Farm fields and a fence near Glen Rock in rural York County, Pennsylvania

Retirement in Pennsylvania doesn't have to break the bank; these communities have homes for sale under $200K.

Once you’ve made the choice to move into a retirement community, the process of getting your ducks in a row begins. Weighty decisions like location and price come into play, and these will be based on where your family lives, the ease of travel, the type of weather you prefer, and what you can afford.

Pennsylvania is one state worth looking at, and at last count, it had 169 active adult communities. Many (but not all) are clustered around its largest cities, including Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Allentown, and Philadelphia. Living close to one of these metropolitan areas or far enough out to be able to enjoy the abundant natural beauty of PA is quite appealing, especially when the cost of the home is affordable.

There are a handful of 55+ communities with homes for sale under $200K in Pennsylvania, and they offer low-key lifestyles in more laid-back settings. Picture it: A manageable household that you can afford and endless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. This is what Pennsylvania excels at.

Country Manor – Shippensburg, PA

Below $100K - Low $100s

Completed just last year, Country Manor is a gated active adult neighborhood with 130 resale single-family homes in Shippensburg. Builder CSV homes designed nine floor plans, ranging from 1,230 to 1,876 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one- or two-car attached garages. Additional features include front porches and expansive master suites; some models also have dens and fireplaces. The monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fee includes trash and street snow removal.

Although the town of Shippensburg is mainly known for its accredited university, there are many other benefits to living in this charming college town. It’s about 42 miles west of Harrisburg, and it has many shops and services, including a Walmart Supercenter, restaurants, fitness centers, pharmacies, and medical offices. It’s also sandwiched between two large state forests, Tuscarora and Michaux.

On the grounds, Country Manor homeowners can enjoy the exercise room, library, and activity rooms in the community clubhouse. There’s also a fishing lake, walking and biking trails, and shuffleboard courts on the premises.

Creek View – Carlisle, PA

Mid $100s - High $100s

The town of Carlisle is about 20 minutes north of Shippensburg, and here you can find Creek View, a sought-after active adult community that will have 305 new and resale single-family homes when construction is complete. There are close to 20 floor plans ranging from 1,202 to 1,750 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two baths, and attached one- or two-car garages. Some of these tasteful homes also include morning rooms and porches.

Creek View sits about 10 miles outside of the city center, which is home to Dickinson College, the US Army Heritage and Education Center, and several community parks. There’s also a Walmart Supercenter, movie theaters, groceries, home improvement stores, and the popular Momma Spriggs restaurant.

Homeowners also enjoy spending time at Creek View’s private fishing pond, picnic and barbecue area, walking trail, and horseshoe pits. There’s also a private clubhouse for resident use as well as a designated RV parking area.

Arbor Gate – Myerstown, PA

Low $100s - High $100s

Our next affordable option is Arbor Gate, which was built by Arbor Gate Ltd. from 1997 to 2005 in Myerstown, a pleasant suburban town located about 23 miles west of Reading. There are 378 resale attached and single-family homes here, with the majority being single-family homes. These are offered in 10 floor plans, sized from 1,234 to 2,058 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two baths, and attached one- or two-car garages. All feature first-floor master suites with additional options like covered porches, fireplaces, and decks.

This lovely 55+ neighborhood is about three miles from the center of Myerstown, which was settled back in the 1700s. This tight-knit town sponsors events like country fairs, block parties, and holiday events. The downtown area has several churches, restaurants, and Myerstown Community Park. Additional shopping can be done along the nearby Route 422 corridor.

Arbor Gate’s Lakeview Center clubhouse has its own coffee shop, beauty salon, exercise room, catering kitchen, ballroom, and activity rooms. Residents can also spend leisure time at the community’s very own 3-acre fishing lake, which is also on the grounds.

Penn National – Fayetteville, PA

Mid $100s - High $600s

Penn National is a large and unique property that’s off the beaten path in Central Pennsylvania. This master-planned community will have 1,100 new and resale attached and single-family homes by several builders when completed. Although there’s no age restriction, Penn National caters to retirement living with low-maintenance homes and resort-like amenities.

The attached villa homes are all single-story with features like open floor plans, fireplaces, and golf course views. There are two single-family subdivisions, called St. Anne’s and St. Andrew’s. The first offers four models sized from 1,763 to 1,996 square feet with three bedrooms, two baths, and attached two- or two-and-a-half-car garages. St. Andrew’s also has four somewhat larger models, and these offer two or three bedrooms and bathrooms as well as attached two-car garages. Some have wooded lots, sunrooms, attached storage areas, skylights, and spacious master suites.

Fayetteville is located on the west side of Michaux State Forest and other beautiful recreation areas, but you might find yourself spending most of your leisure time onsite because Penn National Golf Club has two courses. Homeowners also reap the benefits of the modern clubhouse that has a business center and an exercise room; golf practice facilities and a pro shop; an outdoor pool and patio; pickleball, tennis, and bocce courts; two restaurants; and the list goes on. But if that isn’t enough to keep you occupied, you can check out Penn’s long list of group activities and events.