The Most Affordable Places to Live in Pennsylvania

Allentown is the most populous place on the list. Read through to see what other towns made it. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

Retirement generally means living on a budget, but there are places to live where that’s easy. The state of Pennsylvania is becoming a talked-about option for this population, because of its affordability, more relaxed pace of life, excellent healthcare, and moderate weather.

Pennsylvania is also known as being tax-friendly for retirees. It is one of the only two states in the country that does not tax retirement income. Public and private pension income is 100 percent tax-exempt; IRAs, 401(k) accounts, and Social Security checks are also tax-free here. The state also boasts a flat tax rate of 3.07 percent, which is the lowest in the U.S.

But that’s not all, the state sales tax is 6 percent (also one of the lowest rates in the nation). Food, clothing, and all non-prescription and prescription drugs are also tax-exempt.

55places.com lists 167 age-restricted and active lifestyle communities in Pennsylvania, and it is not surprising that the prices drop the further you get from large cities like Philadelphia. When looking for homes for sale in Pennsylvania, it can make financial sense to spread your wings and look at some of the more budget-friendly areas.

Here is the lowdown on some friendly, smaller cities that are garnering attention for their affordability and livability.

Sharon

Sharon is a welcoming city in Mercer County, about 75 miles west of Pittsburgh on the Ohio state border. It’s also home to Penn State’s Shango campus. Its two main medical providers are The Primary Health Network and Sharon Regional Health System.

Sharon’s downtown area is full of local boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. They also sponsor live performances, cultural events, and the yearly Waterfire festival. Its main recreation facility, Buhl Park, has a free golf course, an outdoor pool, a dog park, tennis, and kayaking.

Greenville

Also in Mercer County, Greenville is 80 miles west of Pittsburgh and smaller in both square miles and population size. Like Sharon, it is also within driving distance of Cleveland and Erie, Ohio. Greenville has a picturesque location on the Shenango River, where locals head for boating and family fun.

This community is big on small-town atmosphere, with its own community theater, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, three museums, and locally-owned restaurants and stores. It is also home to Thiel College and a bustling weekly farmers market from May through October.

Mercer County holds many other adventures for 55+ adults, like a wine trail and breweries, outdoor excursions at Hell’s Hollow Adventure Trail, farms, zoos, and beautiful Pymatuning State Park. Natural beauty certainly abounds in both Sharon and Greenville, but you can rest assured that all the shops, stores, and services you need are right in these towns.

Johnstown

Nighttime view from a hill of Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Johnstown has a lot of history and a strong sense of community.

Johnstown is about 67 miles east of Pittsburgh in Cambria County. It’s nestled in the scenic Laurel Mountains and is known for its enviable quality of life and strong sense of community. Its main hospital is Conemaugh Health System and there’s also an active public library and community arts center.

Johnstown is known as being the site of the 1889 Johnstown Flood, and it has a museum and national memorial commemorating the event. On a happier note, Johnstown also has its own symphony orchestra, a lively senior center, and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown campus.

Outdoor activities are big here, as Johnstown is a stop along the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway. This region is also dotted with state parks and forests, and lakes and rivers for whitewater rafting, fishing, kayaking, and tubing.

Duquesne

Duquesne (doo-kane) is perfect for 55+ homebuyers that want affordability near a large city, as it is 10 miles from Pittsburgh in Allegheny County. It is bordered by the Monongahela River, which is one of the three rivers that converge at Pittsburgh’s renowned Golden Triangle. Although driving into the city is easy, there is a wide range of shops, services, libraries, and churches right in Duquesne.

Allegheny County has two public golf courses, each with 18-holes (adult admission Monday through Thursday is just $17). Other area landmarks include lovely Angora Gardens. Plus, it has several low-maintenance communities nearby.

Allentown

The largest city in this list, Allentown is in Lehigh County in Eastern Pennsylvania. It was a major contender in the early days of this country’s railroad system and has received an influx of over $1 billion in new development these past years.

Its infrastructure is highlighted by the PPL Center sports arena, the Civic Theater of Allentown, and Miller Symphony Hall. There are also historic buildings and homes interspersed within the many different districts of this city. Local restaurants, a theater district, and an Arts Walk are just a few of the many local attractions here. Allentown also has a farmers market, Dorney Park, the America on Wheels Museum, and over 25 county parks.

The region is served by Lehigh Valley Hospitals and Coordinate Health Hospital. Being a larger city, it has an airport and nearby amenities like the Lehigh Valley Mall, dozens of shopping centers, and several golf courses. There are over 20 communities that appeal to active adults here, too.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

Interior view of the indoor pool at Del Webb Ponte Vedra in Ponte Vedra, Florida.

Jacksonville Area 55+ Communities With Indoor Pools

There’s something so luxurious about an indoor pool. Take a look at these communities in Jacksonville and the surrounding northeast Florida area. You’ll find indoor pools and much, much more.

Sunset on sandy and rocky beach in the Bay Area of California.

55+ Communities on the Beach in the Bay Area

Perhaps you’re ready to turn your dream of living by the beach into reality. In that case, we’ve got you covered, because there are a few wonderful beachside 55+ communities right in the Bay Area.

A 55+ couple with arthritis holding hands and enjoying a day at the beach.

The Best Places to Retire With Arthritis

Those with arthritis know the pain and discomfort can be difficult to manage day-to-day. While there are many remedies to manage the pain, one you may not consider is climate. 55Places has taken a look at the best regions to live if you have arthritis, and many of them are home to 55+ communities!

A bridge over a pond on the grounds of Sun City Lincoln Hills in Lincoln, California.

Large 55+ Communities in the Sacramento Area

One of the greatest benefits of living in a large community is the vast amount of amenities typically offered. If you’re looking for larger 55+ communities in Sacramento, you’ll want to check out the three following communities.

Aerial view of the Downtown Spartanburg skyline in South Carolina on a sunny day.

Living in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Located in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northwestern South Carolina—also known as the Upstate—Spartanburg is an ideal destination for active adults who want to retire in a mid-sized city with a small-town, close-knit feel.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top