Why Growing Old in Michigan Is Great

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Why Growing Old in Michigan Is Great

March 16, 2024 Blog Life Michigan 0
puure michigan great lakes elder care retiree

As I get closer to retirement than I am to my first job, I am starting to think about where I would ultimately like to land, so to speak. It seems as though a good number of people who are lucky enough like to retire in Florida or Arizona, especially folks who live in my home state of Michigan.

Don’t get me wrong; after I spend the Holidays with my grandchildren (they do not exist yet), I will be traveling south during the bitter cold months. As far as where I will live in my retirement, I’m a lifer Michigander. I love this state and all it has to offer – just take a look at one of our Pure Michigan ads!

I recently read that I am not alone in this thinking. Apparently, the AARP (American Aging and Retired People) cites, “Michigan is the third most popular destination for retirees making interstate moves, according to a December 2022 report by moving services clearinghouse HireAHelper, topped only by Florida and North Carolina,”.

The AARP article went on to add that “Michigan also has good health care, another key concern for retirees. U.S. News & World Report ranks the state 11th in health care quality and sixth in Medicare quality (meaning a large number of Michigan’s Medicare Advantage enrollees are on plans with four-star federal ratings),”.

Another vital reason to stay here is the high level of health care we receive. I have seen too many relatives move elsewhere in the U.S., and the health care is atrocious. Most importantly, as I age, I know there are so many resources for elder care in Michigan that I can count on. Let’s not forget my alma mater – The University of Michigan, and the world-class medical facility they boast in Ann Arbor, which is less than an hour from where I live in the Lakes Area of Oakland County.

A brief list of benefits to growing old in Michigan:

  • Healthcare
  • Affordable housing
  • Top-notch educational opportunities both at the collegiate level and K-12
  • The Great Lakes
  • Beautiful beaches, in fact, we are the stewards of the nation’s longest freshwater coastline (e.g., 3,288 linear miles). Of this total, 1,056 miles are the shorelines of islands.
  • Reasonable cost of living
  • Four seasons of outdoor adventure  
  • Great small towns outside of the Greater Metropolitan Area
  • Fresh fruit
  • Ample transportation
  • Foodie towns like Detroit and Ann Arbor (Royal Oak, Birmingham, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City could be fierce contenders on that list, too)
  • My family and friends are here!
  • #PureMichigan

What are the benefits of living to old age?

One benefit I am looking forward to is retiring, of course! Until then, as I grow into an aging adult, I can start to enjoy a great sense of peace and serenity about who I am and who I am continuously becoming.

The ultimate goal is to remain grateful for having the gift of getting older, as so many people are not afforded that luxury. My mom passed away of complications of diabetes at 58 years old, and my nana passed for the same reasons but at 60 years old. My father passed away at 65 from kidney disease. Ss each day I get to be here with my children (and those yet-to-be grandchildren), I feel blessed.

Columbia University found that a benefit of aging is a “Greater sense of acceptance of self and of others; desire for connection and the means to create it; life experiences that help us make smart decisions; wisdom and empathy—all are available to us as we grow older. And don’t forget gratitude,”.

As we age, we also have the opportunity to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for the life we have lived. Michigan’s rich history and diverse culture provide ample opportunities to reflect on the experiences that have shaped us and to express gratitude for the people and moments that have brought us to where we are today.

One aspect that stands out is the strong sense of community that Michigan offers its residents. From the tight-knit neighborhoods in small towns to the cultural diversity in larger cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids, there is a place for everyone to feel like they belong. As we age, having a supportive community around us becomes increasingly essential, and Michigan provides that in abundance.

Another unique benefit of growing old in Michigan is the opportunity for continued personal growth and learning. With world-class universities, older adults have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources to continue their education well into their golden years. Whether it’s attending lectures, taking up a new hobby, or simply engaging in thought-provoking discussions, there is no shortage of opportunities to keep the mind sharp and engaged.

One of the most underrated aspects of aging in Michigan is the natural beauty that surrounds us. From the crystal-clear waters of the Great Lakes to the breathtaking colors of the fall foliage, there is no shortage of opportunities to connect with nature and find moments of peace and tranquility. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting overall well-being. Michigan’s abundance of natural beauty makes it the perfect place to age gracefully and healthily.

Programs to help aging population in Michigan

Thankfully, Michigan has a few programs in place to help our aging and disabled populations. For example, through the MI Choice Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver, Medicaid pays for home care services in an individual’s home. The program is available to both older adults (65 and older) and younger people with physical disabilities. Furthermore, additional services like adult day services or transportation will be provided if needed.

Services like these are paid for by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Why growing old in Michigan is great

In conclusion, growing old in Michigan offers a unique blend of practical benefits, like quality healthcare and affordable living, as well as intangible rewards, such as a strong sense of community, opportunities for continued learning, and a deep connection to the natural world. As I look towards my retirement years, I feel grateful to call Michigan home and excited for the adventures that lie ahead in this beautiful state.