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Wisconsin: Good country living

The entire state of Wisconsin has a population of about 5.7 million people spread across 65,500 square miles. Compare that total to 8.4 million packed into New York City’s 302 square miles and you can sense how “America’s Dairyland” (also known as “The Badger State”) has plenty of room for newcomers.

#1. The cities are spectacular. Wisconsin is a largely rural state, but the urban areas are worthy of your attention as you consider retirement. Madison is among the true gems of Wisconsin. Ranked #2 by The Milliken Institute on its list of “10 Best Cities for Successful Aging”, Wisconsin’s capital also earned accolades on a national scale from U.S. News & World Report (#33 of “100 Best Places to Retire in the USA” and #18 in the magazine’s “100 Best Places to Live”). On the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee has evolved from its reputation for breweries (and the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers) to an urban center with a wealth of activities and opportunities. Eau Claire and Waukesha have also emerged as up-and-coming cities that continue to expand amenities with the growing population. Imagine enjoying all the benefits of city life, as well as close proximity to lakes and outdoor recreation, and living well below the average for America’s metropolitan locales.

#2.Each season brings its own outdoor fun. Sure, if you want year’ round warmth for your retirement, Wisconsin—or any northern state for that matter—won’t fit your lifestyle. But if you’re accustomed to four distinct seasons, Wisconsin presents a lovely state in which to experience each and every one to the fullest. From the welcome signs of spring through a warm, sunny, and comfortable summer and the signature colors of the crisp autumn, you can spend as much time outdoors as you’d like. Travel through the countryside, visit the many attractions, and go hiking or biking to your heart’s content.From late summer to early winter, however, be prepared to don your cheesehead hat, wear green and yellow, and cheer on the Green Bay Packers.

The winter is cold up here, but the residents make the best of it, with skiing, snowboarding, skating, sledding, ice fishing, and some of the most outstanding winter festivals around! You can even get all mushy with dogsleds.

Anyone who visits Wisconsin will also tell you about Wisconsin Dells. It’s a small city just a bit south of the central part of the state, but it’s a massively popular tourist destination. The self-proclaimed “Water Park Capital of the World” brings summer fun indoors so you can experience water fun in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, and there are many more attractions to explore here.

#3. Lakeside living is the life. Wisconsin is sprinkled with hundreds of lakes of all sizes. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy lakefront activities. Lake Michigan borders the eastern part of the state and Lake Superior is on the north. In addition to these two Great Lakes, Wisconsin features hundreds of smaller lakes, as well as Lake Winnebago, which spans almost 13,200 acres. If you like boating, swimming, or any type of water sport, you’ll enjoy your retirement in Wisconsin.

#4. The warm people take the chill off the winter. When you live in Wisconsin, you put yourself among caring folks who are willing to make an extra effort to help a neighbor. Whether that’s shoveling your snow, bringing you a home-cooked meal, or giving you a ride if you need it, you can always count on the friendly people who have chosen to live in this country setting.

Your retirement should fit the way you want to live. If you’re thinking that the country life is a great way to spend these years, take a good look at Wisconsin.