Eight Pennsylvania Cities Nab Spots on the Best Places to Retire List

By Kelly Leighton | Oct. 26, 2021 | 4 min. read

Watch out Florida.

While Pennsylvania can’t offer too much in the way of beaches or warm weather throughout the year, for those looking to retire, Pennsylvania boasts eight cities in the top 30 of the annual Best Places to Retire list by U.S. News and World Report.

Out of 150 metro areas, Lancaster was named the fifth best place to retire, due to a high quality of life and value of living in the area. The housing costs in Lancaster ($226,550) are significantly lower than the national average ($315,743), making Lancaster a great option for those looking to spend less on housing. Of the local population, 17.5% are 65 and older, while 56.3% of all residents are married.

“It’s close to Philly, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York City, and the downtown area of Lancaster is often compared to a small Philly or Boston for it’s diversity of fine shops, fine dining and nightlife,” said Lancaster County Association of Realtors® President-elect Greg Bardell. “We have diverse housing stock in all price ranges, whether someone wants urban living, suburban living or rural living, we have it all in one location, which appeals to a lot of people. We also boast a large number of retirement living options and health care facilities throughout the county.”

“Lancaster County, although still conservative in nature, has developed a great relationship over the years between business, government and the arts community to create a healthy, vibrant city which benefits all residents of Lancaster County,” he added. “Provided we continue to maintain balance in these relationships, Lancaster should continue to be a community that thrives for years to come. All these things make Lancaster an ideal location for older Pennsylvanians to retire. They can be as active as they want to be and Lancaster seems to offer it all.”

Following Lancaster, Allentown was named the 11th best place to retire, thanks to a low cost of living and a variety of cultural options for residents. Residents 65 and older make up 17.7% of the population, and 51.4% of all presidents are married. Harrisburg was next in 13th, due to affordability and all of the opportunities for recreational activities, music, museums and history. Those 65 and older make up 17.4% of the population and 52% of all residents are married.

Reading landed in 15th place, thanks to housing affordability and net migration. The housing costs in Reading are half ($157,600) that of the national average, making it a very affordable option for retirees on a budget. In Reading, the population of those over 65 is 16.9% and 51.2% of all residents are married. Following Reading, York was named the 17th best place to retire. Living in York offers less expensive housing, an art scene, history and many county parks. Seventeen percent of residents are 65 and older and 54.5% of all residents are married.

Philadelphia came in 19th. The City of Brotherly Love offers a city life for retirees looking for more excitement, but still remains much more affordable than other metros, with a median housing cost of $304,667. Residents 65 and older make up 15.6% of the population, while 47.6% of all residents are married. Following Philadelphia, Scranton came in 21st. In addition to affordable housing, Scranton also offers less expensive utilities, health care and groceries, the report found. Nearly 20% of the population is 65 and older and 48.2% of all residents are married.

Rounding out the Pennsylvania towns is Pittsburgh, who landed in 29th place. Pittsburgh is often applauded for its overall affordability, as well as its’ booming social life, offering sports, dining and culture. For retirees, they represent nearly 20% of the population, while about 51% of all residents are married.

Pennsylvania towns offer affordability and a variety of activities for retirees, making the commonwealth a great place to spend the golden years.

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