The state of Minnesota is a state in the Midwestern and Northern part of the United States. Due to the large number of lakes in the state, Minnesota is often called the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." Minnesota is the 21st most populated state in America with an estimated 5.5 million residents. It has an area of 86,936 square miles and is the 12th largest state in the nation. The state density is 30th in the nation with 68.9 people per square mile; however almost 60% of Minnesotans live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. With the 36th highest percentage of senior citizens at 14.25% of the total population, is Minnesota a good choice for a senior looking to retire?
1922 assisted living facilities in Minnesota
The cost for Assisted Living Care in Minnesota state averages almost $3,600 per month, (close to $38,400 a year). The costs vary greatly from city to city - for example, Assisted Living in St. Cloud, Minnesota averages $2,600 monthly, while those living in Minneapolis pay, on average, almost $4,000 per month. Depending on the type of facility and the residents living there, the expenses may be higher. For example, an Assisted Living Facility that predominately cares for dementia residents will likely be more expensive due to a higher staff to patient ratio, more staff training, and more security needed to keep the residents safe.
The U.S. average cost for Assisted Living is $3,293 per month, and Minnesota's assisted living is comparable to that. Nursing homes in Minnesota are much more expensive than assisted living facilities - with semi-private rooms costing over $88,000 per year, and a private room carrying a cost of over $97,000 annually.
Adult Day Health Care in Minnesota averages $1,700 per month or around $21,000 per year. A Home Health Aide in Minnesota costs, on average $5,000 a month, over $60,000 annually. A Home Health Aid is almost $21,000 more expensive than the cost of an Assisted Living Facility in Minnesota. Furthermore, the cost of a Home Health Aide is based on a 44-hour-week, whereas Assisted Living provides 24-hour care. To receive comparable care at home you would need 3.8 Home Health Aides per week which would cost around $18,837 every month. It is estimated that by the year 2030, Assisted Living in Minnesota will cost almost $58,000 per year – an increase of around $20,000.
Within Minnesota itself, the costs of Assisted Living Care vary as well, for example, these are the latest approximate costs of a monthly stay in an Assisted Living Facility in Minnesota:
Typically, the costs associated with Assisted Living care costs are paid for by Minnesota elderly or their loved ones. The state of Minnesota has four waiver programs for Home and Community Based Services (HBCS) and Long Term Care Facility Services. These programs include waiver programs for:
Currently, the state of Minnesota has two waiver programs for seniors that help pay for the costs of an assisted living facility:
Minnesota has quite a few programs to help seniors, whether they are low-income or not. Many of these programs are coordinated by the Minnesota Area Agencies on Aging – of which there are seven across the state. There is also an Indian Elder Desk which helps Minnesota’s elder Indians on the state’s 11 reservations and in the urban areas. This is particularly important as 36% of American Indian Elders live in poverty and, since Indian elders are members of a sovereign nation their health care is independent. There is only one tribally-operated extended care-facility in the state of Minnesota. The other agency that Minnesota senior citizens need to know is that of their local Minnesota Ombudsman. The job of an Ombudsman is to protect the rights of Minnesota residents in long-term care facilities.
Here are some things to consider for seniors when choosing where to retire in Minnesota:
Minnesota has one of the highest state income taxes in the nation, ranging from 5.35% to 9.85% - the 4th highest nation. Furthermore, property and sales taxes also rank in the top 20 of all states.
For single filers, the tax rates are as follows:
Those who are married and file jointly are taxed at the following rates:
These rates apply to taxable income and not gross income. Taxable income takes into account all exemptions and deductions which follow the same guidelines as the federal deductions and exemptions. The standard deduction for Minnesota single filers is $6,300, $12,600 for married couples filing jointly, and $6,300 each if married and filing separately. Additionally, Minnesotans may claim a personal exemption of $4,000 for themselves and each dependent. For those who are married and filing separately, the itemized deductions are phased out at income greater than $90,575. Other filers have their itemized deductions phased out at $181,150.
Minnesota also taxes Social Security income at the same level as the federal government, whereas most states do not tax social security at all.
The three most significant tax credits allowed in Minnesota are: the Working Family Credit – for those who are eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit; the Dependent Care Credit; and the k-12 Education Credit which allows taxpayers with children in school to deduct expenses.
Minnesota also has a sales tax of 6.875% but counties and cities can add to that amount between 0.25% up to 1%. Prepared food purchased at a grocery store to be consumed elsewhere is not taxed, but items like soft drinks and food from a vending machine are all taxable. Most clothing is not taxed, but accessories are taxed. For example, T-shirts are not taxed, but backpacks are.
Property taxes in Minnesota are assessed at the local level. Property taxes are handled by county authorities so they vary across the state. On average, annual property taxes that Minnesota seniors can expect to pay for their homes are around $2,200 which is the 19th highest in the country.
Minnesota has an estate tax that is currently applicable to estates greater than $1.4 million, but that amount will increase to $2 million by the year 2018. And gifts that have been made within three years prior to death are considered when valuing the estate of the dead person.
Minnesota is not a tax-friendly state for seniors, due to the following:
Minnesota is a low-price state, yet the cost of living is higher than the average. For example, what you could purchase for $100 in Minnesota is what you would expect to spend $102.46 on in another state. The cost of living is higher in Minnesota overall than it is in other states in every category with housing being the biggest difference. With 100 being the national average, Minnesota rated higher in grocery (103.5), transportation (102), utilities (103), miscellaneous (105), health (106), housing (103), and overall (104.)
Minnesota is a state that is known for its progressive political orientation and high rate of civic participation and voter turnout. The state’s standard of living index is the highest in the nation and Minnesota is also one of the best educated and wealthiest states in the nation.
Minnesota is also known for the museums in the state, books such as the "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and for being the birthplace of 2016 Nobel Peace Winner and folk singer Bob Dylan.
Minnesota is one of the healthier states in America – although the proclivity of binge drinking has contributed to the drop from the #1 place to #6. The Medical Care in the Land of 10,000 lakes is considered some of the best in America, if not the world. This is primarily due to the University of Minnesota Medical School because of their breakthroughs in treatment and research activities. Rochester, Minnesota is home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic where it ranked in the top four in 16 fields of care, and it ranked seventh in psychiatry. In fact, the Mayo Clinic ranked #1 in eight fields and #2 in three others. So seniors living in Minnesota can feel good about getting the best healthcare possible.
Additionally, Minnesota has many schools and universities, both public and private, throughout the state. Minnesota has the second-highest proportion of high school graduates at 91.5%, and the 10th highest level of those with a bachelor degree. In recent years, Minneapolis was named the nation’s "Most Literate City" with St. Paul placing fourth. Six of the 20 private colleges and universities rank among the country’s top 100 liberal arts colleges.
There are many things that might be of interest for senior citizens in Minnesota State and there are numerous outdoor activities available; however, some of the more interesting things that seniors may enjoy indoors in Minnesota include:
They have on-going exhibits and museums located within the building and it is even rentable for weddings and other events. Tours of the building are offered, including: Educational Tours, Gangster Tours, Interactive History Tours, Public Tours, and Tours for Selected Groups.
This Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is open from Memorial Day Weekend through the third weekend of October with the Museum open from 10am-5pm daily and the Nature Center open from 11am-4pm daily. Admission costs only $4.00; however, those who are members of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society get in free.
There is a full-service bar aboard, an enclosed climate controlled lower deck, and an open air upper deck. It seats a total of 125 people.
Different cruises are offered, such as: a 90-minute "Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Pepin" for $17, a two-hour "Sunset Dinner Cruise" for $45, or a 90-minute "Sunset Sightseeing Cruise" for $17. Senior Discounts are available on cruises for those over age 65. This activity is rated #1 of the 9 things that you can do in Lake City and there are other activities available on Lake Pepin as well.
While the median age is almost 40 years, over 16% of households had someone living there who was 65 or older. Around 18.5% of the population is over 65 and continues to attract retirees due to recreation activities and safety ratings.
Litchfield is rated overall with a grade of an A-. The top grades being crime and safety, good for families, and commute. It is rated #16 out of 233 of the "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota," and #26 of the 138 "Safest Places to live in Minnesota;"
The population is less than 18,000 people with a density of 1702.5 people per square mile. Over 17% of households had someone over the age of 65 living in the house and the total percentage of those over 65 is over 22%. It has a low crime rate and a low cost of living.
There are many seniors activities to do in Albert Lea as the Myre-Big Island State park is nearby with a 116-acre Big Island; The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center; and the Freeborn County Fair held every summer in Albert Lea.
Last year, Albert Lea was rated the #15 of 233 "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota," #25 of 233 of the "Most Diverse Places to Live in Minnesota," and #80 of 138 of the "Safest Places to Live in Minnesota;"
Last year, Brainerd was reported to be the poorest town in Minnesota with a median income of just $32,169. 15.6% of the population are retirees. There are attractions for seniors in Brainerd such as the Northland Arboretum, Brainerd International Raceway, Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, and the Paul Bunyan State Trail.
Brainerd is also home to one of five medivac helicopter flight stations for "AirCare," which is operated by the North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale – a Level 1 Trauma Center.
Brainerd Lakes-Nisswa, Minnesota also offers seniors the following assistance:
Last year, Brainerd was rated #58 out of 233 of the "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota," #85 out of 233 of the "Most Diverse Places to Live in Minnesota," and #87 of 233 for the "Best Places for Millennials in Minnesota;"
For senior recreation or other activities, there are over 400 lakes within a 20-mile radius, bike paths, boating, exercise facilities, golf courses, hiking trails, indoor swim facilities, skiing, tennis courts, state parks, and running/walking paths. For those seniors who are not interested in outdoor activities, there are arts, concerts, live music, museums, and libraries available.
Seniors in the Nisswa area have multiple housing options, including: adult communities, assisted living, group homes, nursing homes, communities for those over the age of 40, residential units, residential care facilities and RV Parks.
The lakes surrounding Fairmont are community recreational areas and allow seniors access to boating, swimming, water skiing, and fishing. There is also the Fairmont Aquatic Park, both public and private golf courses and historical attractions.
The Red Rock Center for the Arts is a venue that offers affordable entertainment for seniors and those of all ages and includes music such as big band, swing, jazz, cultural, strings and piano. The Fairmont Opera House also hosts musical performances throughout the year.
There are many options for housing for seniors in Fairmont such as apartments, assisted living, nursing homes, houses, communities for those over 50, rental units and residential care facilities.
Other services offered to the elderly in the Fairmont Area include:
Last year, Fairmont ranked #30 out of 233 on the "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota, and #91 out of 138 of the "Safest Places to Live in Minnesota;"
In recent years, Grand Rapids, Minnesota ranked #29 out of 233 for the "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota" and #83 out of 233 of the "Most Diverse Places to Live in Minnesota;
Bemidji also is the hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, White Earth Indian Reservation, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. It is close to Chippewa National Forest, Itasca State Park, Lake Bemidji State Park, Big Bog State Park, and other state forest areas. Within 25 miles of town, there are 400 lakes, 500 miles of snowmobile trails, and 99 miles of cross-country skiing trails that seniors can take advantage of.
The median age is 27.1 years old with 15.6% of the population being over the age of 65. The town rates highly on nightlife, diversity, and commute. It also has carnivals and festivals throughout the year such as the "Night We Light," "Winterfest," "Hardwater Classic Ice Fishing Tournament," "The 4th of July Water Carnival" and "Art in the Park," but the most popular summer event is the "Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival" held the first Saturday in August. One of the more unusual attractions is an 18-foot stall statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe his Blue Ox, which earned the "Best of the Midwest" Roadside Attraction Award some years ago.
There are a wide variety of senior living options available in Bemidji, including: adult communities, apartments, assisted living, houses, nursing homes, communities for those over 50-years-old, residential care facilities, and RV parks.
Furthermore, Bemidji offers seniors assistance with the following:
Last year, Bemidji ranked #30 out of 233 of the "Most Diverse Places to Live in Minnesota" and #40 out of 233 of the "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota;"
Last year, Lake City was rated #9 out of 233 of the "Best Places to Retire in Minnesota," and #89 out of 233 of the "Most Diverse Places to Live in Minnesota;"
Although the median age is 35 years old, over 12% of the population are seniors age 65 or older. There are many activities available for seniors living in Rochester, such as: bike paths, bowling, exercise facilities, fishing, hiking, movie theaters, shopping, sporting events, walking/running paths, tennis, and a state park.
Being home to the Mayo Clinic, one of the premier medical centers in America, means seniors who live in Rochester get close access to excellent physicians and medical care, but there is a wellness center and a VA Hospital in Rochester as well.
Seniors in Rochester have a wide array of housing options, including: adult communities, affordable housing, apartments, assisted living facilities, condos, gated communities, group homes, houses, nursing homes, residential care facilities, and RV Parks.
Additionally, Rochester offers the following to seniors in need:
Last year, Rochester was rated #9 out of 233 of the "Best Cities to Live in America," #9 out of 223 "Best Cities to Buy a House in America," #19 out of 208 of the "Safest Cities in America," #8 out of 223 "Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in America," #63 out of 223 of the "Healthiest Cities in America," and #10 of "Cities with the Best Job Opportunities in America." It also ranked #9 of the "Best Cities to Live in America;"
SeniorGuidance.org provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.
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