Whether you are from the coasts or you already call the Heartland your home, the Midwest can be an affordable and relaxing place to retire. This guide will give you an overview of some of the best places to call home in your golden years.
Traverse City, Michigan
Ranking No. 3 on Money magazine's 2009 list of best places to retire, Traverse City is a lakefront community located in the northwestern part of Michigan. The area claims more than 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, perfect for the retiree who wants to live next to the water and enjoy the beach during the warmer seasons. Medical care in the area is superb, with the city's Munson Medical Center ranking in the top 100 hospitals in the country. The town's population is modest, claiming only about 14,300 residents, 41 percent of whom are over the age of 50. Housing is fairly affordable, with a medium-size home averaging about $250,000. For those who want to remain active in their later years, there's no shortage of things to do in Traverse City. From sailing along the lake to frequenting one of the area's wineries, Traverse City has a lot in the way of recreational fun. And if golfing is more your speed, the area has nearly 50 public golf courses.
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
If you want the quiet life of the suburbs, but you still want to be able to visit a city, then Lake Saint Louis, located about an hour outside of St. Louis, Missouri, is the retirement destination for you. A small community of less than 14,000, Lake Saint Louis is known for its two lakes: Lake St. Louis and Lake St. Louise, which are popular boating sites for members of the community association, members of which also have access to tennis courts, a swimming pool, a golf course and a clubhouse. The area is very community-minded, playing host to recreational softball leagues as well as summertime concerts. More than a third of the city's population is over the age of 50, while the average home price tends to fall just under $200,000, though some lakefront property can reach as high as $1 million. Lake Saint Louis was ranked the 15th best place to retire in 2009 by Money magazine.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
For the retiree on a budget, Stevens Point, located about two hours west of Green Bay, Wisconsin, offers senior citizens an affordable and relaxing place to live out their later years. The average price for a mid-size home is only about $135,000. The city is decent-sized, claiming nearly 25,000 residents, more than a fourth of whom are age 50 and over. For those who love winter weather, you will definitely enjoy the wintertime snowfall, which often accumulates to as much as 40 inches. Senior citizens looking to stay active can take advantage of the city's parks and trails, which offer cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowmobiling during the winter months and biking during the summer. The University of Wisconsin has a branch in Stevens Point and offers classes to local residents. There are also more than 200 restaurants in the area as well as 128 bars, nine libraries and 32 public golf courses.