The Best Places to Retire in the Midwest

The Midwest is full of great and affordable places to retire.

Although the Midwest doesn’t pop up on many baby boomers’ radars as the ideal retirement destination, recent studies have shown that states in the Midwest are the most popular in the country for retirees due to their financial stability, access to healthcare, affordable housing, and overall quality of life.

According to a report from LPL Financial, Nebraska was ranked as the top Midwest state for retirees. Other Midwest gems that followed after Nebraska included Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Read on below to see why these Midwest states are great places for retirement.

1. Nebraska

Surprisingly, Nebraska scored a high grade on LPL Financial’s report, making it the most desirable state in the Midwest for retirees. While Nebraska doesn’t offer tropical weather and sunny climate all year, the state does offer financial stability as well as a high quality of life, which are two important factors that retirees look for in a retirement destination.

Popular metro areas like Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island attract retirees due to the area’s affordable housing, tranquil settings, diversity, and welcoming environments. 


As Nebraska’s largest city, Omaha presents residents with plenty of Midwestern charm and a variety of entertainment options. Residents of Omaha admire the 19th century architecture in the city’s Old Market neighborhood. The area is home to several boutiques and restaurants, and hosts several events throughout the year. The city also features museums like the Durham Museum and the Joslyn Art Museum.

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a popular destination for a stroll or bike ride in Omaha due to its scenic views overlooking the Missouri River. Nearby, the Plaza hosts live music events during the warmer months. The number of parks and lakes scattered throughout the city provide residents with plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. 


The state capital is home to Nebraska’s most famous garden grounds, various art galleries, and a planetarium. Active adults looking to get outside can visit Sunken Gardens, which features a floral display each year that showcases more than 30,000 flowers. The garden is open year-round for the public to enjoy. Visitors to Pioneer Park Nature Center can take a walk on nature trails or view the park’s bison, elk, and other wildlife.

Lincoln residents fond of water sports can head to Holmes Park and Lake, where they can enjoy boating, fishing, and even ice skating during the colder months. Locals can spend a relaxing weekend at James Arthur Vineyards or visit the outdoor Pinewood Bowl Theater for a summer concert. The city features many annual festivals, such as the Lincoln Wine Festival and the Spring Arts and Crafts Fair.

Lincoln Retirement Communities

2. Michigan

Michigan scored high across the financial, health care, and housing categories in LPL’s report. Michigan is a great state for retirees because it offers abundant outdoor parks and natural spaces like the freshwater coastline, pristine lakes, lush wilderness, beautiful beaches, and acres of cherry orchards. Michigan is also home to 11,000 lakes, providing residents with endless opportunities for water recreation.

It’s also home to distinct metro areas home to plenty of cultural institutions, entertainment options, restaurants, and much more.


A vibrant city with plenty of artistic culture, Detroit offers an abundance of entertainment options for active adults to enjoy. Currently experiencing a recovery, Detroit is enjoying a booming dining and drinking scene, as well as offering plenty of entertainment and cultural institutions.

The Detroit Riverfront provides locals with a scenic place to take a stroll through the city, while Midtown, Downtown, and Corktown always have something going happening.

Popular museums in Detroit include the Motown Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn. During the warmer months, Detroit residents can visit Belle Isle Park to explore the nature center, conservatory, and aquarium.

Residents can appreciate perks like being close to a variety of shopping and dining options, as well as the Detroit Metropolitan Airport for convenient travel. 

Detroit Retirement Communities

Grand Rapids

The hometown of our 38th president, Gerald R. Ford, Grand Rapids is a mid-sized city in Western Michigan. Grand Rapids is known for its public art projects and scenic outdoor areas like the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The park offers indoor and outdoor areas where visitors can take in the beauty of the natural and artistic scenery.

Another popular outdoor destination is the Blandford Nature Center, which is known for hiking and wildlife viewing. Grand Rapids is famous for its many breweries and wineries where locals can get together with friends and socialize. It also presents locals with close proximity to many shops and restaurants, offering residents convenient access to anything they might need.


Flint’s charm comes from its historic preservation and close-knit community. The city offers a popular year-round farmers market where locals purchase fresh produce and goods, or enjoy one of the market’s many events.

Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad is possibly Flint’s most famous attraction, where visitors explore what life was like during the 19th century. The area is home to the For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, a well known spot for locals to admire the lush greenery and peaceful setting. The city also offers an art museum, a planetarium, and plenty of other entertainment options for locals to enjoy. 

Flint Retirement Communities

3. Minnesota

Minnesota came in third due to its high marks in the financial, healthcare, quality of life, employment, education, and wellness categories. Although Minnesota is known for harsh winters, the state makes up for it by offering retirees affordable housing, a friendly atmosphere, endless outdoor recreation, and natural beauty.

Retirement-friendly cities around the Minneapolis area offer a variety of entertainment, culture, and attractions as well. 


Minneapolis features several serene lakes and parks that allow activities like canoeing and kayaking, offering active adults plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation. Residents seeking a natural escape can take a stroll or bike ride in Minnehaha Park, which is home to the astounding Minnehaha Falls.

Minneapolis is decorated with many art museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Weisman Art Museum, and Walker Art Center. Getting around the city is easy with transit widely available, and travel is easy with the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport just a short distance away from the city. The city also features a riverwalk which is close to a variety of entertainment options.

Minneapolis Retirement Communities

4. South Dakota

Although South Dakota isn’t the first place retirees think of, this sparsely populated Midwestern state has a booming economy and provides residents with a slower pace of life, attracting those who want to escape city life. One South Dakota city was even named the No. 1 most affordable place to retire in the U.S. but 55places.

The Mount Rushmore State also has a tax-friendly climate that boomers appreciate. There’s no state income tax in South Dakota, which means Social Security, pensions, and other forms of retirement income are all tax-free. Sales taxes are also low and property taxes are moderate but can be adjusted for low-income retirees.

Sioux City

The Sioux City area, consisting of northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota, is a flourishing part of the midwest. From outdoor recreation to shopping and dining, Sioux City is a friendly and engaging city for retirees looking to settle down.

Stone State Park offers a natural escape for locals to enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, canoeing, and wildlife viewing. The park’s Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center allows visitors to discover the many different species that call the park home.

Downtown Sioux City features the Fourth Street Historic District, where locals can admire the historic architecture and dine at local restaurants. The city offers museums focused on topics such as railroads and aviation, as well as a local art center. The downtown area also boasts many shopping and entertainment options to keep locals busy.

Sioux City Retirement Communities

5. Wyoming

Wyoming scored well in the financial and quality of life categories. Although The Cowboy State is the least populous state in the country, retirees will enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation and low taxes. Active adults can explore the state’s vast natural spaces, including the Rocky and Big Horn mountains that offer everything from skiing and hiking to fishing and hunting.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the various rivers that flow through Wyoming that are the perfect spots for fly fishing. Besides outdoor fun, Wyoming also has great attractions, including museums and historical landmarks devoted to the Old West as well as rodeos and other cowboy-themed events.


Retirees flock to Sheridan for the breathtaking mountain views and all-round peaceful living. Bighorn National Forest is located in Sheridan, where the well known Shell Falls is located. Locals can visit the forest for picturesque views of greenery and mountains.

Another local attraction, Trail End State Historic Site, is a historic house that was built in the early 1900s. The former home to a previous Wyoming governor, the house has been restored to its antiquated original appearance. Visitors can explore all four floors of the mansion on one of the tours offered.

There are a number of restaurants in Sheridan, and main street features many shopping and entertainment options. The Sheridan County Airport is located in the southwest part of the city, making for convenient travel when needed. Annual festivals include the Antelope Butte Summer Festival and the Wild West Wine Festival, among many others.

Sheridan Retirement Communities

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