St. Joseph, Mich.
St. Joseph, Mich.
St. Joseph, Mich., is part of the "Riviera of the Midwest."
Population: 8,400
% over 50: 40%
Median home price: $150,000
Top state income tax: 4.35%*
Cost of living index: 91

The Lake Michigan coastline that hugs the western border of the state has all the charm of the seashore, only without the impossibly high home prices. Lots of appealing little towns dot the "Riviera of the Midwest," but St. Joseph--with its vibrant year-round community, top-notch medical care and proximity to Chicago--stands out.

Its downtown features bakeries, boutiques, and other local businesses in historic buildings along the bluff overlooking the lake. Visitors traveling along the coast just outside town and you can climb giant sand dunes, visit an old lighthouse, and sample locally grown Cabernets, Pinots, and Merlots.

A $150,000 budget gets you a three-bedroom within strolling distance of the beach. To sweeten the deal, Michigan doesn't levy state income tax on distributions from qualified employer and individual retirement plans.

See complete data and interactive map for St. Joseph


Demographic information provided by Onboard Informatics.
Median home price: Based on 2010 data.
Cost of living index: The national average is 100; the lower a place's number, the less expensive it is. An index value of 95 means the town's cost of living is 95% of the national median.
*Income tax is of federally-adjusted income.
Last updated September 16 2011: 12:56 PM ET
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