I am 54 years old and my husband 62. We hate the heat, the humidity, the crowds and the beaches. We love the little mountain villages, the privacy, the colder climate. We are very conservative Christians.
Think in terms of two cities: Escanaba, on Lake Michigan, and Iron Mountain, an hour inland on the Wisconsin border. Escanaba, which bills itself as one of the safest natural harbors in the upper Great Lakes, is the largest city, with about 12,000 people and without the triple-digit snowfall totals in the rest of the region. . Rents in Delta County are much cheaper than around Iron Mountain, where median incomes are higher and median rents are well above $ 600. Another reason Iron Mountain is more expensive: It is close to Pine Mountain Resort, which attracts golfers and skiers. But if you prefer that area, cross the Florence County of Wisconsin and median rents drop below $ 500. Average winter highs will be below freezing; Average summer highs are in the mid-70s. Iron Mountain is the snowier of the two. As a trail hiker, you can enjoy the 25.5 mile crushed stone rail trail from Escanaba to Hermansville. The cost of living in both areas is almost 14% below the national level. This is what’s for sale now throughout Delta County, using listings on Realtor.com (which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.) St. Marys, Pennsylvania
The view east from Hyner View State Park, accessible by country lanes from St. Marys iStockphoto
You could explore rural Pennsylvania and West Virginia for options within your budget, but I’ve focused on St. Marys in the northern part of the state. It is a city of 12,000 people, about 45 miles north of Interstate 80 and 2½ hours south of Buffalo, NY, in an area that tourism people call the Pennsylvania Wilds region. They describe it as home to millions of acres of unspoiled forests and mountains. Median rents in Elk County, where 30,000 people live, are just under $ 600 a month and slightly lower than in neighboring Cameron County, which has just 4,500 residents. The cost of living is 10% below the national average. Winters here would be slightly warmer than those in Michigan and Maine, with average temperatures around freezing. Average summer highs are between 70 and 80 degrees. Annual snowfall averages 58 inches. Your trail hike could start with the West Creek Recreational Trail north of St Marys and head 19.5 miles east towards Emporium, a town of 2,000 people that calls itself the “Land of the Endless Mountains.” This is what’s on the market now in Elk County. Presque Isle, Maine
Maine Baxter State Park iStockphoto
Consider this your starting point for seeing the many small towns in rural Maine. With 9,000 residents, Presque Isle is the largest community in Maine’s northernmost county and the commercial center of the area. You can also look at Houlton (5,700 people), also in Aroostook County but further south. You could even hike between the two along the Southern Bangor and Aroostook Trail. Or consider Piscataquis County to the west (nearly 17,000 people). Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin are in neighboring Penobscot County. The temperatures in this area are comparable to Escanaba, but you would have much more snow. Aroostook County also has more residents than Delta County, nearly 68,000, but it covers an area the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Median rent here is $ 574. This is what’s for sale now in Aroostook County. Readers, where do you think Lisa and her husband should retire? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.