Move over, Florida! The American Midwest may be the next hot retirement destination. With beautiful scenery, affordable costs of living, and great quality of life, this underappreciated region is a great place to spend your retirement.
The Midwest is officially made up of twelve states, though Midwestern opinions vary on which states make the cut. According to the US Census Bureau, however, the region consists of both Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.
Cost of Living
The Midwest far and away dominated other regions of the US in the category of financial stability and cost of living in LPL Research’s 2017 Retirement Environment Index. Michigan, in particular, experienced a huge improvement in its rank as a retirement destination, jumping from 19th to 2nd best state for soon-to-be retirees. This is due in large part to median income rising well above the national average and a lower tax burden in the face of rising taxes across the country.
In addition, the cost of housing in the Midwest is, perhaps not surprisingly, lower on average than any other region. The monthly cost of assisted living in Michigan is well below the national average, with other states in the area coming in at or below that average.
Access to Healthcare
The accessibility and affordability of healthcare is an incredibly important consideration as people age, and cities in the Midwest are quickly establishing themselves as centers for medical innovation. From Cleveland, Ohio, which has been ranked first in the nation for access to healthcare, to the centers for medical research in Ann Arbor, to the “Medical Mile” of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Great Lakes region is becoming a hub of great healthcare.
Climate and Landscape
In the wider imagination of the country, the Midwest doesn’t have the best reputation for breathtaking scenery and beautiful weather. While there’s some truth to the stereotypical image of farmland stretching to the horizon and frozen winters, these states have so much more to offer. In the space of a few states, you can experience vast mixed forests, miles of beaches, golden plains, mountain foothills, river basins, and waterfalls. Long traditions of outdoorsmanship make Midwestern states popular vacation destinations for any number of outdoor sports, and actually living there makes it so much easier to get active.
While it’s true that Midwestern winters can be arduous, residents relish in the ability to experience four distinct seasons, each beautiful in their own way. Spring thaws bring fresh air and wildflowers, summers are hot but never sweltering, and falls are defined by bright, warm colors and perfect sweater weather. And for winter sportspeople, waking up to a sunlight on a fresh layer of powder is always a beautiful sight.
Overall Quality of Life
Aside from all the financial and logistical considerations, the Midwest is just a great place to live. A psychological study on personality variation in different regions of the United States found that the Midwest was just plain friendlier than other areas. The researchers who conducted this study of over 1.6 million Americans defined “friendliness” as displaying traits of sociability, consideration, and a sense of duty. Though the South gets more lip service, this report could not be better for a region prides itself on its hospitality.
All of this bodes well for soon-to-be retirees who already have roots in the Midwest, as spending more time with family is a popular aspiration for retirement. For people who are deeply connected with their family members, moving away for retirement means less time with children and grandchildren. The overall quality of the Midwest as a retirement location means that the decision doesn’t need to be difficult.
Where to retire is a big decision, so it’s normal to still have questions. If you’re asking yourself, should I stay in my state? Home care or an assisted living community? What is assisted living? We can help: Download our eBook below to learn more.