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Best Cities for Retirement and Attractions in 2011 - 2012: Marquette, Michigan

Updated on March 20, 2012

At the end of 2011, CNN Money Magazine Online published its Top 25 List of the Best Places to Retire in the USA. A study is performed by analysts every year to determine the best cities for retirement, for raising a family, for young career singles, and in other categories; and, this is repeated by several well known financial and economic organizations that publish magazines. Criteria may differ somewhat among the surveys used in the studies, but the names of some cities are found on nearly all the lists. However, some years, new cities are recognized. The cost of living in these cities is below the national average (100) in each one and things to do and places to see are abundant in all of them.

The cost of living in Marquette Michigan is below average, and the city services are Senior friendly. Marquette is also the shopping hub of the Upper Peninsula, which pleases many seniors and most travelers and vacationers as well. US News and World Report agrees and places Marquette on its own list of best retirement places.

Marquette, Michigan is Number One on the CNNMoney list, despite some voices in our country that say there are no jobs and no economy left in Michigan. If nothing else, the scenic beauty of much of Michigan is worth a trip and the lakes and river areas are gorgeous - full of things to see and do. In fact, Marquette County includes 77 waterfalls. This all makes Travel and Tourism a healthier industry in the state than some onlookers may realize.

Marquette Michigan

Many Seniors today worry about housing costs, other monthly bills, and the overall cost of living. Many need to return to work in order to be able to pay monthly debts and needs. The cost of living index for Marquette at the time of the study is 95 (less than 100 the national rate), which is a benefit for cost savings.

Marquette is located in the beautiful Upper Peninsula, so winters are colder than down in the "mitten" area and colder still than in the Detroit area that some Michiganders have called "Down Below." Offsetting this climate is the fact that Downtown Marquette is pedestrian friendly and kept clear of snow and ice.

Parts of Michigan in Relation to Marquette

show route and directions
A markerMarquette MI -
Marquette, MI, USA
get directions

The Upper Peninsula (UP). The bridge between the "mitten" of Michigan and the UP is 5 miles long, with a transparent bottom for viewing the waters

B markerBay City MI -
Bay City, MI, USA
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This historic city is right between the fingers and the thumb of the mitten.

C markerBad Axe MI -
Bad Axe, MI 48413, USA
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Bad Axe was likely the model for "Pick Axe" in The Cat Who... mysteries. Sand Dunes and octagonal barns fill parts of this "thumb" of the mitten.

Zillow Real Estate Listings, Spring 2012 Snapshot

Number of Homes for Sale: 240

Median Price, March 2012: $114,000

Range of Prices: $29,000 to $699,999.

Special Cases - Properties for up to $5.5 Million in the Development District Zone. This zone is marked for development from rural to commercial or mixed use.


For the same snapshot period, rentals in Marquette posted on Craigslist ranged from $300/month for a 2-BR mobile home and $375/month for an efficiency apartment to $450 - $900/month for 2- and 3-BR apartments and houses; with $1,000 - $2,200/month posted for a few luxury apartments.

Vacation properties are rented for the tourist seasons, whether spring/summer or the skiing season.

show route and directions
A markerMarquette, Michigan -
Marquette, MI, USA
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B markerNorthern Michigan University -
Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Ave, Marquette Township, MI 49855, USA
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Classes are free-of-charge to Seniors ages 62 and older.

C markerLake Superior -
Lake Superior
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Bridalveil Falls

At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. | Source
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl | Source
Blueberry Bush
Blueberry Bush | Source

UP 200 Dog Sled Race

Surfing at Presque Isle Park at Lake Superior

The Marquette Harbor Light on Lake Superior


Marquette General Health System

Already a major healthcare system and one of the largest companies overall in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula, the Marquette General Health System company signed a non-binding MOU (memorandum of understanding) to explore a merger with prestigious Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

LifePoint is already a joint venture of Duke's health system and Brentwood, Tennessee's LifePoint Hospitals and quite successful. Another merger would bring all of the resources of the North Carolina and Tennessee companies to bear in Marquette and this is good for retirees and working Seniors for healthcare, volunteer, and job opportunities, if needed.

Marquette previously joined the Premier healthcare alliance of 2,500+ hospitals and nearly 80,000 clinics and related facilities in order to increase its purchasing power for service delivery. In addition, the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center, founded in 2005, is a partnership between Marquette General (teaching) Hospital and Northern Michigan University. Associated facilities:

  • Peninsula Medical Center - Marquette, Michigan.
  • Bell Hospital.
  • OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group.
  • Portage Health.

Marquette General Health System

A markerMarquette General Health System -
580 W College Ave, Marquette Township, MI 49855, USA
get directions

Front Street in 1909
Front Street in 1909 | Source

Largest Companies in Marquette, Michigan

  • Northern Michigan University
  • Marquette Public School System
  • Marquette General Hospital (Marquette General Health System; see above)
  • Marquette Branch Prison
  • Pioneer Surgical Technology
  • Charter Communications

Healthy Economy In Marquette

Marquette has had a healthy economy and employment marketplace since 2010. Retirees that need to continue working or to re-enter the job market may be able to select from many positions in this city.

Employment and Jobs Trend Shows Increase: 2,000% since 2010

Jobs increased considerably from Januaryy 2011 - January 2012
Jobs increased considerably from Januaryy 2011 - January 2012 | Source

Top 5 High Demand Jobs

  1. RNs - Registered Nurses, including Travel Nurses
  2. Occupational and Physical Therapists and Assistants
  3. Truck and Local Delivery Drivers
  4. Engineers - Mining, electrical, mechanical, civil, other
  5. IT Programmers and Software Developers
  • Other job openings include positions as Bank Tellers, Certified Nursing Assistants, and all positions at fast food and casual dining places.
  • For part-timers, some good opportunities exist in Marquette and nearby on the Upper Peninsula for mystery shopping gigs. For some time, there have not been enough people available to perform the mystery shopping tasks in fast food outlets and other establishments here. Some mystery shopping companies allow workers to continue until age 70 and some allow older workers. There is an age cut-off, because rumors have filled the marketplace that mystery shoppers are all middle-aged women. Mystery shopping companies are usually eager to hire men.
  • Other Part-Time Jobs include:
  1. CNAs
  2. Asst. Store Managers
  3. Tellers
  4. Event Specialists
  5. Babysitters
  6. Retail Clerks
  7. Retail Merchandisers

More About CNNMoney's Top 25 Best Places to Retire

The Top 5 Best Cities for Retirement, according to CNNMoney are:

  • Number One - Marquette MI.
  • Number Two on this Top 25 List is a city that appears in the recommended lists of several financial and retirement magazines: Cape Coral, Florida.
  • Number Three is Boise, Idaho.
  • Number Four - Danville, Kentucky.
  • Number Five - Weatherford Texas



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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Not as many as before, I think. I already have to work to age 70 to receive full SS benefits. Why quit at all? We'll have to take more vacations.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      Great info, but do people still retire?

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I like it. :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      So much to see and do! At least it is all available on vacation.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      77 waterfalls IS hard to beat, plus there's the Paulding Light in Watersmeet!!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      The Girl Scouts of Citrus are having a special event in May 2012 at Epcot(r) to begin the next 100 years of Scouting.

    • slywas007 profile image

      Idalberto TOrres 5 years ago from Miami Florida

      Me personally I like Citrus County Florida in a community called Citrus Springs. It has many golf courses, places to ride horses and Crystal River is less then 15 minutes away for boating and fishing. The property taxes are low and you don't have to deal with cold weather.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      The Upper Peninsula is gorgeous place to be in any season, even if it does get cold. Less snow fell this winter though, and the dog sled races had to be moved a few miles to find enough snow - sleds were running on grass for awhile.

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      I really enjoyed this hub Patty. Not that I don't love where I'm living now, But I always love to look at the possiblities out there. Beautifully Illustrated. Voted up!


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      C'mon - 77 waterfalls!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      I'm staying put in dane county but this place in Michigan looks promising. Well written as usual!!!