13 Communities in MinnesotaView All
Minnesota is the second largest state in the Midwest and home to diverse geography. Rocky and rugged terrain in the north leads to prairies and farmlands in the south. It offers active adults a wide range of outdoor recreation with its large number of lakes and parks, four distinct seasons, and bluffs along Lake Superior. Besides this, Central Minnesota, home to Minneapolis, is the cultural and artistic heart of the state.
Climate & Geography
As the northernmost continental U.S. state, Minnesota’s climate varies from its northern tip to its southern border. It experiences one of the widest varieties of weather with four distinct seasons in its continental climate. Further inland, summers are hot with more humidity in the southern region, while winters are cold and typically below freezing. The temperatures around Lake Superior are more moderated with slightly cooler summers and warmer winters. Precipitation is heaviest in the winter, and the state experiences more snowfall than average.
Nicknamed the “Land of 10,000 lakes,” much of Minnesota is comprised of technically 11,842 lakes. The rest of the terrain is a mix of gently rolling hills, prairie, and rugged forests. Colloquially, Minnesota is divided into two regions: the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and Greater Minnesota.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Minnesota is a haven for retirees seeking the great outdoors. Chippewa National Forest and Superior National Forest, nationally protected lands located in Northern Minnesota, both offer hiking, camping, and fishing. Geological formations like bluffs and waterfalls are abundant along the North Shore, north of Duluth in Gooseberry Falls State Park, the Split Rock Lighthouse, and Tettegouche State Park. Itasca State Park, toward the northwest, is a 32,000-acre park with more than 100 lakes located inside of it. Boating and fishing can also be found at any one of the thousands of lakes in the state.
In addition, skiing and snowboarding are popular in the state, with several resorts and slopes in the north. Minnesota also boasts several highly rated golf courses, including the in-demand Brainerd Golf Trail.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is the cultural hub of Minnesota. The area has a renowned sculpture garden, multiple museums, and a vibrant theater scene.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Minnesota is slightly higher than the national average. Housing and transportation are the biggest factors, while other factors like health care, groceries, and utilities are all below average.
Minnesota is one of the few states that taxes Social Security, as well as all other forms of retirement income, at rates ranging from 5.35 to 9.85 percent. Property taxes in the state are similar to the national average, and there is a tax deferral program aimed at retirees that reduces the tax rate. The average sales tax in the state is high at 7.3 percent, but it does not apply to groceries, most types of clothing, and all medicine.
Minnesota ranks in the top 12 states in Gallup’s Well-Being Index and ranks specifically in the top 10 states for the community and financial indexes.
The state is home to several nationally ranked hospitals according to U.S. News. These include Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis, St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, and Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in Saint Louis Park. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul area also has several more high performing hospitals.