published : 2023-11-08

Pennsylvania Takes Top Spots in Best Cities to Retire in 2024

Harrisburg claims the number one position, followed by Lancaster, New York City, York, and Pittsburgh

A scenic view of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, taken with a Nikon D850

Pennsylvania has solidified its position as the best U.S. location to retire, with Harrisburg taking the prestigious title in the newly-released U.S. News & World Report's '2024 Best Places to Retire' report. This Pennsylvania capital city surpassed all others in rankings, thanks to its excellent senior healthcare, retiree tax rates, and overall happiness. It outshone its performance from the previous year by claiming the number one spot, leaving 149 other cities trailing behind.

Lancaster, also located in Pennsylvania, secured a prominent position on the list after taking first place in the previous year. This south-central city, known for its rich history and being one of the oldest inland towns in the United States, continues to be a desirable retirement locale.

U.S. News & World Report utilized six categories to determine the rankings, making some adjustments compared to the previous year. Factors such as weather temperateness, the availability of restaurants, bars, and activities per 1,000 residents, as well as affordability and happiness scores, contributed to the overall city rankings. The inclusion of price parity for general goods in the affordability score aimed to provide a comprehensive assessment.

An aerial shot of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, showcasing its historic charm, taken with a Canon EOS R5

Surprisingly, New York City emerged as the sixth-best metropolitan area for retirees in 2024. Climbing up from its fourteenth position the previous year, it showcased its appeal as a retirement destination.

Notably, Pennsylvania continued its dominance in the top ten list, occupying multiple spots. York secured the seventh-place position, while Pittsburgh experienced a remarkable climb from twentieth to tenth place. According to U.S. News personal finance expert Beverly Herzog, Pennsylvania's cities shined due to their ability to offer affordable yet fulfilling retirement lifestyles.

It is no wonder that Pennsylvania has become the go-to state for retirees, surpassing Florida as the top destination for retirement. With the highest number of top-ten cities, Pennsylvania showcases its appeal as a retirement haven.

A vibrant street scene in New York City, displaying the city's energy and diversity, taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III

As Americans face challenges like record-high housing market interest rates, increasing costs of goods, and extreme weather patterns, the rankings provide valuable insights for individuals seeking the best places to spend their golden years. The Federal Reserve estimates that retired individuals make up a significant portion of the adult population, highlighting the importance of finding locations that provide a happy and healthy retirement experience.