U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, unveiled the 2022-2023 Best Places to Retire in the United States.
This year’s list evaluated the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ retirement expectations, including housing affordability, health care, desirability, and overall happiness – resulting in four new areas in the top five.
Pennsylvania Is Top 3 of 5
Pennsylvania earned three of the top five spots in this year’s list, surpassing Florida in overall top 10 appearances. Lancaster, PA moved up four spots to secure the No. 1 rank due to its scores on health care for seniors, retiree tax rates, and the overall happiness of its residents. Harrisburg, PA rose 11 positions to the No. 2 spot, and Pensacola, FL rose seven positions to No. 3. Tampa, FL moved up two positions to No. 4 and York, PA saw the largest jump to a top five position, rising 12 positions to No. 5.
“The drastic shift in the housing market, high inflation, and concerns of a pending recession have retirees weighing housing affordability more heavily when considering where to retire,” said Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement.
“Additionally, with COVID still a concern and access to good, affordable health care being of importance to retirees, Pennsylvania dominated the Best Places to Retire ranking’s top positions, taking five of the top 10 spots on the list.”
Florida remains a highly desired location for retirees, with several areas placing high in the rankings and nine appearances in the top 25.
But the 2022-2023 ranking’s emphasis on housing affordability, retiree taxes, and overall happiness gave way for Fort Wayne, IN to soar 43 spots to No. 15. Other notable top 25 increases include Youngstown, OH moving up 38 positions to No. 21, and Toledo, OH rising 30 positions to No. 23.
Housing Affordability Is Most Heavily Weighted
This year, housing affordability is most heavily weighted out of the six factors in the 2022-2023 Best Places to Retire methodology, which also includes happiness, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings.
“With fixed-rate mortgage rates more than doubling over the past year, it stands to reason that falling affordability would lead to changes in the rankings of the Best Places to Retire,” said Patrick S. Duffy, real estate economist.
“As long as both rates and home prices are high, indexes related to things like happiness or health care quality, while important, will take a back seat to affordability. For those lucky buyers able to purchase with cash, as investors, they should still be mindful of housing values adjusting lower to compensate for rising mortgage rates.”
The six measures factored into this year’s rankings were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to find out what matters most when considering where to retire.
Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sharecare, as well as U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings.
Best Places to Retire is part of U.S. News’ expanding Real Estate channel, which provides rankings, tools and advice to help individuals navigate the housing market, from getting a mortgage and home value estimate to working with an agent and buying and selling a home.
2022-2023 U.S. News Best Places To Retire – Top 10
*See the full rankings here.
- Lancaster, PA
- Harrisburg, PA
- Pensacola, FL
- Tampa, FL
- York, PA
- Naples, FL
- Daytona Beach, FL
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Allentown, PA
- Reading, PA