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- The remaining metropolitan areas are located in Florida, with the exception of Ann Arbor, Mich., which ranked eighth overall.
- Each destination was ranked based on a series of factors including overall happiness, housing affordability and health care quality.
- Out of the 150 cities ranked, San Jose, Calif., took the bottom spot.
Many Americans may put Florida as the No. 1 retirement spot in the country, but a new list from the U.S. News and World Report found Lancaster, Pa., is the best place to retire in the United States.
In fact, towns in Pennsylvania made up five of the top 10 ranked metropolitan areas, compared with four towns in Florida making the cut.
Lancaster, a city in Southeast Pennsylvania, scored a 7.2 out of a possible 10 based on indexes that measured happiness, housing affordability, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market. It was followed by Harrisburg, Pa.; Pensacola, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; and York, Pa.
Naples, Fla.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Allentown, Pa.; and Reading, Pa. rounded out the top 10 best places to retire, respectively.
One-hundred and fifty of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas were included in the analysis. Although individual preferences and proximity to family can heavily influence where retirees settle down, researchers determined the weights for each index via an online survey.
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A total of 3,100 individuals aged 45 or older completed the survey. The housing affordability index carried the most weight for each area’s overall score. It included factors like median annual housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage and median annual gross rent.
“Lancaster is affordable compared with other major metro areas, and homes are less expensive than the national median home sale price,” authors wrote, adding “food, health care, transportation and other living expenses fall in line with the national average.”
The happiness index was the second highest weighted factor, and included crime rates, air quality index, and well-being metrics.
In Harrisburg, “outdoor enthusiasts take advantage of the trails along the Susquehanna River and the region’s proximity to several state forests for recreational activities, such as hiking, climbing and camping,” the report reads. “Music lovers can attend concerts at local arenas and experience live music at area coffeehouses and bookstores.”
All top 10 cities boast a blend of easily accessible urban and rural settings. Many destinations are also home to historical districts and landmarks.
- Lancaster, Pa.
- Harrisburg, Pa.
- Pensacola, Fla.
- Tampa, Fla.
- York, Pa.
- Naples, Fla.
- Daytona Beach, Fla.
- Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Allentown, Pa.
- Reading, Pa.
As many retirees may look to settle in places with temperate climates, it’s no surprise Florida ranks highly among the best retirement destinations. But the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes could dissuade some from venturing south while winter storms in both Pennsylvania and Michigan could serve as trade-offs for retirees.