When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Michigan.
But where exactly in Michigan? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Michigan that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Midland don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Wolverine State to retire for 2018:
- Midland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- New Baltimore (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rochester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Clawson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Trenton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- South Lyon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Marquette (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Alpena (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Wixom (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fraser (Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Wolverine State
To create our list of the best places in Michigan to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Wolverine State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.
This left us with 86 places from across the state.
For these 86, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 86, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Midland, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 42,063Median Rent: $750
Distance to Closest Airport: 9 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,328
More on Midland: Homes For Sale | Data
By the late 1820s, Midland was established as a fur trading post of the American Fur Company supervised by the post at Saginaw. Here agents purchased furs from Ojibwe trappers. The Campau family of Detroit operated an independent trading post at this location in the late 1820s.
2. New Baltimore
Population: 12,266Median Rent: $686
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 953
More on New Baltimore: Homes For Sale | Data
New Baltimore incorporated as a village in 1867 and as a city in 1931. It is located on the north coastline of Lake St. Clair, along the boundary line of Macomb and St. Clair Counties. The town sits on the waterfront along Lake St. Clair’s Anchor Bay, and offers a public park, beach, and downtown-shopping district.
Population: 12,969Median Rent: $861
Distance to Closest Airport: 11 miles
Crime Per 100k: 570
More on Rochester: Homes For Sale | Data
The first settlers in what would become Rochester, the Graham family, built a log cabin in 1817. The cabin was located where the Quik Pik and Penn Station stores today exist at the intersection of Main and Second Street. The city was named for Rochester, New York, just like Rochester, Minnesota, as many early settlers to the area were formerly from the state of New York.
Population: 12,008Median Rent: $828
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 707
More on Clawson: Homes For Sale | Data
The city’s name is a misspelling of John Lawson’s name, a local settler. Clawson began in 1829 and was originally known as Pumachug and The Corners. It was incorporated in 1921 as a village and in 1940 as a city.
Population: 18,426Median Rent: $698
Distance to Closest Airport: 37 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,052
More on Trenton: Homes For Sale | Data
The founder of Trenton is considered to be Abram Caleb Truax, a member of the territorial militia in attendance when General William Hull surrendered Detroit to the British General Isaac Brock early in the War of 1812. After the war, in 1816, Truax acquired a large tract of land in the Michigan Territory along the Detroit River from the U.S. government and constructed a sawmill, church and store in what is today downtown Trenton. When Territorial Governor Lewis Cass organized Monguagon Township in 1827, Truax became the first Township Supervisor. He laid out the village of Truaxton in 1834. A post office had been established there named ‘Monguago’ in 1828 with Truax as the first postmaster. The post office name was changed to ‘Truago’ in 1837, and to ‘Trenton’ in 1847, after a type of limestone mined from a local quarry. The village was platted and recorded under the name Trenton in 1850 by Abram’s son and daughter George Brigham Truax and Sophia Slocum, the wife of industrialist Giles Slocum. The Slocum family estate was given to the county, becoming what is known as Elizabeth Park, named after Elizabeth Slocum.
6. South Lyon
Population: 11,672Median Rent: $859
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
Crime Per 100k: 488
More on South Lyon: Homes For Sale | Data
South Lyon was founded in 1832 and was called Thompson’s Corners. In the same year, the surrounding township was named Lyon for Lucius Lyon, a member of the State Legislature. The village was given a name for its location within the township. South Lyon was incorporated as a village in 1873 and as a city in 1930
Population: 21,282Median Rent: $675
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,574
More on Marquette: Homes For Sale | Data
The land around Marquette was known to French missionaries of the early 17th century and the trappers of the early 19th century. Development of the area did not begin, however, until 1844, when William Burt and Jacob Houghton (the brother of geologist Douglass Houghton) discovered iron deposits near Teal Lake west of Marquette. In 1845, Jackson Mining Company, the first organized mining company in the region, was formed.
Population: 10,213Median Rent: $574
Distance to Closest Airport: 110 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,359
More on Alpena: Homes For Sale | Data
It was originally part of Anomickee County founded in 1840, which in 1843 was changed to Alpena, a pseudo-Native American word ? a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, meaning something like ‘a good partridge country.’ This was part of a much larger effort to rename a great many of the Michigan counties at the time.
Population: 13,733Median Rent: $664
Distance to Closest Airport: 13 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,842
More on Wixom: Homes For Sale | Data
The settlement of Wixom dates back to the 1830s. The establishment of Wixom as a place started in the early 1870s when the Holly, Wayne and Monroe Railroad was constructed through the area. Willard Wixom platted land on either side of the railroad near the Novi and Commerce Township border. The construction of a railroad depot and the naming of the area as Wixom fixed Wixom as a destination.
Population: 14,620 Median Rent: $748
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,462
More on Fraser: Homes For Sale | Data
The Village of Fraser was incorporated by an act of the state legislature in 1894. The city was named for a lawyer from Detroit. The City of Fraser was established by home rule charter November 7, 1956, and adopted by the electors on December 26, 1956.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Michigan goes to Midland.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Muskegon Heights
- Lincoln Park
- Harper Woods
For more Michigan reading , check out:
- 10 Most Dangerous Places in Michigan
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Michigan For 2018
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Michigan
|St. Clair Shores||33|
|East Grand Rapids||35|
|Grosse Pointe Woods||52|
|Grosse Pointe Park||58|
|Sault Ste. Marie||78|