The top 10 U.S. cities for retirees — No. 1 isn’t in Florida

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has been named the top retirement destination in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Places to Retire in the U.S.” The report, which evaluated the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, ranked each city based on six factors, with Lancaster being the top choice for post-work years.

WalletHub ranked the best states for renters based on quality of life, comparing key measures in over 180 rental markets across the US. This is crucial when choosing a state, city, or neighborhood for home or rental purposes, as it significantly impacts the overall quality of life.

  1. Housing affordability
  2. Desirability
  3. Happiness
  4. Quality of health care
  5. Retiree taxes
  6. Job market

A study surveyed 3,100 people aged 45 and older to determine the most important retirement categories. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, scored high in health care but lower in housing affordability, with an overall score of 7.2 out of 10. The city offers rolling farmlands and a bustling downtown, hosting arts and culture events like “First Fridays.” About 18% of the population is over the age of 65. The median home price in Lancaster is below the national average, with a median of $290,354. Harrisburg, the state capital, is second, with a slightly lower health-care ranking but high housing affordability.

Florida’s Pensacola is third, but its health care ranking is lower. Pennsylvania and Florida dominate the top spots on the list of the best places to retire, with retirees benefiting from certain tax breaks in both states. Florida doesn’t tax income, while Pennsylvania doesn’t tax retirement pensions and distributions from 401(k)s, IRAs, or Social Security, according to Kiplinger.

Here are the top 10 U.S. cities for retirees, according to U.S. 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 these can be helpful while researching 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 state with a lower cost of living than where you currently are.

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