Pennsylvania, named after Governor William Penn, is one of the most historically rich states in the US. It was part of the original 13 colonies, receiving its statehood in 1787.
In addition to being one of the original colonies, Pennsylvania is also home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the site of the Battle of Gettysburg as well as Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. And of course, it is also home to the Hershey Company.
Beyond, being the home to several monumental attractions, Pennsylvania also offers an abundance of cultural entertainment, such as:
- American Civil War Museum
- Carnegie Science Center
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
- The Franklin Institute – Interactive science museum open to the public
- Curtis Institute of Music (Free Recitals)
- Academy of Music – 1857 Opera House, which still has gas lamps in the front, that puts on a variety of shows.
- Kimmel Center – Art institute and concert Hall
As well as having several entertainment attractions, Pennsylvania is also home to a wide range of restaurants, everything from the high-end dining experience to the more cozy cafes and everything in between.
- Bolete – Upscale Farm to Table American Cuisine
- Binghams Restaurant – Cozy American Home Cooking
- Katie’s Kitchen – Amish and American Fare
- Marblehead Chowder House – Seafood
- Morimoto – Japanese Fare
- El Sol Mexican Restaurant
However, if you prefer spending time in the open air, Pennsylvania has an array of outdoor activities like:
- Horseback riding
- Bird Watching
So the question is, is Pennsylvania an ideal place to retire?
The short answer is Yes! The long answer is listed below.
For a long time, the preferred retirement destinations were the sunny warm weather states. However, times have changed, and people are taking into account other considerations such as retirement income tax, cultural entertainment, healthcare access, and public transit.
Regardless if you are looking for a rural area to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, or if you are looking to move to a more populated area to take advantage of the conveniences of the city, there are a few factors to always keep in mind:
- Average Cost of Living
- The population of those 60+ in the area
- Easy access to healthcare facilities
So, how does Pennsylvania measure up? Well, Pennsylvania rates quite well and is an ideal place to retire for several reasons, like:
- Low Retirement Income Tax Level
- A multitude of cultural entertainment
- Variety of Public Transit
- Rail – Regional and Intercity
- Bus – Rural and Urban Routes
- Park and Ride
- 10 of Pennsylvania’s Hospitals are amongst the best in the world
- Lower than Average Cost of Living
- 25% of the population is 60+
Bottom line, if you are looking to retire in a state that has:
- A strong of early American history
- An abundance of entertainment
- Hundreds of miles of hiking trails
- Some of the most trustworthy health care facilities in the world
then Pennsylvania is the state for you.
Where to Retire in Pennsylvania
Basic Population Statistics of Lancaster, PA
- 23% of the population is 60+
- 59,420 Overall population
Lancaster is a more substantial city in Pennsylvania and is known as Dutch Country. It is also home to the Franklin and Marshall College, which is the center of many new social events and entertainment, such as:
- Fulton Theater
- The American Music Theater
- Sight and Sound Theater
- Restaurants and Bars – Lancaster is becoming more of a foodie city attracting in new chefs from all over
And in the surrounding rural area resides several Amish and Mennonite communities, enjoying the quieter side of life. Both the Amish and Mennonite communities are open to visitors for buggy rides, farm tours, and theater.
Plus, Lancaster’s senior population is growing as the Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age, and is home several senior living communities and services like:
- Independent 55+ Retirement areas
- Assisted Living Apartments
- Rehabilitation Centers
- In-Home Care Services
Some of the other highlights of Lancaster are:
- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital – A top health care facility with both a general and surgical facility and has an emergency medicine department.
- A growing retirement population
- Several Educational Resources
- Lower than the national average crime rate
- Located on or near several major highways
Basic Population Statistics of Media, PA
- 15% of the population are 60+
- 5,362 overall population
Media is the perfect small town, yet it is an easy 45-minute drive to Philadelphia. Media has held onto it’s older classic architecture giving the borough its small-town charm.
Although it is encouraged that people retire in areas of 10,000 people or more to ensure there are ample human services, Media has that area covered.
According to Yahoo Finance, Media boasts 21 medical facilities per 1,000 residents and five recreation centers per 1,000 people. Additionally, Media hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including:
- American Roots Ramble
- Blues Stroll
- Jazz by Night Celebration
And music festivals aren’t the only thing they host, they also have events such as:
- Food and Craft Festival
- Dining Under the Stars
- Restaurant week
- Chinese New Year Celebration
Plus! Media is home to great entertainment sites such as:
- The Media Theater puts on a Broadway series of different musicals
- Variety of shopping from traditional to eclectic shops
- Pennsylvania Veterans Museum
- Delaware County Institute of Science
- Historic Archives Collection
So if you are looking for the charm of a small town, but within reach of the big city, Media might just be the perfect borough for you.
Basic Population Statistics of Harrisburg, PA
- 23% of the population are 60+
- 565,009 overall population
Harrisburg has many attractions, but one of the more famous ones is the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex. The design of the state capital building was strongly influenced by the architecture and design of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
In addition to the state capital complex, Harrisburg is also the neighbor to the famous city Hershey. For a great fun outing with the family, head over to Hershey’s amusement park and Hershey’s chocolate world, while you enjoy Hershey’s natural smell of cocoa.
Besides Hershey’s chocolate company, they are also home to the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which offers general medicine, a surgical center, and is also a teaching hospital.
But Harrisburg has a lot more to offer than just being the neighbor to Hershey. They are also a bustling and vibrant city. It is the perfect place for those who enjoy the urban culture, but still, appreciate taking in the great outdoors.
For the more active community, Harrisburg offers many parks, but best among those is Riverfront Park, perfect for biking and hiking. Plus, for those who want to escape to the quieter areas, the Appalachian Trail isn’t too far away.
And for those who prefer the city culture, there is an abundance of museums, art festivals, music venues, and of course Theatre Harrisburg where you can enjoy stage performances year-round.
The one drawback to Harrisburg is that it has a higher crime rate than the majority of the other Pennsylvania communities.
Basic Population Statistics of Allentown, PA
- 24% of the population are 60+
- 832,790 overall population
Allentown is conveniently located between Philadelphia and New York City but without the high cost of living or crime rate. Allentown has a lower crime rate than the national average.
However, you need not travel outside of Allentown to experience fine urban culture. Allentown is the proud home to several museums and theatres including:
- America on Wheels – Everything on wheels from bikes to trucks
- Allentown Art Museum
- Da Vinci Science Center
- Liberty Bell Museum
- National Museum of Industrial History
- Lehigh Millennium Folk Arch and Art Enclave
- Pines Dinner Theatre – Country-Style Playhouse that performs live musicals
- 19th Street Theatre – Historical theatre with live performances
Additionally, Lehigh Valley Hospital is also located in Allentown. Leigh Valley Hospital is part of the Lehigh Valley Health Network, which is the primary health provider in the area.
If you are seeking to escape city life and take in some nature, the Blue Mountain Range is just north of the city and southwest of town you will find South Mountain, both full of trails ready to be explored.
Finally, Allentown offers both suburban and urban living options. Suburban living is quieter with more neighborhood restaurants and markets. Whereas, city-dwelling, allows you to be within walking distance of some of your favorite dining locations and museums.
Basic Population Statistics of Doylestown, PA
- 30% of the population are 60+
- 8,300 overall population
USA Today named Doylestown one of the 10 best small town cultural scenes in America, in 2019. But don’t let that fool you into thinking Doylestown is a sleepy borough lacking in entertainment.
Doylestown might be on the smaller side, but they have premier museums, an art-deco theatre, and an active nightlife. If you enjoy bicycling or walking, taking the town tour is the best way to familiarize yourself with all that Doylestown has to offer.
Some of the interesting places you will find are:
- Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle
- James A. Michener Art Museum
- Doylestown Historical Society Research Center
- The Market at DelVal by Shady Brook Farm – Features the freshest produce in the area
- Numerous Antique shops
- Art Galleries
- Abington Art Center
Though Doylestown is a small town, it features an impressive health care system, with 12 medical facilities per 1,000 people. Also, amongst those medical centers, there is a cardiac group and arthritis center.
And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you to retire in Doylestown, they also have a significantly lower crime rate than the national average. In fact, it is safer than 76% of the cities in the US.
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