Rockford is a city in Western Michigan just 14 miles north of Grand Rapids. Considered a quaint, small city, Rockford offers retirees community events, unique restaurants and shops, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.
Climate & Geography
Rockford experiences a temperate continental climate, with summers that are warm and short, while winters are freezing, dry, windy, and mostly cloudy. The city receives more than twice the national average of snowfall, less-than-average rainfall, and there are about 160 sunny days each year.
The part of the Great Lakes Region that Rockford is located in is mostly flat and forested, with an abundance of small lakes and rivers. The Rogue River runs directly through the center of the city, and The Huron-Manistee National Forests begin just 30 miles north of the city.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
There are many events throughout the year used to bring the community together. The Rockford Farm Market runs Saturdays from May through October where fresh, locally grown produce is available to purchase. Harvest Fest is a three weekend celebration in September and October of games, parades, a car show, and more. Downtown Rockford is lined with unique shops and boutiques for shopping options. In addition to selling wine, St. Julian Winery hosts a variety of events such as a wine club, craft nights, and dinners.
In Rockford, there are more than 30 acres of parkland and waterfront property for active adults to explore. Myers Lake Park, White Pine Trail, Rogue River Nature Trail, and many other parks provide opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, and canoeing. North Kent Golf Course features an 18-hole course with a clubhouse that offers lessons and group clinics.
Rockford is located less than 20 minutes from Grand Rapids, which is perfect for additional recreation and entertainment.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Rockford is higher than the state average and 2.7 percent higher than the national average. Housing is the main factor for the cost of living difference. Grocery, health care, and miscellaneous costs are below the national average.
Michigan is moderately tax friendly for retirees. For individuals born after 1945, pension income is subject to state income tax. Some retirees may be able to delay paying property taxes or receive tax credit. Military pensions, Railroad Retirement and Social Security benefits are exempt. The state sales tax is 6 percent.
There are four hospitals within 15 miles of Rockford. Spectrum Health-Butterworth and Blodgett Campuses is ranked. No.1 in Grand Rapids and No. 5 in Michigan. The hospital is ranked high performing by U.S. News in five specialties and nine procedures and conditions. Another high performing hospital, Mercy Health St. Mary’s Campus, is ranked No. 2 in Grand Rapids and No. 13 in the state.