Population: 37, 046 in the city, 171,008 in Muskegon County and 1,321,557 in the Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland Statistical Area.  

Location: Muskegon is located in west Michigan along U.S. 31. The city is right off the coast of lake Michigan and roughly 15 miles from Grand Haven. Grand Haven is a well traveled tourist beach town in west Michigan. The nearby large city is Grand Rapids and it is about 40 miles from Muskegon. Grand Rapids was rated the top destination to travel to in 2014 by Lonely Planet.

Climate:                     

January: High 31°F/Low 20°F                      

July:

High 80°F/Low 62°F

Average relative humidity: 68.25%

Rain: 34 inches annually

Snow: 93 inches annually

Cost of living: Below average

Housing cost: The median sales price of homes was $71,501 February through May 2014, according to Trulia. However, even more recent, my records show $82,000 for April 2014.

Sales tax: Michigan has no city, local, or county sales tax. However, Michigan does have a state sales tax rate of 6%. Also, electricity for residential use and home fuels are taxed at 4%.

Sales tax exemptions: Prescription drugs, food, and investment coins and bullion

State income tax: 4.25% flat tax

Income tax exemptions: Michigan has overhauled its income tax rules for retirement. Tax exemptions vary depending on whether a Michigan tax payer is born before or after 1946. Check out Kiplinger to see what tax exemptions you qualify for under Michigan's tax laws.

Estate tax: None

Inheritance tax: None

Property tax: State and local governments collected approximately $1374 per person in property taxes. Also, owner occupied homes are assesed at 50% market value. When comparing Norton Shores property tax with the city of Muskegon, Norton Shores is less expensive. For instance, Norton Shores rate is 36.01 per $1,000 of assessed value, where as the city of Muskegon is $40.64. So a $100,000 homestead in the city of Muskegon would be $2,032 in property taxes, where as a $100,000 homestead in Norton Shores would be $1,801 in property taxes. Here is a link to the property tax estimator.

Homestead tax credit: Owner-occupants can receive a tax credit up to $1,200 of assessed value from the state government depending on their household income.

Personal property tax: None

Education: Muskegon Community College offers 52 associate degrees and 35 certificates, as well as award winning faculty. Students choose to go to Muskegon Community College because it is affordable and offers transferable credits to a 4 year institution. Also, Grand Valley State University, Baker College, Western Michigan University, and the Culinary Institute of Michigan have locations in Muskegon. Furthermore, Muskegon has good K-12 school districts. For instance,  North Muskegon received a score of 9 out of 10, and Mona Shores received a score of 8 out of 10 according to greatschools.org.

Transportation: The Muskegon Airport provides passenger air service, however most people drive to Grand Rapids or Chicago for air service. The closest Amtrak stations are in Grand Rapids or Holland, Mi. Both roughly 40 miles from Muskegon.

Walkability: Muskegon is great for those walkers who enjoy either nature or convience. On the one hand, there are scenic trails, parks, beaches. On the other hand, the downtown has stores, dining, and other venues.  

Walk score for 300 block western avenue downtown: 66

Walk score for 1900 block lakeshore drive: 52

Health care: Muskegon has top notch healthcare. For instance, Mercy Health Partners, the primary healthcare provider in the area, has been ranked highly by healthgrades.com. Mercy Health Partners top ranking services such as, coronary interventional procedures, treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and treatment of respiratory failure. It is also reknown for cardiovascular care.

Housing: Retirees are drawn to the area by the lake shore, fine dining, peaceful, community, recreational activities, geography, as well as the affordable housing.

Check out sellmuskegon.com since pricing varies depending on multiple factors.

Rentals: Muskegon has a renter friendly market.

Check out sellmuskegon.com since pricing varies depending on multiple factors.

Recreational Activities: The Muskegon Country Club offers one of the best golf courses in the area and has a rich history; after all, it was built in 1908. Muskegon also has plenty of parks, public events, an amusement park (i.e., Michigan Adventures), boating, trails, bike friendly, and beaches. If although this sounds enticing Visit Muskegon can tell you more!

Although not in Muskegon, the nearby city of Rothbury is home to the Double JJ Resort. The Double JJ Resort is a place of fun offering activities such as, golf, horseback riding, an indoor waterpark and music festivals. It is most reknown for hosting the Rothbury and Electric Forest Music Festivals; people come from all over to attend these events.