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With its rolling green hills, charming Amish markets, and major metropolitan centers, Pennsylvania has a lot of variety to offer. The two major cities in the state are Philadelphia and Pittsburg, and between them is a beautiful rural landscape populated by small farming communities and mid-sized towns such as Lancaster, Hazleton, and Erie—and a wide range of potential places for ideal retirement communities.

There are four distinct seasons in Pennsylvania, with hot summers and cold winters. The state does get snowfall in winter, including lake-effect snowstorms from Lake Erie that can be quite severe. However, with the temperate spring, summer and fall, Pennsylvania residents have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors—the state’s rural areas are particularly known for their camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Pennsylvania has a reputation as a high-tax state and an expensive place to live, but that isn’t necessarily true. Median home prices in Pennsylvania’s rural areas and mid-sized towns tend to be much less expensive than the national average, although wealthy areas in Philadelphia tend to be considerably higher.

As for taxes, overall taxation in the state is considerably higher than the national average—but the picture isn’t as bleak for retirees. Military pensions and Social Security income are not taxed, and many pension and other retirement benefits are not taxable as well. In addition, Pennsylvania’s income tax rate is one of the lowest in the country at 3.07%.

There are several communities that are excellent options for assisted living for seniors in Pennsylvania. These include:


Probably the most expensive place in Pennsylvania to live, Philadelphia has a lot to offer for seniors who are looking for an urban environment. Philly is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Northeast, on par with Boston and Washington, DC. It’s close to DC and to New York City, making day trips and weekend excursions easy. But there’s plenty to keep you in Philly—including a thriving arts scene with many professional theatres, symphony orchestras, farmer’s markets, athletic events, and more. Philly is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Phillies (baseball), Flyers (hockey), and Eagles (football).


Pennsylvania’s other major city, Pittsburg is set at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. Known for its low cost of living, growing economy, and excellent medical care, Pittsburg consistently ranks among national “Best Places to Live” listings, most recently as one of the country’s Top 10 Value Cities for Retirement. Senior living in Pittsburg offers a low cost of living and all the culture and entertainment of a major metropolitan area—it’s an excellent choice for those who want to live in Philadelphia but prefer a lower cost of living.


Located in south-central Pennsylvania, Lancaster is the country’s oldest inland city. The city is surrounded by numerous Amish communities and is known for its Amish markets featuring locally grown produce and handmade goods. It’s a center for tourism, offering boutique shopping, outlet shopping and the Park City Center Shopping Mall as well as Amish markets. There are lots of historic buildings in Lancaster, including the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church—one of the stops in the Underground Railroad in the 1800’s—as well as the Central Market, the oldest continuously-run farmer’s market in the States.

Senior living in Pennsylvania has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for scenic natural settings for biking, camping, and hiking, Pennsylvania’s Red Rock and other rural areas provide picturesque mountains, parks, and wooded trails. Pennsylvania senior long-term living also offers access to bustling city centers in Philadelphia and Pittsburg. Check out our listings of Pennsylvania assisted living communities, and get started finding your ideal retirement community today.