We have long known it to be true, but U.S. News and World Report just confirmed it – Lancaster is the #1 place in the entire country to retire in 2019!
Up from 2nd place in this year’s rankings, Lancaster gets great marks for housing affordability, and especially its healthcare resources. Other factors considered to determine scoring were things like happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, and the job market in the local area. Survey data was collected from individuals in two age groups: pre-retirees who were 45-59 and people over 60 and examined the largest 100 metropolitan areas in the United States.
To celebrate our “win” this year, we’re taking a closer look at how Lancaster shines in some of the most significant areas that these rankings considered, specifically healthcare access, value/affordability, and overall quality of life.
Lancaster’s outstanding healthcare resources
Lancaster scored an impressive 9.3 out of 10 on the Healthcare Quality Index portion of the 2019 Best Places to Retire rankings.
U.S. News looks at its own Best Hospitals rankings and considers how geographically close the best ranked and rated facilities are to each metro area, within 250 miles. Because Lancaster is so conveniently located near major health hub cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore, and has its own high-quality healthcare resources within the community, it scored higher than almost every other metro area (only New York City got a perfect 10 score, and only Philly and Allentown, PA scored higher).
Here in Lancaster, people have an incredible number of hospitals and health systems to choose from, and these facilities are expanding and becoming more sophisticated all the time. For example, long-time hometown health system, Lancaster General Health, recently became integrated with Penn Medicine in Philadelphia to bring big-city medical resources even closer to the area. UPMC Pinnacle hospitals in Lancaster and Lititz, WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, and the Penn State Medical Group, centered in nearby Hershey, represent additional options within Lancaster County.
Of course, the strong healthcare resources offered at our independent retirement communities, including home care services, give residents even more choices. And, if you need to see a specialist at some of the best hospitals in the country, such as Johns Hopkins in Baltimore (the #3 best hospital in the country), Lancaster County is a great place to be based, as well. These experts are all within easy reach from Lancaster via relatively short car or train trips.
Lancaster is still a great value
It seems like life gets more and more expensive every year, though our incomes never keep up. This is especially true in some regions of the country more than others, of course. Lancaster offers a better value than metro areas of a similar size (roughly 500,000 people), though, so your dollars tend to stretch just a little further here.
In fact, U.S. News gives Lancaster a 7/10 rating on value, due in large part to the affordability of real estate in the area.
Food, healthcare, transportation, and other miscellaneous costs are on par with national averages, which means the overall cost of living tends to be relatively budget-friendly for many. Additionally, for retirees relying on Social Security income, Pennsylvania is a generous state, which helps boost Lancaster’s affordability even more for older residents. As of this year, it remains one of the 37 that does not collect tax on Social Security income. And it’s one of only twelve that does not tax pension income.
Live your best life in Lancaster!
To develop their so-called Happiness Index, U.S. News consulted a comprehensive Gallup-Healthways study that seeks to rank the well-being of people within various metropolitan areas. Lancaster scores extremely well in terms of how happy its residents are, and that translates to excellent quality of life throughout the county. In fact, Lancaster residents specifically experience enjoyment at higher rates than people living in almost any other metro in the USA.
Why are Lancastrians loving life so much? It’s true that in addition to excellent healthcare access, Lancaster County also offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation, as we talked about in an earlier blog post. It’s common knowledge that fresh air and open spaces are good for the heart and soul!
And, Lancaster is also dedicated to keeping its unique local environment clean and green. Residents sincerely care about the community they live in, and this pride boosts happiness, too.
Make the best place to retire your place to retire
Dreaming of a more affordable, happier place to call home in retirement? Discover for yourself why Lancaster is #1! Get in touch with us today or contact any of our independent retirement communities directly to schedule a personal visit.
And, don’t miss our annual Explore Retirement Living Open House – coming up again soon! Join us on October 20, 2018 between 10AM and 4PM as our local retirement communities open their doors for tours, information sessions, and a showcase of exactly why Lancaster is the best place to retire!