Every new retiree dreams of finding the perfect enclave for themselves (and possibly a significant other) – a place where they can live happily, access great healthcare, and spend active, fun days enjoying their surroundings. For a lot of seniors, that place is Florida… trust me, I used to live in a city nicknamed “God’s Waiting Room.” But I’m here to tell you a secret: Philadelphia consistently ranks among the top hotspots for retirees. Yes, it is also a magnet for families, working singles, and students. But the elderly have a special place in the City of Brotherly Love, as part of the attractive diversity that welcomes people of all ages, orientations, and walks of life. Need some convincing? The following are some of the top reasons why you should retire in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is rightly acknowledged to be one of the most affordable big cities on the East Coast. Your money will go a lot further here than in Boston or New York, and you’ll still have just about everything you could ever want from those places (more on that in a bit). The median home price in Philly is $180,000, compared to the national median of $185,000. That is trending upward, but Philadelphia still has a long way to go before its housing hits anything you’d get in the aforementioned metros. The cost of living is a bit above average, with an index of 119.5, compared to the national median of 100.0. Despite that, many people either starting out or slowing down are able to live comfortably here.
Pennsylvania has one of the nation’s most amenable tax codes for retirees. In the Keystone State, residents aged 59.5 or older don’t get taxed on their income from individual or workplace retirement accounts, or Social Security benefits. Also, overall, Penn residents who don’t earn an income don’t have to pay a wage tax. Every cent counts when one is on a fixed income, and saving on those taxes can really make a big difference in the long run.
Active living is always the goal of retirees, and Philadelphia will give that to you in spades. There are many museums, cultural institutions, and landmarks to visit and from which to learn new things and take away fresh ideas. The size of the city and the proliferation of entertainment means that you don’t have to worry about ever growing bored, either. Spend an entire day wandering world-class museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and get yo’ jam on the Rocky steps, Grandma!) and the Barnes Foundation. Or expand your horizons with concerts and lectures at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, where award-winning stage productions and acclaimed speakers take the stage.
Most neighborhoods in Center City Philadelphia have a high WalkScore, a widely-acknowledged metric of how “walkable” a place is, or how close it is to necessary amenities taking safe sidewalks/crosswalks and pedestrian friendliness into account. Many neighborhoods are so self-contained that you don’t even need a car to get around, with the bonus being that you don’t have to deal with Philly parking. Philadelphia is full of quiet streets, trails, parks, and any other type of path you prefer for your morning and evening stroll. The city also has an active network of bike lanes, encouraging adventurous seniors to get pedaling.
Thanks to its dense educational network, Philadelphia is home to some of the finest hospitals in the country. This is a necessary consideration in every retiree’s life, whether they have pre-existing health issues or are being realistic about their odds down the line. Philadelphia also scores high in the areas of homecare providers, senior living establishments, and aging services. No matter your needs, this city has them covered.
Chestnut Hill ranks among the best neighborhoods for seniors in the entire country. This is due to its low crime index, high walkability, number of doctors per capita, and the abundance of cafes, markets, and things to do within a short distance. Other great downtown Philadelphia nabes for seniors include Fishtown, Point Breeze, and Fairmount, all of which check the same criteria.