Best counties to retire to in Michigan

Written by:
July 31, 2022
Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

Best counties to retire to in Michigan

Buyers and sellers of real estate alike—when asked what are the three most essential considerations about a property—will nearly always reply "location, location, location." While this answer is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, it is often quite accurate, and this reply perhaps applies to retirees more than any other demographic. Settling down after a lifetime of working and perhaps raising a family calls for the perfect location: a spot where you can enjoy life with as few concerns as possible.

When seniors aged 65 years or older decide on where they want to live out their golden years, they consider very specific factors, such as the cost of living, government services, health care facilities, weather and overall climate, crime rate, outdoor recreational activities, eating establishments, cultural and entertainment opportunities, and more.

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in Michigan using data from Niche. Niche ranks counties based on a variety of factors including cost of living, healthcare, recreation and weather. Read more about Niche's methodology here.

Location is critical as retirees determine where to spend their senior years enjoying favorite activities; however, it’s a very unique decision based on a multitude of preferences and needs. Whether it be bustling downtowns or access to parks, affordable home prices or cultural amenities like museums, retirees seeking to settle in a permanent spot are sure to find a private paradise in any of these counties recommended by Niche because, in the end, there is no place like home—no matter the location.

Read on to discover the best counties to retire to in Michigan.

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Henry Schenck Tanner // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Montmorency County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (D+), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Montmorency Township (B-), Briley Township (C+), Hillman Township (C+)
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Menominee County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Menominee (B), Menominee Township (B-), Harris Township (B+)
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Gogebic County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (D+), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Ironwood Charter Township (A-), Ironwood (B), Bessemer Township (B+)
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David Coats // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Presque Isle County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Rogers City (B), Rogers Township (B), Presque Isle Township (B)
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Charles W. Chapman // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Wexford County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Cherry Grove Township (B), Clam Lake Township (B), Cadillac (B)

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Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Crawford County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Grayling Charter Township (B+), Grayling (B), Frederic Township (B)
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Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Alcona County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Greenbush Township (C+), Alcona Township (B-), Lost Lake Woods (B-)
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Andrew Jameson // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Bay County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C+), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Frankenlust Township (A-), Williams Charter Township (B+), Essexville (B)
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Andrew Jameson // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Oakland County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B-), weather (C+), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Troy (A+), Bloomfield Charter Township (A+), Huntington Woods (A+)
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rossograph // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Cass County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (B+), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Edwardsburg (B), Milton Township (B), Pokagon Township (B)

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stanthejeep // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Grand Traverse County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Peninsula Township (A), Acme Township (A), Traverse City (A-)
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Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Antrim County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Elk Rapids (A), Elk Rapids Township (A-), Milton Township (B+)
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Nick Nolte // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Iosco County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Baldwin Township (B+), Tawas City (B+), East Tawas (B+)
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Elevatorrailfan // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Ogemaw County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: West Branch Township (B-), Ogemaw Township (B-), West Branch (B-)
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Ian Poellet (User:Werewombat) // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Arenac County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Standish (B), Deep River Township (B-), Lincoln Township (B-)

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Iulus Ascanius // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Clare County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C), outdoor activities (B)
- Top places to live: Clare (B), Grant Township (B-), Frost Township (C)
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Charles Bash // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Huron County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A-), cost of living (A-), weather (C), outdoor activities (B-)
- Top places to live: Verona Township (B), Colfax Township (B), Bad Axe (B)
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O. David Redwine // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Midland County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (C+), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Larkin Charter Township (A+), Midland (A+), Homer Township (B+)
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Cwbash (Charles W. Bash) // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Cheboygan County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Beaugrand Township (B), Inverness Township (B-), Cheboygan (B-)
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US Army Corps of Engineer // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Benzie County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (C), outdoor activities (B+)
- Top places to live: Crystal Lake Township (A-), Almira Township (A-), Frankfort (B+)

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User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Gladwin County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (A-), weather (C), outdoor activities (C+)
- Top places to live: Sage Township (B-), Gladwin (B-), Gladwin Township (B-)
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User:My name // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Charlevoix County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Charlevoix Township (A), Boyne City (A-), Charlevoix (B+)
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Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Emmet County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B), weather (C-), outdoor activities (A)
- Top places to live: Resort Township (A), Petoskey (A), Bay View (A)
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Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Roscommon County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B+), weather (C-), outdoor activities (B-)
- Top places to live: Markey Township (C), Prudenville (C), Lake Township (C)
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Alexey Stiop // Shutterstock

#1. Leelanau County

- Niche grades: good for retirees (A), cost of living (B-), weather (C), outdoor activities (A-)
- Top places to live: Bingham Township (B+), Greilickville (B), Lake Leelanau (A)

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