Ann Arbor, Michigan | Where to Live Next | Smithsonian
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The University of Michigan's 350-acre Matthaei Botanical Gardens includes nature trails and a conservatory. (Courtesy of Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Population: 113,206 (2006 estimate)
Percentage of retirees: 7.4% in 2006
Cost of living index: Average
Public libraries: 5 in Ann Arbor District. 14 within 15 miles.
Public transportation: AATA buses 'The Ride' operate through out the greater Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. Amtrak rail service available at Ann Arbor station.
Access to airports: Ann Arbor Airport or Detroit Wayne County Airport.
Tax breaks: In Michigan, Social Security, military, federal, and state/local government pensions are exempt. Up to $42,240 in pension income is deductible on a single return ($84,480 on a joint return). Taxpayers 65 or older may deduct interest, dividends, and capital gains up to $9,420 (individual filers) or $18,840 (married filing jointly).
Number of museums: 9
Number of cinemas: 10
Climate: Cold winters, pleasant but somewhat humid summers.
Nearby Attractions: Detroit, Henry Ford's Greenfield Village, and a number of small historic towns all within an hour's drive.
Annual precipitation: 35 inches
Access to Healthcare: Good, owing to University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital System.
Useful link: City of Ann Arbor, MI
In the Know: "One thing that makes Ann Arbor a fantastic place for retirement is there are numerous activities available for a single person. I have a range of interests, all of which are accommodated both inside and outside of the university setting. I've researched other cities, wanting to get out of the weather. None measures up!"
-Martha J. Petroski, officer of the American Association of University Women, Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan defines Ann Arbor, which offers the wealth of restaurants, performing arts, cultural diversity and openness of a big city in a small-town setting.

Life here centers on downtown, where galleries, shops, restaurants, and clubs abound and the Huron River curves along the northern edge. The charming surrounding neighborhoods offer walkable access and residences that range from fine old homes to condominiums and lofts.

Though Ann Arbor is a university town, things do not slow down in summer, owing to a series of festivals. The most renowned is the annual Ann Arbor Art Fairs, attracting more than 1,000 internationally acclaimed artists and craftspeople to town for a weekend in mid-July (it also brings thousands of visitors). A three-week-long summer festival that features musicians and performers runs the gamut from popular to classical. In the fall, the Royal Shakespeare Company comes to town for three weeks.

The university has its own strong cultural offerings, from touring performers to international exhibits in its now-expanding Museum of Art. Ann Arbor boasts one of the most educated populations in the U.S., who regard maintaining the character of the city a priority. Beyond the city lie a number of well-preserved small towns, some of which hark back to the days when Henry Ford and the auto industry reigned in southeastern Michigan.

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