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Top 10 "Best Places to Retire" List Has Some Surprising Results

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

After working hard for years, most people dream of retirement. For many, that dream may involve relaxing in a new place and the white, sandy beaches of....Pennsylvania?

That's right; Pennsylvania.

A new report on The Best Places to Retire in the US was just released by US News and World Report. While Florida once again has its fair share of locations on the list, the top of the list this year was surprisingly dominated by Pennsylvania, led by Lancaster, PA in the #1 spot.

In fact, Pennsylvania towns made up 5 of the top 10, followed by Florida with 4 metro areas. Ann Arbor, Michigan checking in at #8, the only metro outside of PA and FL.

What made Pennsylvania so popular this year? A lot of it's based on how US News conducted their survey. Across the 150 metro areas studied, the top criteria included the "happiness" of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates and health care quality.

Not all factors were weighted equally, however. Housing affordability carried the most weight for each area’s overall score. It accounted for factors like median annual housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage as well as median annual gross rent.

"Happiness" was the second highest weighted factor. This index included elements like crime rates, air quality index, and well-being metrics.

The housing market boom, followed now by rising mortgage rates, ha forced retirees to weigh their options more heavily when it comes to choosing where to spend retirement.

With prices booming in many historically popular retirement destinations, and with many of the Pennsylvania metros scoring quite well in the happiness index, it only makes sense that we'd see changes in this year's report. Areas like Lancaster & Harrisburg largely avoided the extreme spike in housing prices that areas like Sarasota and Naples have experienced, which almost certainly influenced the rankings.

This list isn't a be all/end all of course. Many retirees will continue to flock to places like Jupiter or Del Ray, along with other high cost metros like San Diego, Santa Barbara or whatever areas specific retirees will find attractive. It also doesn't account for variables like hurricanes or snow storms, or for retirees that may summer in one area and spend their winters elsewhere.

That being said, we can take some directional information from the report. The changes in the economy are having material impacts on life decisions; people value quality of life and want to make sure their nest egg lasts throughout their retirement.

Will this result in actual demographic shifts? Individual preferences and specific family situations heavily influence where retirees will actually settle down, but perhaps the recent changes in the economy will lead to changes in retiree decisions. Only time will tell.

Here's a look at the top 10. For the full report, click here.

US News & World Report: Best Places to Retire in the US 2022-23:

  1. Lancaster, Pa.

  2. Harrisburg, Pa.

  3. Pensacola, Fla.

  4. Tampa, Fla.

  5. York, Pa.

  6. Naples, Fla.

  7. Daytona Beach, Fla.

  8. Ann Arbor, Mich.

  9. Allentown, Pa.

  10. Reading, Pa.

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About Ellie Perlman

Ellie is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.

A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.

Ellie is the host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.

She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.

Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at


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