US News & World Report unveiled 2019’s Best Places to Retire in the U.S. last week and, my oh my, Pennsylvania did well! Florida and Texas cities also ranked well, but our very own Pennsylvania holds the TOP spot with Lancaster receiving the highest honors. And, we are proud! Another feather in the cap goes to Pittsburgh for ranking as the FIFTH best place to retire in the country.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, topped the list at No. 1 due to increases in housing affordability and the overall happiness of its residents. And, it’s no wonder. We hear all the time from our homeowners at Lititz that they simply LOVE where they live. And, that makes sense. Lititz is often warmly referred to as “America’s Coolest Small Town.” Editors at US News & World Report had this to say: “Lancaster offers a balance between natural and commercial spaces that residents appreciate. Expansive farms rub elbows with manicured suburbs, which lead right into the bustling city. A short drive can take one through each of these environments. Each area boasts its own unique groups of inhabitants: farmers, families, college students and young professionals. From close-knit church communities to the indie coffee shop scene, Lancaster holds something for everyone.”
Fort Myers, Florida, jumped from No.15 to No. 2 due to increases in desirability and happiness scores. Sarasota, Florida, fell from No. 1 to No. 3 this year due to a decline in both overall happiness and desirability. Austin, Texas, jumped to No. 4 from No. 9 due to an increase in desirability, followed by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, rounding out the top 5. Here is what the editors had to say about Pittsburgh: “Known by nicknames like Blitzburgh and Steel City, Pittsburgh is on the verge of greater heights. Emerging from a dying steel industry, Pittsburgh is earning another name: reinvention city. Since the steel mills closed in the 1980s, Pittsburgh feels cleaner and full of energy. Pittsburgh encompasses almost 2,000 acres of land in just its city parks, and offers county parks, state parks and riverfront parks to its residents.” Our residents at Cranberry, Summer Seat and Pinnacle at Adams definitely reap the benefits of living so close to Pittsburgh, yet surrounded by natural, wooded areas and open space.
The rankings offer a comprehensive evaluation of the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, desirability, health care and overall happiness. “Deciding where to retire is a big decision,” says Emily Brandon, senior editor for Retirement at U.S. News. “The Best Places to Retire offers a way for future retirees to make a more informed decision based on what matters the most to them. Whether that be housing affordability, access to quality hospitals or the desirability of a place in general, the rankings offer a comprehensive list that can point people in the best direction for their needs.”
This year, U.S. News increased the weight of the desirability metric from 10% to 15% as it provides a more balanced understanding of the opinions gathered through consumer surveys. Desirability is one of the six factors in the 2019 Best Places to Retire methodology that includes housing affordability, desirability, retiree taxes, the happiness index, job market and health care quality. These measures were selected and weighted-based on a public survey of pre-retirees (age 45-59) and retirement-age (age 60+) individuals across the U.S to find out what matters most when considering a place to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.
Here are the top ten:
(1) Lancaster, PA, (2) Fort Myers, FL, (3) Sarasota, FL, (4) Austin, TX, (5) Pittsburgh, PA, (6) Grand Rapids, MI, (7) Nashville, TN, (8) San Antonio, TX, (9) Dallas-Forth Worth, TX and (10) Lakeland, FL. Another Pennsylvania city earning high marks was Allentown, PA in the Lehigh Valley coming in at number 18. The Lehigh Valley has been a long-time favorite area of Traditions of America, having completed several successful communities there with a new one on the way: Traditions of America at Green Pond in Bethlehem. Visit one of our communities today to see for yourself what the buzz is all about – you’ll be glad you did. And, get on the list to hear the latest news about Green Pond.
Sources: BuilderOnline.com October 10, 2018 article and US News & World Report 2019 Best Places ranking