best places to retire in Pennsylvania

The 10 Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanians looking for the best retirement places don’t have to look too far away from home. In fact, according to a recent study by U.S. News & World Report, the Keystone State has seven of America’s best cities for retirement.

With affordable housing, a cost of living that falls below the national average, no taxes on retirement income, and heaps of amenities and attractions, it’s not hard to see why!

In today’s post, we’ll show you the best places to retire in Pennsylvania to help you better understand what the state offers. Let’s get started!


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Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania

1. Harrisburg

It seems only fitting to start with Harrisburg, the city ranked No.1 among the best places in Pennsylvania to retire. Sitting on the Susquehanna River, hikers, bikers, and runners enjoy exploring the trails along the river and vibrant waterfront, where annual festivals and events occur.

Residents also enjoy hiking in the nearby state parks and the famous Appalachian Mountains Trail. 

From a standard of living standpoint, Harrisburg is great. The city has a more affordable housing market and a lower cost of living than most East Coast cities, and it offers countless amenities. 

These include multiple medical centers, plenty of shops, and a wide selection of retirement communities.

Harrisburg Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

2. Johnstown

In the heart of Pennsylvania, Johnstown is a charming city famous for its friendly community, affordable living, and rich history. Retirees moving to Pennsylvania can find a lot to do here.

There are many restaurants to eat at, museums to visit, historic locations to explore, and beautiful scenery to admire. Sports fans will also appreciate the local baseball and ice hockey teams.

Johnstown also has a low crime rate, lower taxes than the national average, and several retirement options. These include senior living communities, independent living, and assisted living.

Johnstown Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

3. Penn Wynne

The large 65+ population and proximity to Philadelphia make Penn Wynne one of the best places to retire in Pennsylvania, particularly if you seek a more tranquil retirement with access to amenities and attractions.

The higher cost of living might put some retirees off, but the extra costs are worth it. Besides, Penn Wynne is tax friendly.

Retirees have access to a wide variety of shops and restaurants, world-class medical care, and all of Philadelphia’s main attractions. The district also has many retirement communities offering assisted living, retirement villages, and independent living. 

4. Jenkintown

Next, we have Jenkintown, a highly sought-after borough in Montgomery County. Just 10 miles from Center City Philadelphia, this Abington Township has a lovely suburban feel with quick and easy access to downtown, giving residents the best of both worlds.

A pedestrian-friendly city, Jenkintown makes it much easier for residents to access their favorite restaurants, shops, and attractions on foot. Meanwhile, the well-maintained trails and outdoor activities at Briar Bush Nature Center and Alverthorpe Park will keep you on your toes.

House prices in Jenkintown tend to be higher, but for the extra cost, you’ll have access to countless amenities, medical facilities, and attractions.

5. Philadelphia

Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is one of the best places in Pennsylvania to retire for many reasons. 

Retirees can enjoy a slower pace of life than in major cities like New York City. There are many things to do, and the standard of living is high. Philadelphia’s museums are some of the top ones in the country and worth a visit. The food scene is also excellent.

House and grocery prices align with the national average, and taxes are retirement friendly. All income from Social Security and retirement accounts is tax-exempt, so retirees have more money to spend doing the things they love. 

Better still, there are more than 120 55+ communities in the Philadelphia area, so you can rest assured you’ll find the perfect place to live.

Philadelphia Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

6. Lancaster

Lancaster offers an outstanding balance between commercial and natural space. You’ll enjoy the bustling city when you’re not exploring the rolling farmland. 

Lancaster’s top attractions include Lancaster Central MarketHistoric Rock Ford, the Lancaster Stormers baseball team, and Fulton Theatre. 

Lancaster ticks many boxes when it comes to the standard of living. House, health care, food, and transportation costs fall below the national average. There are multiple retirement communities in Lancaster, and a large percentage of the 65+ population also owns their homes.

Retirement community options in Lancaster include independent, assisted, nursing homes, and memory care.

Lancaster Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

7. Pleasant Hills

If you want to integrate into a retirement community, Pleasant Hills could be your best retirement destination. Here, you’ll find a large senior citizens group for retirees aged 55 and older. 

If you join this group, you’ll quickly make new friends and have many things to do. The group regularly organizes coffee mornings, days out, and activities such as line dancing. 

That’s not all Pleasant Hills has to offer, either! This small Allegheny County has a low cost of living, a low crime rate, and a world-class-rated hospital. There are also multiple retirement communities to choose from.

8. Bryn Mawr 

Bryn Mawr is one of Pennsylvania’s best places to retire if you’re looking for a livelier town to spend your golden years. It is a collegiate town with a vibrant downtown area jam-packed with shopping and dining opportunities. 

Retirees enjoy meeting their friends at the weekly farmers market, exploring Valley Forge National Park, and visiting numerous historical attractions. Prussia Mall, the largest shopping center in Pennsylvania, is also only a short drive away!

Retirees moving to Bryn Mawr have a wide selection of living options. These include affordable private housing, independent communities, assisted living, and luxury options.

9. New Castle

New Castle in Lawrence County is the best place on this list for small-town living. Surrounded by a lush green space, you’ll spend your retirement exploring the local parks, visiting the historical buildings, and meeting up with your friends for food and drink downtown.

Other popular attractions include the Lawrence County Historical Society, the Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, and Cascade Park.

House prices and living costs in New Castle sit around the national average, and a world-class hospital is nearby. As far as living options are concerned, retirees can choose from over 20 communities.

These communities offer everything from private housing and independent living to assisted living and memory care.

10. Allentown

The final destination on our list of the best places in Pennsylvania to retire is Allentown, the state’s third-largest metro area. If you love the hustle and bustle of city life, Allentown is perfect.

Here, you’ll find endless attractions, amenities, and opportunities. Popular attractions include Allentown Farmers Market, Coca-Cola Park Stadium, Allentown Art Museum, and Trexler Memorial Park

The city offers essentials such as medical centers, dental practices, grocery stores, and restaurants. From a cost of living standpoint, Allentown is fantastic.

The cost of living, house prices, grocery prices, and tax rates fall below the national average. Meanwhile, there are countless retirement living options.

Final Thoughts About the Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania

That concludes our list of the best places to retire in Pennsylvania. As you can see, the Keystone State has much to offer retirees seeking an affordable retirement packed with activities.

If Pennsylvania is the state for you, why don’t you spend some time narrowing down the options so you can find the city or town that offers everything you need?

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Jack Bolton is a content writer and blogger from the UK. He has a strong passion for travel and has an endless bucket list that he’s making his way through!

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