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Surrounded by four out of five Great Lakes, Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the world. There are plenty of options when it comes to lifestyle—from the wilds of the Upper Peninsula to the streets of Detroit. For Michigan senior living, the opportunities are endless.

The Lower Peninsula area is known for its gorgeous coastlines, with plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water sports. Catch a gorgeous sunset across Lake Michigan, wake up to the sunrise over Lake Huron—or take in breathtaking views of the Mackinac Bridge, a triumph of engineering spanning five miles across the Straits of Mackinac.

There are plenty of small towns throughout Northern Michigan nestled among rolling hills, meadows, and sparkling lakes. For seniors, these communities offer low crime rates and a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle—as well as access to plenty of outdoor activities.

The climate in Michigan is temperate, with four distinct seasons—characterized by hot summers and cold winters. The southern end of the state is a bit milder in climate than the north, especially the Upper Peninsula, which is known for its freezing winters.

In Michigan, median home prices and costs of living are very affordable compared to those in the rest of the country. The state has one of the lowest income tax rates in the country, at 3.9%, although the tax burden in some areas, such as Detroit, can be significantly higher. There are a range of tax breaks for retirees, including a deduction of private pension income up to $42,150 regardless of age, with an additional deduction available of $2,300 for those age 65 or older. Public pensions aren’t taxed, and those aged 65 or older get a homestead property tax credit of up to $1,200.

The best places for retirement living in Michigan include:

Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is a college town with a cosmopolitan flavor—that’s remarkably inexpensive. Home of the University of Michigan, the town supports several theatres as well as live music and art galleries. Ann Arbor is also only about 43 miles away from Detroit, which offers additional theatres and cultural experiences. Home prices in Ann Arbor are well below the national average. It’s green here; Ann Arbor is widely known as the “tree city,” and along its leafy streets you’ll find sidewalk cafes, art galleries, boutiques, and plenty of entertainment.

Traverse City

Inhabitants of this small town enjoy access to miles of beautiful beaches, as well as proximity to Munson Medical Center—one of the nation’s top hundred hospitals. If you love culture, you’re covered here—the town hosts the Traverse City Film Festival every year, drawing moviegoers from around the country. Art venues include the Dennos Museum Center and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, which offers dance, theatre, art exhibits, and other cultural entertainment.


Michigan’s major metropolitan center, Detroit was once known as a manufacturing hub and home to some of the nation’s top car manufacturers. Today, housing prices in Detroit are incredibly affordable. Detroit is a mecca of live music, offering several nationally known live music venues. There’s plenty of theatre, opera, and symphony, as well as the annual Detroit International Jazz Festival, Motor City Music Conference, and more. You’ll also find several museums in the cultural center neighborhood, centered around the College for Creative Studies and Wayne State University.

Assisted living facilities in Michigan offer plenty of variety—from the exciting urban landscape of Detroit to the relaxed lifestyle of coastal small towns. Check out our listings of Michigan assisted living, independent living and other retirement options—and find your ideal independent living community in Michigan right here.