Three Monroe County communities tops for retirees – Monroe Evening News

Three communities in Monroe County have been marked as being among the most financially-beneficial in the state for retirees. 

A study recently released by SmartAsset, an online destination for consumer-focused financial information, examined data from postal codes across Michigan to determine which most likely provide the friendliest places for retirees to settle after leaving the workforce. 

South Monroe, a community in Monroe Charter Township, was ranked No. 2; Lambertville, a community in Bedford Township, was ranked No. 8; and Temperance, also in Bedford, was ranked No. 10. 

“SmartAsset’s mission is to help people make smart financial decisions,” Steve Sabato, a SmartAsset spokesperson, said. “We publish unique studies like this to get people thinking and talking about their personal finance goals and intention ways to reach them.”

Sabato said each retiree’s situation is unique, which is why having as much information as possible is important. 

“Personal finance is ultimately personal, and planning for where you would like to spend your retirement years will vary depending on your personal priorities,” he added. 

Analysts examined how tax policies would impact retirees living on an annual income of about $50,000, which could be generated from a combination of private pensions funds, social security benefits, post-retirement wages and retirement-specific saving accounts such as a 401K or an IRA. 

The study accounted for the deductions retirees would most likely claim, and how a retiree would be impacted overall by applicable federal, state and municipal taxes.

Additionally, SmartAsset also considered additional taxes, such as property, sales and fuel taxes. 

Overall, the study deemed Michigan as being more advantageous financially for retirees. 

“Michigan is a relatively tax-friendly destination for retirees,” SmartAsset noted in the study. “It does not tax Social Security and it provides a sizable deduction for seniors on others types of retirement income. Sales taxes are somewhat below average, while property taxes are above average. Michigan does not have an estate tax or inheritance tax.”

The remaining seven communities that made the list are outside Southeast Michigan. The majority are on the Lower Peninsula’s western coastline. 

Allegan ranked No. 1; Allendale place No. 3; Byron Center was No. 4; St. Louis was No. 5; Benton Harbor ranked No. 6; Jenison ranked No. 7; and Houghton came in at No. 9. 

SmartAsset contends that the issue of where to live after retirement is guided by more than tax-friendliness. The study noted Michigan winters can deter retirees from staying or relocating to the state. 

But recreation opportunities carry the potential to offset that problem. The study noted Michigan ranks high for states with public golf courses. Additionally, it is the second state when it comes to most freshwater coastline.

MCT Supervisor Al Barron said it’s great a community in the township is recognized for its friendliness to retirees. And it’s a population that is expected to grow in the near future, Barron said. 

About 5,500 of MCT’s residents are age 55 or older, or about 39% of the population, he added. 

“I would say the main attraction are the many newer subdivisions in the South Monroe tract,” Barron said. “… (the) township continues to have one of the lower operating millages in the county at 3.7156 mills.”

The township’s quieter subdivision, location near metro areas, modern infrastructure and the stock of ranch-style homes, which is fueled by demand from seniors, also make the township attractive, Barron said. 

Bedford Township Supervisor Paul Pirrone echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the proximity of Lambertville and Temperance to larger cities. The locations offers access to cultural, entertainment and spectator venues, Pirrone said, adding the areas’ locations also provides access to Lake Erie and the Maumee River. 

“There are not many areas like Lambertville and Temperance where you can live in a rural type setting with all the conveniences of a city, but without the traffic,” Pirrone said. “When you drive around both communities you still encounter farm fields, green space and horse farms.”

Pirrone said the housing stock in the Bedford area also has adjusted for a maturing populating, including condominiums, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Shopping, banking and health care are minutes from both communities and easily accessible.

“Both communities are great places to live for retirees,” Pirrone said. “Retirees can still find part-time work if desired, enjoy our history that has been preserved and thrive.”