U.S. News Names Lancaster as Its No. 1 Place in the U.S. to Retire

covered bridge in fall
Image via Discover Lancaster at Instagram.
Four fully appealing seasons was one justification for U.S. News and World Report to recommend Lancaster as the No. 1 retirement destination in the U.S.

U.S. News and World Report has chosen nearby Lancaster, Pa., as its top pick as a retirement location, citing it as the most desirable post-career setting in the nation. Emily Brandon listed the reasons why in her story.

The annual U.S. News assessment of best places to retire parses data on:

  • Housing affordability
  • Retiree taxes
  • The job market
  • Access to quality healthcare
  • Overall happiness of current residents

The distinction of Lancaster as a top choice lifts it four levels from its 2021 ranking of No. 5 across the country.


Lancaster’s residential real estate market is very friendly toward retirees, allowing them to purchase or rent without decimating their limited incomes.

On a monthly basis, a home mortgage averages $1,556, and median apartment rent is $1,050.

Although these price points can be beaten elsewhere, few other retirement locales offer the amenities of Lancaster at the same cost.


The Lancaster tax structure carries forward several benefits offered by the commonwealth.

For example, Social Security benefits are not considered taxable income, and IRA/401(k) disbursements after age 59½ are also generally exempt from state income tax.

Even income that is taxed — rent on owned property or nonretirement investments, for example — is charged at a favorable flat-tax rate of 3.07 percent.


The nearest institutional care provider in Lancaster is Lancaster General Hospital, a top-rated facility according to the U.S. News best hospital rankings.

Specialized treatment is within a drivable reach, owing to Lancaster’s proximity to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and their renown medical expertise.


Lancaster offers connectedness, a large factor in seniors’ ability to feel generally well off and content with their surroundings.

It’s history, food, arts, culture, educational, and athletic opportunities give seniors much to choose from to remain vibrant and engaged.

Also upping the contentment factor is the county’s appealing array of seasons across its beautiful vistas.

Currently, it is dressed in the russets and golds of fall foliage that will eventually cede to expanses of snow-covered landscapes. From there, spring breaks forth and eventually summer — with it’s lively farm markets laden with harvested fresh vegetables — comes again to the fore.

More on the appeal of Lancaster — for retiree living and visits by everyone else — is at U.S. News and World Report.

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