Retiring in the U.S.-With an estimated 75 million American Baby Boomers retiring by 2030, the hunt to find the best metro area for seniors is more competitive than ever.
Move over Golden Girls’ Shady Pines old folks’ home in sunny Florida and make some room for Pennsylvania. The keystone state has snapped up the top two spots in U.S. News and World Report’s 10 Best Places to Retire in America.
Researchers evaluated the top 150 metro areas, assigning them scores based on a weighted average of points earned across the following six categories:
- Housing affordability (24%)
- Resident happiness (22%)
- Health care quality (16%)
- Retiree tax rates (16%)
- Desirability (13%)
- Job opportunities (9%)
Thanks partly to retirees prioritizing housing affordability, Lancaster, Pennsylvania ranked as the best place in the country to retire for 2022-2023. As home prices rise above last year’s highs, mortgage interest rates continue to increase, prices of goods and services remain high, and recession fears grow, the survey shows affordable housing is the top concern for seniors.
In all, the Mid-Atlantic commonwealth took half of the top 10 spots. Several Pennsylvania cities topped the 2022-2023 rankings, including Harrisburg, York, Allentown, and Reading – cities that typically have high-quality health care and residents who report liking where they live.
More than two-thirds (68%) of the top 25 metro areas to retire are either in Pennsylvania or Florida.
Florida still ranks high nationally
Florida remains a highly desirable destination for retirees, with a total of four areas ranking in the top 10 but that’s down from eight spots last year.
Based on what survey respondents from across the country who are at or nearing retirement age said were the most important factors in choosing where to live, four Florida cities earned high marks in a number of categories and the sunshine state remains an attractive place for seniors seeking to live close to the beach in their golden years. Pensacola, Tampa, Naples, and Daytona Beach all ranked in the top ten due to consistent housing costs and a continuing high desire to retire in Florida.
Further north, Ann Arbor, Michigan is the only city not in Florida or Pennsylvania to make the list, ranking as the eighth-best city to retire in the U.S. The report calls Tree Town “a city of contrasts” due to its urban center, rural outlying areas, large number of long-time residents, seasonal college students, historic downtown, and fast-growing start-up scene.
- Lancaster, PA
- Harrisburg, PA
- Pensacola, FL
- Tampa, FL
- York, PA
- Naples, FL
- Daytona Beach, FL
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Allentown, PA
- Reading, PA
Housing and health care costs are big factors
While home prices around the U.S. are beginning to cool, affordability is still key for those retiring in the U.S., given that they live on fixed incomes.
The average interest rate on a typical 30-year mortgage surpassed 7% last month, the highest level since 2001, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Many Florida cities have grown increasingly more expensive, putting the gulf state out of reach for some retirees.
This year’s list evaluated the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, health care, desirability, and overall happiness.
Each city was given a score on a 10-point scale based on desirability, job market, affordability, health care, happiness, and tax friendliness.
The measures factored into the rankings were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those at retirement age (60 or older) to determine key factors in considering retiring in the U.S..
Data came from survey responses of adults above age 45, FBI Uniform Crime reports, the U.S. Census Bureau and Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital rankings, tax rates, and environmental rankings, among other sources.
The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up-to-date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not accept any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.
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