Retiring in Michigan

1 min readLast updated April 16, 2024by Kate Morgan

This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Michigan.

Michigan, located in the Great Lakes region of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a beautiful and unique environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a friendly community. With its stunning lakes, forests, and charming cities, Michigan offers a retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Michigan had a population of approximately 10 million people, with over 16% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.

What age can you retire in Michigan?

Like many states, Michigan has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in Michigan: 

  • Social Security benefits: The earliest age at which you can begin receiving Social Security benefits is 62, but if you delay taking benefits, your monthly payments will increase. Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. Delaying benefits until after FRA can result in even higher monthly payments. 

  • Medicare eligibility: Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, regardless of retirement status. 

  • Age discrimination: It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on age. 

  • Retirement savings: Regardless of retirement age, it is important for individuals to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement. 

However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state. 

Why do people retire to Michigan?

  • Affordability: Compared to other popular retirement destinations, Michigan has a lower cost of living. Housing, healthcare, and groceries are generally less expensive than in many other states.  

  • Natural beauty: Michigan is known for its stunning natural beauty, including its famous Great Lakes, forests, and numerous parks. Retirees can enjoy living in an environment that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and camping. 

  • Cultural scene: Michigan has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Traverse City Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Art Fair. 

  • Friendly community: Michigan is known for its friendly and welcoming community. Retirees can enjoy living in a state where people are often described as "Midwestern nice." 

What puts people off retiring to Michigan?

  • Cold winters: Michigan's climate can be harsh in the winter, with cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls, which could be a concern for retirees who are not used to such conditions. 

  • Job market: While Michigan has a strong manufacturing industry, the job market in other sectors can be competitive, which could be a concern for retirees who want to continue working or who are looking for part-time work.  

Best places to retire in Michigan

If Michigan is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in: 

  1. Traverse City: Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Traverse City is a picturesque small town that is perfect for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and boating. The town is known for its wineries, breweries, and farm-to-table restaurants, making it a foodie's paradise. 

  2. Grand Rapids: As the second-largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids offers a mix of urban amenities and natural beauty. Retirees can enjoy exploring the city's many museums, art galleries, and cultural attractions, as well as its parks and green spaces. 

  3. Ann Arbor: Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a lively college town that offers a range of cultural and recreational activities. Retirees can enjoy attending performances at the Michigan Theater, exploring the University of Michigan Museum of Art, or strolling through the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. 

  4. Holland: Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Holland is a charming small town that is known for its Dutch heritage and tulip festival. Retirees can enjoy strolling through the town's quaint downtown area, exploring its many parks and gardens, or spending a day at the beach. 

  5. Petoskey: Nestled on the shores of Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey is a scenic small town that is perfect for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and skiing. The town is also known for its charming downtown area, which is home to many boutique shops and restaurants. 

  6. Frankenmuth: Known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria," Frankenmuth is a quaint small town that is perfect for retirees who enjoy a European-style atmosphere. The town is home to many Bavarian-themed shops and restaurants, as well as the famous Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. 

In conclusion, Michigan offers a range of retirement options, from small towns to urban areas. Retirees can enjoy a four-season climate and a variety of recreational activities but should be prepared for cold winters. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in California, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement. 

Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.