Showing posts with label retirement communities in Lancaster County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retirement communities in Lancaster County. Show all posts

Friday, September 3, 2021

The Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania

Over the years, this blog has repeatedly been asked about the best places to retire.  Of course, many people who are planning their retirement immediately jump to the conclusion that they should only consider sunbelt locations such as Arizona, Florida, or the states along the Gulf Coast.  However, not everyone wants to move far away from their loved ones and, in the Northeast, Pennsylvania has become a popular retirement destination, with a number of attractive small towns and retirement communities.

This week's guest post was submitted by a representative of one of those retirement communities, United Zion, and provides general information about why so many retirees are discovering that Pennsylvania can be an appealing retirement destination.  

If you are unfamiliar with all the attractions which Pennsylvania has to offer, you may also want to learn more about the wealth of activities in the state by reading "Backroads & Byways of Pennsylvania: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions." (Ad) After reading this book, you'll know why so many people have fallen in love with Pennsylvania!

The author's guest post is below:  

Pennsylvania is considered one of the top states for retirement in the US. With charming towns, breathtaking wildlife, and an active population, the Keystone State is one of the best states to consider when planning for your retirement.

Continue reading to discover the best places to retire in Pennsylvania.

Evaluating Where to Retire: Pennsylvania vs. Surrounding States

There are 50 states in the country. Each state has its own merits, which makes it worthy of consideration as a place to retire. However, some states are more conducive to the retirement stage than other states.

One of these states is Pennsylvania. This is not surprising, because the quality of life is commendable in some regions, especially for folks who wish to enjoy their golden years in a peaceful home.

The magazine, US News & World Report, awarded Lancaster, Pennsylvania the top spot in its "2019 Best Places to Retire" list. From scenic parks and walking trails, to the quaint shops along tree-lined historic city streets, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Lancaster when you're not hitting the putting green of your suburban community.

Two main reasons make Lancaster, PA, an ideal spot to settle down.

The first reason is the happy life of Lancaster residents. The second reason is the affordable prices of housing in the city.

Lancaster, PA, ranked first among the 100 places that made it to the list in 2019. The other top ten contenders were Fort Myers, FL, Sarasota, FL, Austin, TX, Pittsburgh, PA, Grand Rapids, MI, Nashville, TN, San Antonio, TX, Dallas–Fort Worth, TX, and Lakeland, FL.

Based on the more recent 2020-2021 list from US News & World Report, Lancaster is still considered one of the top five places to retire in the US. Other areas in Pennsylvania which made it to the top 100 include Harrisburg, Allentown, Philadelphia, and York.

You'll want to explore the state of Pennsylvania if you are planning on retiring in the US. The Keystone State offers a wide variety of options for retirees. You can choose to live in any of the state's larger cities, or slip away to the countryside where you can enjoy a simpler life in a small town with fresh air and beautiful, starry skies.

Location/Tax Rates in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is ideal as a retirement haven because it is a tax-friendly state.

According to tax information from SmartAsset, Pennsylvania has a total tax exemption for Social Security income. It does not collect state income taxes on pension income for senior citizens who are 60 years old and above.

On top of this, the state has tax exemption on payments from retirement accounts, including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s.

Property tax rates in Pennsylvania are, indeed, higher than average. However, the state's average total sales tax rate is considered one of the 20 lowest in the US.

In general, Pennsylvania is a state where retirees can have the advantage of overall low state tax rates.

Areas in Pennsylvania

It's a practical idea to familiarize yourself with the different areas of Pennsylvania, if you are considering retiring in the state.

Susquehanna River Valley

Located in the heart of Central Pennsylvania, you'll find the Susquehanna River Valley. Based on resources from, the area is conveniently accessible by Interstates 80 and 81 and Routes 11, 15, 45, 192, 61.

The Susquehanna River Valley comprises three counties in Central Pennsylvania: Snyder, Union, and Northumberland Counties.


Situated in Dauphin County, Hershey, Pennsylvania, has an estimated population of 14,411, according to statistics from Livability.

The average income in Hershey is $67,325. The standard home value is $292,552.


Located in the heart of Amish Country, you'll find Lancaster, PA. The city has an approximate population of 61,872, based on Livability information.

The standard income in Lancaster is $39,127. The average value of homes is $119,492.


Lititz is situated in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. The town has an estimated population of 9,702, according to resources from Livability.

The average income in Lititz is $58,234. The standard home value is $191,253.

Community Life in Lititz, Pennsylvania

You may be asking yourself, "Is Lititz, PA a good place to live?"

Lititz, located in Lancaster County, is one of the best places to retire in Pennsylvania. Aside from the quality of life, low tax rates, and other factors mentioned above, it also showcases a warm, vibrant community.

Lititz was named the "coolest small town in America" by Budget Travel. It gained recognition because of its rich historical heritage, lively presence, and myriad of attractions like cultural landmarks, restaurants, galleries, shops, and events.

About our Community

If you are still looking for the best places to retire in Pennsylvania, we invite you to explore United Zion Retirement Community located in Lititz, PA.

United Zion is a compassionate, close-knit Life Planning Community in Lititz, PA. Our professional and warm staff, small community setting, and beautiful surroundings create an inviting, comfortable living environment. Our mission is to provide the highest quality of care to each resident in a nurturing environment.

Staying in one of the residential living cottages and apartments in this retirement community will allow you to maximize your enjoyment of your golden years in Pennsylvania.

Call us at (717) 626-2071, or send us a message to learn more about our retirement community.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.  You will never be contacted for any other reason.
To learn more about financial planning, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, common medical problems as we age, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

You are reading form the blog:

Photo provided by the Union Zion Community

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Retire to Friendly Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

For those readers who hope to retire in the Northeast and are looking for charming small towns, low taxes, and appealing retirement communities, one area to consider is Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  This county is in the center of Pennsylvania Dutch country and has a large Amish population.  Last year I wrote an article on one of the retirement communities in the county, named Garden Spot Village, and thought my readers would enjoy knowing more about this growing retirement mecca.

Reasons to Retire in Lancaster County

There are a number of reasons why retirees are being attracted to this lovely area.  The number one comment that I have heard over and over again is the small town friendliness.  For people who are used to living in some of the big cities on the Eastern seaboard, this is very appealing.

Lancaster County is also in a convenient location for people who do not want to move too far away from their grown children and grandchildren.   Depending on exactly where you settle within the county, it is approximately 90 minutes from Philadelphia, two hours from Washington, D.C., and three hours away from New York City.

Low taxes are another attraction for retirees.  The sales tax is 6% and groceries, clothing, prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines are exempt.  The state income tax is a flat rate of 3.07% of your taxable income, and your Social Security benefits and both private and public pensions are exempt from the state income tax.  This means that many retirees will pay little or no state income tax.  Property taxes vary throughout the county, so new residents may want to take that into consideration when they decide where to settle.  In one estimate I saw, the property taxes on a $167,000 house would be $6,805 in the city of Lancaster and only $4,041 in the Ephrata Township.  This is a significant difference, and should be taken into account when choosing where to live.  However, for people who are moving out of the large metropolitan areas in the East, just the fact that they can find homes in the $160,000 price range is a welcome advantage to living in Lancaster County.

Retirement Communities in Lancaster County

Currently there are at several communities for residents over the age of 55 in Lancaster County.  Here is a little information about each of them, as well as their phone numbers in case you want more detailed information or would like to arrange a visit.  Since this article is being written in 2013, interested readers will have to check on pricing, since it will change over the years.  However, the prices listed below will give you a general idea what you expect.

Traditions of America at Mount Joy
(717) 492-4529

New homes ranging in price from about $225,000 to over $300,000.  There is a clubhouse and pool.

Home Towne Square
(717) 283-5790

Developed by nationally known Landmark Homes, prices for single family homes range from about $250,000 to around $310,000.   There is a clubhouse as well as walking and hiking trails.

Heritage Strasburg
(800) 325-3030

Built by Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, this 55-plus community is on 28 acres conveniently located adjacent to the main street in the town of Strasburg, Pennsylvania.  Homes range from approximately $225,000 to over $300,000.

United Zion Retirement Community
(717) 626-2071

Another choice in Lancaster County is United Zion Retirement Community.  According to its website, it is "a friendly, faith-inspired Life Plan Community .... which offers independent living cottages and apartments, personal care, and skilled nursing services, including short-term rehabilitation."

Willow Valley Retirement Communities
(800) 770-5445

This is a continuing care retirement community where you can start out in an independent living apartment and gradually move into a skilled nursing or memory support facility as the need arises.  Residents pay a purchase price which ranges from $73,500 to $428,500 to move into the community plus a monthly fee of over $1,235. 

Garden Spot Village in New Holland
(717) 355-6000

You will want to read more about this popular community by reading last year's article which I have linked here: Garden Spot Village.  They offer a nice selection of retirement apartments, cottages and homes, with continuing care available when needed.  The apartments start at about $81,000, with cottages and townhomes going up in price to over $300,000.

Healthcare in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

In addition to the retirement communities that offer skilled nursing facilities, there are also excellent hospitals and medical centers in the county.  Among them are Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster Regional Medical Center (affiliated with Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute), Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz, and Ephrata Community Hospital.

If you are interested in learning more as you prepare for retirement, you may want to use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article, or check out the index articles shown below.  Each one contains links to a wide variety of additional articles on those topics:

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

Sources of information:
Where to Retire Magazine, March/April 2013

You are reading from the blog:

Photo of  North Duke Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania courtesy of