12 Great Places to Retire in the Midwest

Affordability, ample activities and quality healthcare make these midwestern cities appealing to retirees.

Woman hikes in the mountains in Michigan.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

America's Heartland has not been getting a lot of love lately. For a lot of people, it's not on their radar as one of the best places to retire. In fact, among the 12 states that the U.S. Census Bureau groups together as the Midwest region, four (Illinois, North Dakota, Michigan and Kansas) made the list of top 10 states people moved out of in 2023, according to United Van Lines' annual national movers study.

Although the Midwest is home to several of the cheapest places to live, it still has plenty to offer retirees. Many states in the region offer affordability, beautiful scenery, an abundance of activities and quality health care. So, if you're ready to go against the grain and head to the Midwest for your retirement, we suggest you consider the following spots. 

We highlighted one great retirement destination in each state, taking into account living costs, safety, median incomes and poverty rates for retirement-age residents, as well as residents' sense of well-being and the availability of recreational and healthcare facilities. Here are our retirement picks in the 12 midwestern states. Some (if not all) are sure to surprise you.


The list is ordered alphabetically by state. The 12 states in the Midwest region are classified by the U.S. Census Bureau. See "Methodology" at the end of the list for details on our data sources.

Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.

With contributions from