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Why Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is Ranked the Best Place to Retire

As a retiree (or someone about to retire), you might eagerly anticipate the newfound freedom awaiting you. That includes the freedom to decide where you want to live, and a little research can go a long way toward making an informed choice. Naturally, you should consider elements like affordability, healthcare rankings, tax laws, access to amenities, and other livability factors. But can you find a location that gets high marks for all (or even most) of these?


US News & World Report thinks so. It has ranked Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the #1 best place to retire in 2024 out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in America. Officially designated the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metro Area by the U.S. Census, this region includes suburbs like Carlisle, Hershey, and Newport. To rank the metropolitan areas, the publication calculates each city’s score in four category indexes that matter most to retirees.


Other top 10 US cities to retire in include Reading, Lancaster, Scranton, and Allentown, making retiring in Pennsylvania well worth considering as a whole.


Here’s why you should put the Harrisburg-Carlisle area at the top of your “retirement destinations” list.

The Factors Behind Harrisburg’s Appeal

Harrisburg PA living offers a long list of desirable factors that cater to the most important needs and desires of retirees (and then some):


  • Affordability. A crucial aspect of retirement planning is managing finances. Harrisburg stands out with its affordable living costs, particularly in housing. This affordability extends to the overall cost of living, providing retirees with a comfortable lifestyle without the financial strain.
  • Healthcare quality. Retirees prioritize access to quality healthcare. The Harrisburg-Carlisle PA Metro Area offers an abundance of hospitals, specialist services, and primary care offices to ensure that professionals meet senior health needs with the utmost care.
  • Desirability. Culture, environment, and community spirit often draw people to a specific region. This region’s rich history, scenic beauty, educational opportunities, passion for the arts, and friendly locals make it a highly attractive location for retirees.
  • Job market. For retirees wishing to stay active or pursue part-time work, Harrisburg’s job market is accommodating, providing opportunities without the pressures of a fast-paced work environment.
  • Retirement taxes. Favorable tax conditions for retirees enhance Harrisburg’s attractiveness. Not paying taxes on income from Social Security, pensions, and many other types of retirement accounts gives Pennsylvania residents more financial freedom and security.

Other Perks of Living in Harrisburg

Beyond these key factors, Harrisburg offers unique perks that also significantly enrich the retirement experience:


  • Proximity to major cities. Nestled within a reasonable driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, this region offers the comfort and tranquility of a smaller city or suburbs with easy access to urban centers.
  • Cultural richness. From its historical sites to cultural events, the sheer number of things to do in Harrisburg PA are all you need to keep your mind and spirit happily engaged.
  • Natural beauty. The city’s picturesque settings, including riverfront views, lush parks, and quiet forests provide a serene backdrop for a peaceful retirement. The Appalachian
    Mountains and state parks offer beautiful places to hike, bike, camp, and connect with nature.
  • Community events. A robust calendar of community events ensures that there’s always a fun or meaningful gathering to attend, fostering a strong sense of community among residents.
  • Educational opportunities. Institutions like Harrisburg University, Dickinson College, Messiah University, and Penn State University satellite campuses offer opportunities for lifelong learning, keeping retirees intellectually stimulated.
  • High-quality senior living communities. You can enjoy all that Harrisburg-Carlisle area has to offer and more from the campus of one of its many highly ranked retirement communities.


Harrisburg, PA, isn’t just a favorable place to retire; it's now the premier destination in America for living one's golden years to the fullest. With its balanced blend of livability factors and natural beauty, it's no wonder Harrisburg tops the charts​​.

Enjoy the Best Place to Retire With Chapel Pointe

Chapel Pointe is a faith-based continuing care retirement community located in the Harrisburg-Carlisle metro area. We commit each day to serving and enhancing the quality of life for people aged 62+ in Central Pennsylvania, offering amenities and services to boost our residents’ physical, mental, and spiritual health. We’re honored that our greater community sees the servant-heart of our nonprofit organization and consistently selects Chapel Pointe as “The Best of Cumberland County.”


Nestled in eight beautifully landscaped acres in Carlisle, PA, our welcoming campus is filled with interesting places to explore and amenities that make life easy, enjoyable, and meaningful. Contact us to learn more about how retiring at Chapel Pointe can provide financial security and peace of mind for the future.

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