Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

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sabhen
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Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by sabhen » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:20 pm

We started our careers in Michigan. Then moved to Southern California. We went to Michigan as a family recently for a short holiday. We spent some time in the Ann Arbor area. We loved the small town feel. The greenery and parks. The reduced traffic. The people sounded relaxed. We also liked Windsor (Canada).

So as we think about retirement, we like to move to a small town like Ann Arbor. We think the quality of life is much better. Yes it is cold in winter - There are cheap flights to Florida in Winter.

Our son likes California and is still going to college here for another couple of years. This is something we need to address.

Any thoughts on the wisdom of retiring in Ann Arbor, MI or other mid-western cities?

Perhaps there are folks who have already done so and would like to share their experience?
Last edited by sabhen on Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

123
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by 123 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:58 pm

The main "downside" to Michigan for someone who's lived in Southern California is the winter cold. Due to the variations in housing costs (current and increasing future costs) you might find that a move to Michigan could be a one-way trip. Once you leave Southern California the ongoing (usual) rise in housing prices make may you reluctant to go back if you change you mind. But the small town feel in summetime of Ann Arbor is very enticing.

Since you've got a history in Michigan the weather may not be an issue, but if many. many years have passed your recollections of the winters may not be consistent with the limitations of your current age and health. Try a trip in winter.
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daveydoo
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by daveydoo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:12 pm

As you are no doubt learning, desirable real estate in AA is crazy-expensive. But there are some amazing Arts & Crafts-type homes with beautiful details on good-sized lots. I'm guessing high six figures. The good news is that you can also buy a 100 year-old tear-down close to campus and rent it to a bunch of clueless undergrads for $5000 - $7000 a month. Ask me how I know.

Imo, it's simply too cold for retirement. Superb medical care, of course.

Related: Detroit continues to be up-and-coming and has an almost '70s vibe in that so much of the original downtown architecture looks intact and has not been replaced by condo towers. I felt safer in downtown Detroit than in my west coast mid-size city. If I were there, I'd be tempted to buy some investment property because it's almost free. Look up lists of least and most expensive cities, in terms of years of income needed to purchase a median home. Detroit was like a couple years, tops. Driving from Detroit to AA is an Autobahn-like experience; keep to the right and get passed at triple-digit speed by any and all.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:24 pm

I ignored the advice to rent first before I moved to AZ. Worked out for me though.

I recommend you rent first.

drk
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by drk » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:41 pm

If you're intent on retiring to the Midwest, it's hard to go wrong with Ann Arbor. You should probably take another visit in January, though. Those snowy 10ºF days can be a bit of a shock for those of us on the West Coast.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by bloom2708 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:41 pm

It will be fine if you skip November, December, January, February and March. Also October and April in select years.

AZ, CA or FL during “skip” months.
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Old Guy
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Old Guy » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:48 pm

Check out Madison Wisconsin. Very similar to Ann Arbor but a little bit larger. Only 2 1/2 to 3 hours by car from Chicago.

Lynette
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Lynette » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:50 pm

I live about 50 miles from Ann Arbor and I think it is a great choice. I am about six miles from the border of Detroit. Currently in the short three block street of my city, six house are being torn down and replaced with McMansions. The average price of the new construction is over a million. Little houses like mine (1500 sq.ft) are perfectly fine but developers want the land.

I only regard January and February as bad winter months. Sometimes it is in the forties and fifties for most of December. We are having a heat wave this week - yesterday "real feel" temperature was 105.

Michigan has no-fault car insurance and I think some places are the highest in the nation but of course this is only one aspect of the cost of living. Ann Arbor is likely not close to expensive as Detroit for car insurance.
Last edited by Lynette on Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kjvmartin
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:51 pm

Some observations regarding previous posts:

Minimal traffic: I guess this may be relative, but the traffic in and around the hospital is quite heavy. Trying to leave town around 3:00-6:00 is a very long line of cars. What normally takes 1/2 hour turns into an hour leaving Ann Arbor during peak times.

Detroit Real Estate: It's not even close to free anymore. Downtown Detroit is at capacity with a lot of building going on. Everything is busy. Parking, restaurants, etc. Too congested, now. Living downtown is not great for access to services/groceries. The problem is that aside from 1 or 2 gated communities, the rest of the city is inhabited by those who can't afford to live elsewhere. City taxes are exorbitant, police coverage is laughable. I work in LE in Detroit and would not live there. Required no fault insurance in Detroit averages around $400-$500 per month if you need full coverage. I personally know someone who showed up to a rental property he owns in Detroit and was shot just for knocking on the door. This is not a good retirement gig.

bradpevans
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by bradpevans » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:21 pm

sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:20 pm
We started our careers in Michigan. Then moved to Southern California. We went to Michigan as a family recently for a short holiday. We spent some time in the Ann Arbor area. We loved the small town feel. The greenery and parks. The reduced traffic. The people sounded relaxed. We also liked Windsor (Canada).

So as we think about retirement, we like to move to a small town like Ann Arbor. We think the quality of life is much better. Yes it is cold in winter - There are cheap flights to Florida in Winter.

Our son likes California and is still going to college here for another couple of years. This is something we need to address.

Any thoughts on the wisdom of retiring in Ann Arbor, MI or other mid-western cities?

Perhaps there are folks who have already done so and would like to share their experience?
I live inAnn arbor. I love skiing so winter is welcome. Ann Arbor is locally expensive (surrounding towns cheaper).

But tons of restaurants arts and entertainment that typically require bigger citie$

PM me if you want more specifics

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Alexa9
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:26 pm

U of M is a great school but I wouldn't want to live in Ann Arbor unless I was going to school there. I would visit Traverse City in Northern Michigan. I think it is much preferable for retirees. Quieter, safer, less expensive, Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes, wineries, more conservative. Winter phobia is highly overstated. Hot humid muggy summers are worse to me.

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CWRadio
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by CWRadio » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:45 pm

Recipients born before 1946:
For 2016 you may subtract all qualifying retirement and pension benefits received from public sources, and may subtract private retirement and pension benefits up to $49,861 if single or married filing separately or up to $99,723 if married filing jointly. Private subtraction limits must be reduced by public benefits subtracted. Withholding will only be necessary on taxable pension payments (private pension payments) that exceed the pension limits stated above for recipient born before 1946.
Paul

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:49 pm

I would wonder what Ann Arbor is like when students are around and especially during football season and during home football games. Just thinking about it says, "Not a small town" to me.
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David Jay
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by David Jay » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:53 pm

Don't overlook the Grand Rapids area.

Small city feel with all the amenities. Areas of classic homes (East Grand Rapids), trendy areas (downtown, medical mile), lots of bedroom communities. You can live on acreage within 20 minutes of downtown.

We intend to retire "in place" in metro-GR with an RV that will allow 6 or 8 weeks down south in January and February as we choose.

[edit] and way cheaper real estate.
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by daveydoo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:10 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:26 pm
...more conservative...
I guess your avatar only pertains to asset allocation :D
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sfnerd
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by sfnerd » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:42 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:49 pm
I would wonder what Ann Arbor is like when students are around and especially during football season and during home football games. Just thinking about it says, "Not a small town" to me.
This is the best reason to be there as a retiree, in my opinion. There is an energy when the students return that really makes Fall there special. A lot of retirees love it because it keeps them feeling youthful. Parking and traffic gets a bit tough on football days, but it's not too bad.

reimann
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by reimann » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:21 pm

Another vote for Traverse City. I will be retiring near there in 2 years. The huge lake keeps the summer a little cooler and the winters a little warmer than you would otherwise expect based on it's latitude. Also occasional northern lights!

sabhen
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by sabhen » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:50 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:12 pm
The good news is that you can also buy a 100 year-old tear-down close to campus and rent it to a bunch of clueless undergrads for $5000 - $7000 a month. Ask me how I know.
Thanks.

Really. $5,000-$7,000/month. That a lot for an old house. Rents similar to some rentals on the California coast. Can you get a decent 3 Bedrooms for under $400k in AA?

sabhen
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by sabhen » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:53 pm

CWRadio wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:45 pm
Recipients born before 1946:
For 2016 you may subtract all qualifying retirement and pension benefits received from public sources, and may subtract private retirement and pension benefits up to $49,861 if single or married filing separately or up to $99,723 if married filing jointly. Private subtraction limits must be reduced by public benefits subtracted. Withholding will only be necessary on taxable pension payments (private pension payments) that exceed the pension limits stated above for recipient born before 1946.
Paul
We were born post 1946. So I assume this will not apply.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:59 pm

[Quoted post removed by admin LadyGeek]

If you're interested in safety look in the area north of Detroit.
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/ ... 532373001/

We just moved from Rochester Hills (13th safest in the country according to the article) to Texas a couple months ago. But if it wasn't for DWs stroke that forced the move to be near her daughter we probably would have stayed there the rest of our lives. It's also the home of Oakland University (Golden Grizzlies) if you can persuade son to transfer. And check out the cities around RH... Rochester (quaint downtown), Royal Oak (swinging downtown)... Romeo and others. About 1/2 hour drive from Lake St. Clair and an hour from Lake Huron.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

AlwaysWannaLearn
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by AlwaysWannaLearn » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:38 pm

.....
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cheese_breath
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:54 pm

sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:50 pm
... Can you get a decent 3 Bedrooms for under $400k in AA?
I haven't sold my house yet. Decent 4 bedroom for $400K in Rochester Hills.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:04 pm

When I was working I lived in extremely cold and extremely wet climates and was perfectly happy. After I retired I noticed the weather much more because I had much more free time and liked to spend much of that outdoors. I was not happy living in lousy weather any longer and moved to a warm and sunny climate. I would only be happy retiring in the Midwest if I had the ability to spend about half the year in Florida or somewhere similar.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

sabhen
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by sabhen » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:49 pm

I am 60 and my wife is 55. Plan is take early retirement in a couple of years at most. We want to remain close to our son while is going to college in Southern California.

We lived and worked in Europe in prior years and ended up after job transfer at my then company HQ in Michigan. We had quite good memories of the area especially in the summer but I certainly remember the days when I had to shovel snow, brave long traffic jams during snow storms, freezing rain, etc...

I have a family in the Windsor, CA area. Some old folks I used to work with are still in the area. The attraction for us are hiking/running/skiing. The parks are wonderful in summer or winter. We both hold PhDs and like the art/cultural/intellectual stimulation of a University town. The nearby DTW Metro Airport is a plus for International travel (Europe, Florida, Canada, etc...). Also other sights Like Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn was interesting.

To be honest, I am one who does not believe that life satisfaction is determined by the weather (as an aside - the happiest countries in the world are the Nordic countries per some international surveys. Professor Danny Kahneman has studied this point in Thinking Fast and Slow in reference to moving to California from the Midwest and his point the weather plays no role in our happiness).

We will certainly travel there in Winter to check my assumptions.
Last edited by sabhen on Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Sheepdog » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:46 am

drk wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:41 pm
If you're intent on retiring to the Midwest, it's hard to go wrong with Ann Arbor. You should probably take another visit in January, though. Those snowy 10ºF days can be a bit of a shock for those of us on the West Coast.
We have visited Michigan a good number of times including Ann Arbor. We liked those visits. The Great Lakes offer nice vacation possibilities. Skiing and other winter sports are very popular there as well. We even spent our 50th wedding anniversary in 2010 with our families (some from Florida) in Michigan over New Years at the Thunder Bay Resort with elks at the elk farm, sleigh riding, etc. and loved it.. . I live in a town in Indiana with 4 colleges and universities and love what they offer for entertainment of all kinds and sports like U of M offers. If you can get used to the cold and snow (Ann Arbor has more than we do) you should like it there. We were from Florida and we love it all year. How about trying it out for a week or so in Dec or Jan, maybe catch a basketball game at UofM to get the college color, maybe make a reservation at the Thunder Bay Resort which I mentioned.
Good fortunes wherever you decide.
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Sheepdog
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Sheepdog » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:51 am

delete
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letsgobobby
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:23 am

A2 is one of the most special small cities in the country. visit during winter break in December. cold never bothered me. the grey may bother you. arts and culture equal to a much larger city. Casablanca at the michigan theater. art fair. UM classes for seniors. sports. eclectic dining. very diverse.

if you can imagine the ice planet hoth, you might like traverse city.

Lynette
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Lynette » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:05 am

sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:49 pm

We lived and worked in Europe in prior years and ended up after job transfer at my then company HQ in Michigan. We had quite good memories of the area especially in the summer but I certainly remember the days where I had to shovel snow, brave long traffic jams during snow storms, freezing raining, etc...
The advantage of being retired is that during a winter storm, you can simply sit in your comfortable house and watch the snow fall. The snow service I hire takes care of the snow in my driveway. There can be a lot of traffic but if one is retired, you can do your shopping etc later in the morning.

Cigarman
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Cigarman » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:52 am

Born and raised in Ann Arbor. Great place and you may want to look at Chelsea and Dexter too. Very close and housing may a bit less.

Traffic on football Saturdays can be a pain, but it is only 7-8 weekends in the fall.

Annual Art Fair (3rd Wednesday in July) is always great too.

Southeastern Michigan has a lot to offer within 50 miles of Ann Arbor not including the Metro Detroit area.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by beardsworth » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:14 am

Since the original post here asks about thoughts on Ann Arbor "or other midwestern cities," it doesn't seem too off-topic to ask:

For those who have lived in Ann Arbor, did you find yourself having much reason/occasion to go over to East Lansing for activities (arts, music, other culture, but not necessarily sports) around that "other" big Michigan university? Or vice versa if living in the Lansing area?

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Monk
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Monk » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:36 am

beardsworth wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:14 am
Since the original post here asks about thoughts on Ann Arbor "or other midwestern cities," it doesn't seem too off-topic to ask:

For those who have lived in Ann Arbor, did you find yourself having much reason/occasion to go over to East Lansing for activities (arts, music, other culture, but not necessarily sports) around that "other" big Michigan university? Or vice versa if living in the Lansing area?
Nope nope nope. Detroit has events and amenities we occasionally appreciate, but we can't make it to everything we'd like to see and do in A2. Nothing against Lansing or that "other" University, but what would attract us?

I take that back - we once took the kids to the children's museum in Lansing after toooooo many trips to the children's museum in A2. Nice place, but I can't point to a reason to go back to Lansing.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Exterous » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 am

Ann Arbor is a great city as long as you don't mind some of the quirks of a big college town and the weather. ~40,000 people move in in September and then back out in May. Going downtown to a bar or restaurant can be tough on the weekends during the school year, particularly if its a football weekend, any time during the 2 weeks of move in, move out week, the two weeks of graduation etc. It's not impossible but requires forethought and reservations are a good idea. On the opposite side restaurant capacity is geared towards that extra 40k population so the summer is much easier and more relaxed, although operational hours for some places become more limited. Be careful where you buy - unless you like college house parties you'll want to avoid the houses right next to campus.

AA is growing fast enough that the power and water infrastructure is not as robust as it once was. Power outages and sewer issues are more common than surrounding areas like Saline or Ypsi Township. Downtown parking will probably become more of an issue as well since both the University and city expand offices, employment and housing faster than parking. Bus service is relatively decent though as long as your route doesn't go through campus during class breaks

Everyone mentioned the snow but the humidity in the summer can be an issue. Depending on how long its been since you've lived here that might also be something you need to adjust to. A good friend of ours moved out to the LA area and then moved back. She had adjusted to the weather out there and found both winter and summer here uncomfortable. We just had a heat wave of 95 degrees plus 80+% humidity (It would start about 75 in the morning with 83% humidity and then hit 95 although the humidity would drop a little). That put the 'heat Index' at 110. Personally I find it hard to enjoy even a nice walk when its 78 and that humid. Even a short distance starts getting me sweaty so I'd rather hole up in my AC house\office\car.
sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:50 pm
daveydoo wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:12 pm
The good news is that you can also buy a 100 year-old tear-down close to campus and rent it to a bunch of clueless undergrads for $5000 - $7000 a month. Ask me how I know.
Thanks.

Really. $5,000-$7,000/month. That a lot for an old house. Rents similar to some rentals on the California coast. Can you get a decent 3 Bedrooms for under $400k in AA?
How close to downtown do you want to get? Right downtown? No. Then its followed by a ring of $400k 900-1200 sq ft 3 bedroom houses. As you get closer to the bounding highways (I94, M14, US23) you'll keep creeping up in size but the downtown area goes from walkable to driveable.

beardsworth wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:14 am
Since the original post here asks about thoughts on Ann Arbor "or other midwestern cities," it doesn't seem too off-topic to ask:

For those who have lived in Ann Arbor, did you find yourself having much reason/occasion to go over to East Lansing for activities (arts, music, other culture, but not necessarily sports) around that "other" big Michigan university? Or vice versa if living in the Lansing area?
There might be the occasional event that happens to only go on in Lansing but between Ann Arbor and Detroit we rarely need to venture that direction for concerts, comedians, 'other events'

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by MI_bogle » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:34 am

beardsworth wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:14 am
Since the original post here asks about thoughts on Ann Arbor "or other midwestern cities," it doesn't seem too off-topic to ask:

For those who have lived in Ann Arbor, did you find yourself having much reason/occasion to go over to East Lansing for activities (arts, music, other culture, but not necessarily sports) around that "other" big Michigan university? Or vice versa if living in the Lansing area?
I grew up in Ann Arbor. Been to East Lansing twice, both for work. Zero motivation to go there for much of anything, I'm sure there's plenty of fun stuff going on up there though, but that there's no need to drive to East Lansing because there's so much to do culturally between Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit.

Plus if I'm driving an hour or more outside of Ann Arbor to do something, it's going to be heading up north, or the west side of the state for beaches, breweries, and wineries

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goingup
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by goingup » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:05 am

Grew up in MI, graduated from UM and have most of my immediate family in AA area. That said I'm a Left Coaster now. If my only choices were Ann Arbor or LA/Orange County, I might choose AA. However, if I could pick San Diego, San Luis Obispo or Santa Cruz--well, I'd opt for the CA sunshine, mountains, and ocean. All depends on what you really value in a living environment.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by daheld » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:15 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:26 pm
U of M is a great school but I wouldn't want to live in Ann Arbor unless I was going to school there. I would visit Traverse City in Northern Michigan. I think it is much preferable for retirees. Quieter, safer, less expensive, Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes, wineries, more conservative. Winter phobia is highly overstated. Hot humid muggy summers are worse to me.
DW is from Michigan. We visited the Traverse area last year, and I was absolutely blown away. I love craft beer and wine, and I was just amazed at the variety of wineries, cideries and breweries. The area feels like a northeastern beach town, but in the Midwest. Sleeping Bear Dunes was breathtaking.

Cannot wait to go back.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by new2bogle » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:36 am

I went to U-M for grad school in Ann Arbor. Absolutely loved the place and the winters did not bother me at all. I was able to live off of $1200/month while renting a 1-bedroom all for myself. The people are great and the progressive air just feels right. I love the diversity due to the exceptional university. The great thing was that even during the summer when most of the undergrads were gone (and a lot of the grads gone to internships) the local progressive attitude was still around along with the tons of nice people.

DTW is about 30-40 mins away and is a major airport. Chicago is a quick 3 hour drive away. Toronto I think is 4 hours (only went once so don't quite remember) and Windsor has some really good Chinese and Indian restaurants.

If you like snow/winters, then it is a great place to retire.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Toons » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:45 am

Personally
I don't see harsh winters and aging as a comfortable mix. :happy
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:26 am

I spent chunk of my life time in A^2. I like the MidWest town feeling of AA. DTW is near, so you can fly out anywhere warmer during winter. For local traveling, Toronto, Chicago is 3 hr away. UP is beautiful in the summer and fall. Plenty of parks. Actually I like the white winter if Michigan. Summer is hot and streaming. Need AC. Fall is beautiful. UM is top university in the nation, and best hospital, good for retiree. housing is expensive compare to Detroit but much cheaper than CA. Real estate tax is high, has state income tax. from 0 to 100, I would give AA 80 for retirement and raise a family.

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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:41 am

sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:53 pm
CWRadio wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:45 pm
Recipients born before 1946:
For 2016 you may subtract all qualifying retirement and pension benefits received from public sources, and may subtract private retirement and pension benefits up to $49,861 if single or married filing separately or up to $99,723 if married filing jointly. Private subtraction limits must be reduced by public benefits subtracted. Withholding will only be necessary on taxable pension payments (private pension payments) that exceed the pension limits stated above for recipient born before 1946.
Paul
We were born post 1946. So I assume this will not apply.
Retirees born between 1946 - 1952 will get a small break, but not as generous as those born before 1946.
https://www.michigan.gov/taxes/0,4676,7 ... --,00.html
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:06 am

We live on the edge of Ann Arbor and are strongly considering NOT retiring there. With A2 schools, but not living in the city, we pay less taxes but still 3x what we would pay in say SC.

PROS:

U of M
Football
U of M theatre
Great hospitals.

CONS:

Winter cold. Gray from December through March/April. Often it is cold with little snow.
Awful roads in Michigan, A2 not exception. Potholes everywhere. Had a $2,000 repair recently due to pothole damage.
Very high property taxes.
Very high auto insurance rates.
Michigan lowers public school tax support every year, meaning local taxes go up and up. A2 hasn't met a tax increase that voters won't support, usually on August ballot when no one votes.
Michigan skiing is crap as compared to Utah, Colorado, or even Vermont. Lifelong skiers, we don't ski Michigan ever.
Michigan taxes retirement income. No partial exemption for interest or dividends.
Dysfunctional City Counci in Ann Arborl. Recently bought back lot from developer... Millions spent on future train station. Very liberal, spends hundreds of thousands sterilizing deer instead of simply shooting them (overpopulation). Other towns bus homeless to A2 because they'll spend tax dollars on them.
Rush hour traffic. 20 min drive becomes an hour.
Pay to park hours keep increasing, rates keep going up. Drives people away from town. Companies come to town and lease garage spaces, so shoppers can't use them.
Highway rush hour traffic, constant accidents due to 2 lane highways
U of M pays no taxes, keeps buying property, more land not paying taxes, increases burden on taxpayers.
Student housing are disgusting. New highrises replacing buildings all over town to raise prices. A retiree condo in a high rise can easily be $1 million.

gouldnm
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by gouldnm » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:31 am

I'm a native of Michigan--grew up in a quaint, coastal town on Lake Michigan (the "riveria" of the Midwest) and went to college in Ann Arbor. There are pros and cons to living in A2 like every place else. A few thoughts:

#1. While I loved it as a college town, I'm not so sure I'd like it as a retiree. Yes, there are a lot of things to do, even if you're older, but face it--the town revolves around the university and the young people. There are other places where I could get a similar experience to A2 that aren't necessarily college towns. For example, I used to live just outside of New Hope, PA. It looked and felt just like a college town--except that it wasn't. There were lots of young people but also lots of retirees. If I wanted culture, Philadelphia and NYC were a short drive away--not to mention all the other cute, quaint towns in the area. That's just one example. My point is that there are many small towns that have a similar vibe to A2 worth considering.

#2. The winters may or may not be a problem for you. Personally, I never minded the winters in Michigan, and I grew up on the much snowier west side of the state where we got severe lake-effect snow. They have the equipment and know how to deal with it. That being said, I've also enjoyed living on the East Coast where we also get four seasons including a definite winter--but not as harsh as Michigan. Winter doesn't have to be an "all-or-nothing" choice.

3. I saw a few posts asking about Lansing/East Lansing and what there is to do there. Having grown up in Michigan, I never spent much time in Lansing. There's really not much there.

#3. Consider some of the places on the West Coast of Michigan. Grand Rapids is a relatively big city and would have a lot of amenities. Traverse City is beautiful and is very close to some of the most spectacular parts of the state. In Southwest Michigan you would be close enough to Chicago to take advantage of the cultural opportunities there. The climate in western Michigan is a lot harsher than in eastern Michigan; however, the summers aren't nearly as humid. Lots of nice breezes off the lake!

DetroitRick
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by DetroitRick » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:48 am

Frequent visitor there for my entire life, took a job transfer and worked there, finished grad school, and lived there for 9 years. I later took a job next to Detroit Metro airport and had no particular issues with commute from NE Ann Arbor. I loved it, more than most places, and regretted having to move. I like a city of that size where there is so much to do. Trails along the Huron River, nice parks, lots of great restaurants, easy access to good music (concerts to bars, plus good resources for musical instruction), and all of the arts. The folks posting here that have lived there are all spot on - it's a question of your tastes as you work through those pros and cons.

I wouldn't categorize it as a small town anymore either. Actually, not for the last few decades. But that's relative. Traffic can definitely suck, but it's not that hard to work around. Weather - fine by me, but it's not Hawaii. Housing I can't comment on because I don't watch it anymore. Generally holds value better than much of SE Michigan, though.

Easy to get everywhere from there - two major arteries east (I-94 and M-14), one west (I-94). Chelsea and Dexter have some nice qualities too and are close. Plymouth too, and of course Detroit and the burbs. No real mass transit (they do have a decent bus system), and the Amtrak will easily get you to points east (Dearborn, Detroit, Troy) and west (Jackson to Chicago). Not Swiss-quality trains, but better than they used to be, and still improving.

If you want to see what's going on around town, especially from afar, you might find the Ann Arbor Observer helpful (Annarborobserver.com).

Saturday football traffic can be avoided or enjoyed. Never a big deal to me. If I wasn't going to or watching games, I liked to use that time slot to do my errands around certain areas of town. I could get 3 hours of stuff done in an hour while the rest of town was occupied.

Medical and dental care are great there too. I actually kept my dentist there for 5 years after moving away.

Other (general) Michigan stuff to at least consider - taxes (I actually don't think they are too bad, but many do), failing infrastructure (not unique to this state, of course), economic boom/bust cycles of SE Michigan (better than before, but....), schools (retirees, I know, but it affects property values and in this state can run from the best to the worst).

Visit a few times at different points in the year. Especially early fall, mid winter and summer. That will give you a fair idea of climate and congestion.

I would consider moving back. But we are also investigating other areas like Grand Rapids, as well as other states, for our next move in retirement. Each has their pluses and minuses and we are still pondering.

MI_bogle
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by MI_bogle » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:56 am

I'll also add that since "other places in the Midwest" were mentioned, other candidates in the mold of Ann Arbor would be Madison WI, Twin Cities in Minnesota. Twin Cities are much larger, but many neighborhoods and areas that feel very similar to Madison/Ann Arbor.

I actually prefer the winter weather in MN/WI compared to MI. There's a lot more sun on the other side of Lake Michigan, and in some cases, depending on the locality, less snow. I'd take colder and sunnier over slightly warmer and much cloudier

02nz
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by 02nz » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:20 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:26 pm
U of M is a great school but I wouldn't want to live in Ann Arbor unless I was going to school there. I would visit Traverse City in Northern Michigan. I think it is much preferable for retirees. Quieter, safer, less expensive, Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes, wineries, more conservative. Winter phobia is highly overstated. Hot humid muggy summers are worse to me.
If you're saying a place is preferable for retirees because (among other reasons) it's more conservative, that would seem to be a political discussion, and out of bounds for this forum.

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Monk
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by Monk » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:30 pm

sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:20 pm
We started our careers in Michigan. Then moved to Southern California. We went to Michigan as a family recently for a short holiday. We spent some time in the Ann Arbor area. We loved the small town feel. The greenery and parks. The reduced traffic. The people sounded relaxed. We also liked Windsor (Canada).

So as we think about retirement, we like to move to a small town like Ann Arbor. We think the quality of life is much better. Yes it is cold in winter - There are cheap flights to Florida in Winter.

Our son likes California and is still going to college here for another couple of years. This is something we need to address.

Any thoughts on the wisdom of retiring in Ann Arbor, MI or other mid-western cities?

Perhaps there are folks who have already done so and would like to share their experience?
I've refrained from directly responding to OP, but since this thread has so much life - let me apologize now, as this may be a little harsh.

Why do you think it is ok to freeload on our great quality of life? You didn't contribute during your working years and presumably have no or weak ties to the community, so now you expect to buy property in Ann Arbor and be accepted? You'd be helping to price out the working class, the people with long ties to the community and who are so important to the local color. Moving here will tear down what made you move here. Is your retirement worth our social fabric?

We have early retiree McMansion-dwellers on our street who don't know they're referred to as "The Gentrifiers" by their neighbors. Would that be you?

02nz
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by 02nz » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:03 pm

Monk wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:30 pm
Why do you think it is ok to freeload on our great quality of life? You didn't contribute during your working years and presumably have no or weak ties to the community, so now you expect to buy property in Ann Arbor and be accepted? You'd be helping to price out the working class, the people with long ties to the community and who are so important to the local color. Moving here will tear down what made you move here. Is your retirement worth our social fabric?
That seems quite harsh and uncalled for. I would hope your "social fabric" isn't so delicate that OP moving there for retirement would tear it down. Lots of people retire to a place other than where they spent their working years. They pay property taxes, income taxes (if any), sales tax. Maybe they volunteer. There are lots of ways they contribute. And by moving away from California, wouldn't OP be helping make California just a tiny bit more affordable?

megabad
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by megabad » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:10 pm

sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:20 pm
Any thoughts on the wisdom of retiring in Ann Arbor, MI or other mid-western cities?
I love the midwest and would cordially, politely invite you to a Michigan move. Of course my thoughts center around finance, and I would suggest that property taxes are not low in Michigan, but coming from California, I suspect this will not be a concern for you as total taxes seem lower. I think as far as states in the midwest, Michigan ranks high on my list, but I am more of a northern person (ie. Mackinaw island and up). If you are an outdoors person and like seeing four seasons per year, then I think the midwest is the place to me. I am not a fan of Detroit (sorry!) but I think Ann Arbor is nice and I love going out on the lake. To me Lake Erie/Lake Michigan really are the best reason to live in MI. I don't live in Michigan now, but I find that I don't mind being a little bit of a shut in during the winter anyway so the weather wouldn't bother me. If it does, you can use your college attendee as an excuse to visit CA.

daheld
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by daheld » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:14 pm

Monk wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:30 pm
sabhen wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:20 pm
We started our careers in Michigan. Then moved to Southern California. We went to Michigan as a family recently for a short holiday. We spent some time in the Ann Arbor area. We loved the small town feel. The greenery and parks. The reduced traffic. The people sounded relaxed. We also liked Windsor (Canada).

So as we think about retirement, we like to move to a small town like Ann Arbor. We think the quality of life is much better. Yes it is cold in winter - There are cheap flights to Florida in Winter.

Our son likes California and is still going to college here for another couple of years. This is something we need to address.

Any thoughts on the wisdom of retiring in Ann Arbor, MI or other mid-western cities?

Perhaps there are folks who have already done so and would like to share their experience?
I've refrained from directly responding to OP, but since this thread has so much life - let me apologize now, as this may be a little harsh.

Why do you think it is ok to freeload on our great quality of life? You didn't contribute during your working years and presumably have no or weak ties to the community, so now you expect to buy property in Ann Arbor and be accepted? You'd be helping to price out the working class, the people with long ties to the community and who are so important to the local color. Moving here will tear down what made you move here. Is your retirement worth our social fabric?

We have early retiree McMansion-dwellers on our street who don't know they're referred to as "The Gentrifiers" by their neighbors. Would that be you?
You seem nice.

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corn18
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by corn18 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:17 pm

02nz wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:03 pm
Monk wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:30 pm
Why do you think it is ok to freeload on our great quality of life? You didn't contribute during your working years and presumably have no or weak ties to the community, so now you expect to buy property in Ann Arbor and be accepted? You'd be helping to price out the working class, the people with long ties to the community and who are so important to the local color. Moving here will tear down what made you move here. Is your retirement worth our social fabric?
That seems quite harsh and uncalled for. I would hope your "social fabric" isn't so delicate that OP moving there for retirement would tear it down. Lots of people retire to a place other than where they spent their working years. They pay property taxes, income taxes (if any), sales tax. Maybe they volunteer. There are lots of ways they contribute. And by moving away from California, wouldn't OP be helping make California just a tiny bit more affordable?
+1. That is certainly not the midwest attitude that I grew up with and currently enjoy in Ann Arbor (AA). I love AA and would consider retiring there if my wife would go for a 2 season retirement (aka snowbirds). The school makes it vibrant and full of life. The diversity makes it engaging and entertaining. The midwest friendliness makes it just wonderful. Detroit provides access to pro sports, arts, museums, etc... Find someone who knows Detroit as it is now. There are many great parts and 2 blocks over, very bad parts.

The western side of the lower peninsula is my favorite place in the country in the summer. My wife and I call it beaver cleaver land. Friendly, welcoming, diverse, accepting, low key and did I mention friendly? Apr-Dec would be just peachy as we could hit all 3 seasons and then leave right after Xmas for warming climes.

folkher0
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Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Post by folkher0 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:03 pm

Trying to keep this thread on topic....

Ann Arbor is nice. If I was looking at retirement though I would try to get outside of Ann Arbor to the neighboring communities. Unless you want to walk to downtown attractions you’re gonna be on the car anyway. Frankly I don’t think most of the reataraunts in AA are that great anyway. A college town can be fun, but the quality bar can be set kind of low. As others have said you will pay a premium for real estate in town and your property taxes will be high to support a public school system that you won’t take advantage of.

Ypsi is fine and you’ll save money. A lot of beautiful old houses, I bet you could get a fixer upper for a song. Safer than most places I’ve lived. If I still liv d there I’d be at Sidetracks every Wednesday night for a burger and a beer.

Dexter and Saline are nice. Try Brighton, you can buy a house on the lake and save a ton of money compared to A squared.
Last edited by folkher0 on Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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