Top 10 US cities for retirees

Many cities in Florida remain popular retirement destinations, but Pennsylvania City is considered the best place to spend your post-work years.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is the No. 1 city in which to retire, according to the latest US News & World Report “Best Places to Retire in the United States.”

US News & World Report evaluated the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, including Puerto Rico, using data from a variety of sources, including the US Census Bureau and the IRS. The report assigns each city a general retirement score based on six factors:

  1. Affordability of housing costs
  2. the desire
  3. happiness
  4. Health care quality
  5. Retirement taxes
  6. job market

Researchers surveyed 3,100 people ages 45 and older about which of these categories would be most important to them in retirement and assigned weights to these categories accordingly.

Lancaster scored particularly high in the healthcare category, but scored lower in the housing affordability category on its way to an overall score of 7.2 out of 10, according to the analysis.

The city offers a mixture of rolling farmland and a bustling downtown that hosts arts and cultural events such as First Fridays, which feature exhibitions and performances from the local art community. In addition, 18% of the population is over the age of 65, according to the results of the study.

For those looking to save money on housing in retirement, these costs in Lancaster are lower than the national average. The median home price there is about $290,354, according to US News & World Report. Meanwhile, the national median home price as of the first quarter of 2023 is about $436,800 per Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Pennsylvania’s second largest city, the state capital Harrisburg, was second on the list. It scored slightly lower in the healthcare category, which lowered its ranking, but scored highly in the housing affordability department.

Florida makes its first appearance on the list with Pensacola in third place. Although the beach city had a slightly higher score in housing affordability, it did not score well in the healthcare category, causing its ranking to drop.

Pennsylvania and Florida clearly dominate the top spots on the list of best places to retire. Retirees benefit from certain tax breaks in both states. Florida does not tax income and Pennsylvania does not tax pensions and distributions from 401(k)s, IRAs or Social Security, according to Kiplinger.

Here are the top 10 US cities for retirees, according to US News & World Report:

  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  2. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  3. Pensacola, Florida
  4. Tampa, Florida
  5. York, Pennsylvania
  6. Naples, Florida
  7. Daytona Beach, Florida
  8. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  9. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  10. Reading, Pennsylvania

While lists like this can be helpful as you research potential retirement locations, remember that everyone’s ideal retirement is unique and shaped by different priorities. For example, you may want to be closer to family or move to a country with a lower cost of living than you currently are.

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