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Ranking: Top 5 best places to retire in 2024

By Jake Beardslee · January 31, 2024

5 - Allentown, Pennsylvania

Located within an hour's drive of both New York City and Philadelphia, Allentown provides convenient access to large urban areas while maintaining a lower cost of living. This proximity to major metro areas means residents have top-tier healthcare options, contributing to Allentown's high ranking. Though one of the largest metro areas in Pennsylvania, Allentown preserves a charming small-town feel and is home to many historic properties.  Paul Leiby/Wikimedia

4 - Scranton, Pennsylvania

Situated within a two hour drive of both New York City and Philadelphia, Scranton offers retirees the appeal of living near major metro areas while enjoying the benefits of a small town community. These benefits include more affordable housing, lower crime, and a relaxed pace of life. Scranton also ranks well for access to quality healthcare. History lovers will appreciate visiting the Lackawanna County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Retirees will feel at home, as nearly 20% of residents are aged 65 or older.  Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA/Wikimedia

3 - Daytona Beach, Florida

With its beautiful beaches and sunny climate, Daytona Beach ranks highly for desirability, coming in at number 3. As a popular tourist spot boasting 23 miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, it's easy to find a relaxing area along the white sand beaches to read, swim or simply enjoy the surroundings. While drawn to Daytona Beach's lively energy, retirees also appreciate its favorable tax situation. An upbeat city renowned for motor sports, Daytona sees huge crowds of NASCAR fans flocking to events like the Daytona 500 at the famous Daytona International Speedway.  Yinan Chen/Wikimedia

2 - Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown offers a friendly community atmosphere in northeastern Ohio near the border with Pennsylvania. Earning a high ranking of #2 overall and for affordability based on factors like housing costs and overall expenses, retirement funds will go further in Youngstown. A major presence is Youngstown State University, which brings over 12,000 students to its sizeable campus and Division 1 sports programs. Retirees can benefit from senior discounts on activities such as golfing at Mill Creek MetroParks, consisting of 5000 acres featuring bike and hiking trails, courses, and lakes.  Dblcut3/Wikimedia

1 - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, rose to claim the top spot. It receives high scores for senior access to quality healthcare, ranking 10th, and resident happiness at 15th. Harrisburg also offers a tax-friendly environment at 32nd for retiree taxes. Situated on the Susquehanna River, Riverfront Park provides a wonderful spot for activities like running, biking, or scenic walking. Nearby state forests appeal to outdoorsy retirees interested in hiking or camping. Major metro areas like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. are within easy driving distance for visits.  David Wilson/Wikimedia