summer. Some these include:

Best Known For: Grand Haven is best known for its stunning beaches and relaxed summer living. The city features plenty of fun activities in the fall such as pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes and more. They also have plenty of farmers markets throughout the year which make it easy to stop by and grab fresh fruits and vegetables.

Recommended Reading: Best Places To Retire In North Carolina


3. Petoskey

petosky
(Petosky)
  • Population – 5,724 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $327k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 5
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 41
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 14
  • Affordability Retirement – 7/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 7/10

Conclusion: Petosky is a small and beautiful town along the Little Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan, considered one of the most northern parts of the state. This is considered one of the safest places to retire in Michigan, with crime so low it barely registers most years. There are plenty of retirement communities sprinkled around Petoskey that offers retirees plenty of unique retirement options. Home prices tend to be on the higher end with low inventory levels throughout the area, so buying a home to retire in Petoskey may be a bit more difficult for most people. Petoskey is right by Harbor Springs which is considered part of their metro and extends further options for those looking to retire close to the bay.

Local Attractions: Petoskey features a gorgeous downtown area with plenty of spots for dining and entertainment. Below are some of it’s most popular local attractions.

Best Known For: Petosky is best known for for it’s Historic Gaslight District and the Petoskey State Park. The city also boasts beautiful Victorian architecture and it’s famous Petoskey Stone.


4. Saugatuck

saugatuck
(saugatuck)
  • Population – 850 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $564k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 4
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 30
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 13
  • Affordability Retirement – 5/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 7/10

Conclusion: Saugatuck is not traditionally thought of as a popular destination for retirement in Michigan. However, it can be a great place to retire if you want to be close to the water in a much quitter beach style town. The cost of living in Saugatuck is considered high, with median home prices reaching close to 600k in 2022. It’s worth noting that living in Saugatuck is much more expensive compared to other cities in Michigan due to it’s location. It’s considered one of the safest places to retire in Michigan and features unique properties around the lake. The reason we included Saugatuck in our list is because it’s a unique retirement alternative most people don’t consider. But, for those who have the money it can be an amazing place to retire to.

Local Attractions: Saugatuck is well known for its beautiful beaches and Sand Dunes. It also has an immaculate downtown area full of great places to shop and dine. Some of it’s most popular attractions include:

Known For: Saugatuck is best known as Michigan’s Art Coast, full of art studios, beautiful galleries’ art classes, and stunning beaches.


5. Bay City

bay city
(bay-city)
  • Population – 33,167 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $114k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 8
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 528
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 291
  • Affordability Retirement – 9/10
  • Quality of Life – 7/10
  • Value – 9/10

Conclusion: Bay City is considered a very affordable city to retire to in Michigan. With median home prices at $114k in 2022, finding affordable housing for retirement in Bay City is very doable. However, the city is much more populated compared to other cities in Michigan which may not be ideal for some retirees. The city does have plenty of parks offering residents plenty of potential for healthy walking and exercise. The crime rate is higher compared to other cities in Michigan which may be concerning for people thinking to retire here. Bay City has plenty of retirement facilities for people who want to be part of a community.

Local Attractions: Bay City offers fun festivals throughout they year with one of a kind shops and places to eat. You can take a stroll along the Riverwalk and enjoy it’s parks, art galleries and downtown life.

Known For: Bay City is located by the base of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. It was originally know as “Lower Saginaw”. Besides being known was the birthplace of famous singer Madonna, Bay City was once a shipbuilding and lumber town. The city is now full of historic buildings, amazing festivals and amazing food.


6. Manistee

Manistee
(Manistee)
  • Population – 6,259 – (2020)
  • Median Home Value – $199k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 1
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 112
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 22
  • Affordability Retirement – 9/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 9/10

Conclusion: Manistee is a small nit city in northern Michigan that can be one of the most relaxing places to retire to. It has a relatively low cost of living compared to other cities in Michigan and features incredible scenery. It’s considered extremely safe with very low crime and very affordable for people looking for a budget friendly retirement. Most retirees in Manistee are very active and enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and more.

Local Attractions: There’s plenty for retirees to do in Manistee if you like being active and staying outdoors. Some of the most popular local attractions in Manistee include:

Known For: Manistee is most well known for the Manistee river and the Manistee National Forest. For retirees, it’s a great place to retire if you love spending time outdoors fishing, hunting, hiking and being close to the water.


7. Marquette

Marquette
(Marquette)
  • Population – 22,015 – (2020)
  • Median Home Value – $269k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 3
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 197
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 73
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 9/10

Conclusion: Marquette is situated high up in the upper peninsula of Michigan surrounded by beautiful Lake Superior. For retirees who enjoy spending time outdoors while having a low cost living, Marquette is a great option. It has amazing scenery, very friendly people and is home to Northern Michigan University. Marquette also has plenty of retirement communities with a small town feel that truly makes it a great place for retirees. There’s plenty of activities for people to enjoy year round like fishing, biking, dog races, garden shows, annual beer festivals and more.

Local Attractions: If you like being outdoors and love a little adventure, Marquette is one of the best places to retire to. Some of the local attraction in Marquette include:

Known For: Back in the day, Marquette was most well known for being a major shipping iron ore port. Generally speaking, the UP is also well known for fishing and is home to some of the best hiking and biking trails in all of Michigan.


8. Holland

Holland
Holland
  • Population – 33,402 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $276k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 4
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022) – 548
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022) – 138
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

Conclusion: Holland is considered a great retirement city by many Michiganders. In fact, Holland has been rated a top place to retire by popular publications such as U.S. News & World Report, TopRetirements.com and CNN Money. The cost of living in Holland is well below the national average and has favorable tax incentives for retirees. Not only that, but Holland was also named one of the prettiest towns by Forbes in 2019. Holland has a great community and plenty of activities year round to keep your entertained. Their famous Tulip Festival held in May each year brings people from all over the state of Michigan.

Local Attractions: Holland has plenty of attractions to keep retirees busy. Below are some of Hollands most popular attractions and yearly activities.

Known For: Holland is most well known for its breathtaking beaches and it’s yearly Tulip Bulb Festival, which is a celebration of it’s Dutch heritage. They also have an incredible downtown full of shops, restaurants, cafe’s, and breweries.


9. Grand Rapids

grand rapids
(grand rapids)
  • Population – 198,401 – (2019)
  • Metro Population – 1,077,370 (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $235k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 21+
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)3,979
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)1,454
  • Affordability Retirement – 9/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 9/10

Conclusion: Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second-largest city and rates as one of the top 100 places to live in the US. In terms of health care, Grand Rapids features some of the most robust health care systems in all of Michigan. Retiring in Grand Rapids offers people plenty of unique options. The city is close to Lake Michigan and borders other smaller cities that have great retirement attractions. Overall, Grand Rapids has a low cost of living and maintains low poverty levels among seniors at 8.1% compared with the 9.3% national average. Grand Rapids has an extensive network of retirement facilities and local suburbs to help make your retirement comfortable and affordable.

Local Attractions: It’s pretty hard to get bored in a city like Grand Rapids. There’s so much to do and so many different restaurants and breweries to try. Below are some of Grand Rapids most popular attractions:

Known For: Once known as America’s furniture capital, Grand Rapids is now more known for it’s massive lineup of breweries. The city is also well known for the Medical Mile and ArtPrize.


10. Ann Arbor

ann arbor
(ann arbor)
  • Population – 120,735 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $415k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 15
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)1,962
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)360
  • Affordability Retirement – 7/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 7/10

Conclusion: Ann Arbor is considered one of the most famous college towns. It is home to the prestigious University of Michigan, which is dominated by over 40,000 students. Not only is it a great college town, but Ann Arbor is also a great place to retire. The city of Ann Arbor has strict zoning laws which can prevent commercial developments. This can be a plus as it helps to keep the city its small-town environment. This is one of the reasons why it’s a great place to retire. It boasts a rich and diverse downtown with plenty of sports bars. Although it’s considered an expensive city to retire in, Ann Arbor has plenty of housing options for retirees. It has a thriving local economy and the quality of life is very high.

Local Attractions: There are plenty of attractions in Ann Arbor that can offer retirees entertainment and leisure activities.

Known For: Ann Arbor is most well know for it’s diverse culture and the University of Michigan. It’s a very popular college town and can be a great place to raise a family and have a long-term career.


11. Gross Pointe Shores

gross pointe shores
(gross pointe shores)
  • Population – 5,206 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $650k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 4
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)28
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)1
  • Affordability Retirement – 5/10
  • Quality of Life – 9/10
  • Value – 8/10

Conclusion: If money isn’t an object, Gross Pointe Shores is one of the most affluence cities in Michigan to retire to. It also features some of the most stunning houses in all of Michigan along with access to Lake St. Claire. Retiring in Gross Pointe Shores is not cheap by any means. With the median home value at $650k as of 2022, retiring here will require you to have a large nest egg or family inheritance. Retiring in the Village of Gross Pointe Shores can be even more expensive as there are additional fees to live in the village. Also, if your house happens to be on the lake you will being paying even more for lake access. Gross Pointe Shores is known for being very affluent and boasts some of the most picturesque real estate in Michigan.

Local Attractions: There are plenty of local attractions in Gross Pointe Shores as well as around the area to keep retirees busy. Some of these include:

Known For: Gross Pointe Shores is best known for being right on Lake St. Claire Shores. It’s a popular destination for people to spend time on beautiful Lake Saint Claire with friends and family during the summer.


12. Beverly Hills

beverly-hills
(beverly-hills)
  • Population – 10,387 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $537k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 3
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)40
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)9
  • Affordability Retirement – 6/10
  • Quality of Life – 9/10
  • Value – 8/10

Conclusion:

Local Attractions:

Known For:


13. Bloomfield Charter Township

bloomfield hills
(bloomfield hills)
  • Population – 44,253 – (2020)
  • Median Home Value – $550k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 6
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)18
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)2
  • Affordability Retirement – 7/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

14. Rochester

best cities to retire in michigan
(rochester)
  • Population – 13,162 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $380k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 3
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)60
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)10
  • Affordability Retirement – 7/10
  • Quality of Life – 8/10
  • Value – 8/10

15. Grand Blanc

best cities to retire in michigan
(grand blanc)
  • Population – 7,905 – (2019)
  • Median Home Value – $290k (2022)
  • Number of Hospitals within 25 Miles of City – 3
  • Annual Property Crimes (2022)77
  • Annual Violent Crimes (2022)24
  • Affordability Retirement – 8/10
  • Quality of Life – 9/10
  • Value – 8/10

FAQ’s


Is Michigan a cheap place to retire?

Michigan is considered a very affordable places to retire to. The cost of living in Michigan is well below the average cost of living in the United States. Michigan has many cities that offer extremely affordable living for people who have low income.

Do Seniors Get a Property Tax Break In Michigan?

In order for seniors to qualify for homestead credit, they must be 65 years of age or older by December 31st in the year prior to filing, or be the unmarried spouse of a Michigan resident who was 65 years or older at their time of death.

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