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Pennsylvania dominates list of best places to retire

Pennsylvania cities dominated a recent list of best places to retire published by U.S. News & World Report.

The company recently released a list of the 150 best places in the country to retire and seven of the top 10 cities were in the commonwealth, including the entire top five.

While those cities lie in more heavily populated areas of the state, many of the factors and trends used to formulate the list apply in northwestern Pennsylvania as well.

“Affordability is the most heavily weighted of the six factors in the 2024 Best Places to Retire methodology, which also includes happiness, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings,” according to the publication.

“Pennsylvania uses its lottery dollars specifically on programs for people age 60 and older,” Executive Director of Experience Inc., the Warren-Forest Area Agency on Aging, Danell Sowers said. “Many of these programs come through the (Pennsylvania) Department of Aging and then the local area agencies on aging. Pennsylvania has 52 area agencies on aging serving 67 counties. Many other states have regionalized their AAA’s and have lost that local presence in their communities.”

Other programs supported by lottery funds include the PACE prescription drug program and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

“It’s clear why Pennsylvania dominates U.S. News and World’s list: not only do we have a growing population of older adults, but Pennsylvania has also taken critical steps to allow them to remain in their homes and to be active in their communities,” Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich said. “For any older adult who may be seeking services and support in their community, I encourage them to visit the Department of Aging’s website or contact their local AAA. We are here to help achieve that brighter future for all.”

According to census data, population changes reflect the trend.

Statewide, the growth rate of Pennsylvania’s population aged 65 and older was more than 20 times the growth rate of the overall population between the 2010 and 2020 censuses. In Warren County, that population increased at a rate of 19.6 percent, while overall population declined by 9.5 percent.

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