Northern Michigan town ranked #1 best most affordable place to retire in the US

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — A northern Michigan city has just been ranked number one in a ranking of the 10 best and most affordable places to retire in the United States. ranks Traverse City at the top of the best places people should consider when looking to live their golden years “without depleting their savings.”

The list contains cities in some states you might expect like Florida, but not in others like California and Arizona, citing the high house prices in those states.

“For some, living in a sunny place with great weather like Florida, California, or Arizona is [still] a must,” said George Ratiu, head of economic research for “But these popular retirement hotspots are less affordable than ever. In fact, California and Arizona didn’t make the top 10 because home prices were so high in those states.

RELATED: 12 Relaxing VRBO Vacation Rentals in Traverse City looked at data from the 300 largest metropolitan areas to compile its list. He says he researched places with the most senior-friendly amenities in local homes for sale, including universal design and aging-in-place. For affordability, it says it considered a median list price year of June 2021 to May 2022.

It also focused on metro areas with the highest populations of people aged 60 and older and capped 12-month median list prices in the top 10 at $500,000.

RELATED: Traverse City Celebrates the Opening of the Scenic Boardman Lake Loop Trail

The median home price in Traverse City was $390,000, and’s listing was thrilled with the weather in Northern Michigan.

“From June through October, Traverse City enjoys near-perfect weather, making it an ideal place to live for anyone looking to enjoy an active retirement,” said of the ranking. “E-bikes are everywhere. Boating, swimming and (of course) pickleball are huge. Locals regularly attend wine tastings, experience sand dunes, and paddleboard a variety of lakes.

So what about the winter months?

“If it was 80 degrees all the time, there would be a million people living in Traverse City,” said Bart Ford, realtor at Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors. “We have a lot of snowbirds that go south when the weather is bad and then they come back and are here in the months when the weather is good.”

RELATED: Michigan’s Best M-22 Road Trip, Traverse City to Suttons Bay

The listing went on to say, “There are several inviting senior centers in the area, a few of which are right on the waterfront, some offering free tennis and shuffleboard daily as well as swimming lessons. $5 workout from cardio drums to Zumba to yoga on the beach.”

The rest of the top 10 from’s list of the 10 Best and Most Affordable Places to Retire in America for 2022 are:

  • Portland, ME
  • Salisbury, MD
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Bloomington, IL
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Concord, NH
  • St. Louis, Missouri


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