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Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University of Michigan Health Center is one of the largest university medical centers in the world.

Carol and Bob Mull moved to Ann Arbor in 1977—when Bob went to work as an engineer for Ford Motor Company—and they came to love it as they raised their family here. So when Bob retired nearly two years ago, they had no doubt that they’d stay put. “I always knew this was a special town,” says Bob. “But it wasn’t until I retired that I realized how truly great this place is.”

He’s enjoying having time to play as hard as he wants—both he and Carol play golf often and are big fans of the area’s YMCA. Carol, 55, is especially partial to swimming and yoga; Bob, 59, likes lifting weights, biking in some of the city’s 150 parks, and walking through the spectacular, 123-acre Nichols Arboretum, which boasts a mile of frontage along the rolling Huron River. The couple are also fully engaged in the community: Bob is an active member of the Rotary and spends Friday mornings tutoring fifth graders. Carol, a part-time curator, is writing a book about the region’s Underground Railroad.

What’s more, Ann Arbor is a hotbed of medical innovation. The University of Michigan Health Center is one of the largest university medical centers in the world, and it created the first human genetics program in the United States, in 1940.

That spirit of innovation spills over into the city’s economy—it’s no accident, for example, that Google recently opened a satellite office in Ann Arbor. The company says it chose Ann Arbor partly because of the talent pool the university provides but also because Ann Arbor is such a great community to live in, and that’s very attractive to people who might consider relocating.

Carol agrees that Ann Arbor’s varied populations—young and old—help shape the city. “Sometimes I love to just wander through the neighborhoods or sit in coffee shops and watch all these people. I love the way it all comes together.”

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