Considering that so many websites rank Pennsylvania as one of the top states to retire in, it’s not surprising that active adults research homes for sale in PA. In fact, U.S. News rated Lancaster, PA as the top retirement city in the entire country.
The state’s tax-friendliness towards retirees also makes Pennsylvania an attractive option. Retirement income like IRAs, pensions, social security, and 401Ks are exempt. The income tax rate is a flat 3.07 percent; sales tax is 6 percent, and food, pharmaceutical drugs, clothing, and residential heating fuels are not taxed. Overall, the cost of living is only 1 percent higher than the national average.
There are 168 active adult communities here, with the majority in the south and central eastern regions of the state. There are several more in the central section, and 14 towards the west in Pittsburgh. Depending on your preferences, you can find the perfect, affordable retirement community in an urban, suburban, or more rural area, with a choice of floor plans and amenities. These five will give you a feel for what’s out there.
Below $100k - High $200s
If downsizing to a low-maintenance condo in a highly desirable area sounds appealing, Centennial Station could be your ticket. Completed in 2000, this active adult community has 410 resale condos about 26 miles north of Philadelphia. Warminster Community Park is less than a mile away, and there's a Walmart Supercenter, a Costco, gas stations, banks, and other shops and services just minutes down the road.
And talk about easy living: Centennial Station has an on-site professional center with a bank, salon, dentist, and restaurant. There's also an activity center with an indoor pool, exercise room, arts studio, and a ballroom. Friends gather here for dance and ceramic classes, bingo, and water aerobics. Outside, you'll find walking trails and tennis courts.
The cozy condo units range from 456 to 1,412 square feet, and residents pay a reasonable homeowners’ association (HOA) fee to cover snow removal, landscaping, and common area maintenance. Home options may include roof decks, hardwood floors, and granite counters.
Below $100k - Mid $200s
Living in a small college town like Shippensburg provides unique advantages, like educational opportunities, well-maintained streets and communities, and trendy shopping. Situated about 2.5 miles from Shippensburg University, Country Manor provides a quiet, gated setting with the opportunity to enjoy the school’s offerings.
Built from 2001 to 2018, this 55+ neighborhood has 130 resale single-family homes with nine floor plans. They range from 1,230 to 1,876 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms, roomy master suites, porches, and attached garages. A reasonable HOA fee provides for trash and snow removal.
There are walking and biking trails winding through the grounds, along with a gazebo and fishing lake. The private clubhouse has an exercise room, a library, and a multipurpose room. Golfers can play at several local courses, including Caledonia and Piney Apple. Also close by, Michaux State Forest offers acres of biking, fishing, hiking, and sightseeing.
Mid $100s - High $600s
The biggest of this bunch, Penn National is a golf course community about 12 miles south of Shippensburg. This master-planned development broke ground in 1968, and there are new sections under construction. With 1,100 new and resale attached and single-family homes, retirees have a wide range of options to choose from.
The attached models offer single-floor living and low-maintenance exteriors. There are also eight single-family models ranging from 1,763 to 2,378 square feet with two to three bedrooms and bathrooms and attached two-car garages. Some also include basements, cathedral ceilings, and covered porches.
Penn National gets bonus points for its stellar amenities, highlighted by two 19-hole golf courses, a business center, restaurants, sports courts, and a relaxing outdoor pool area. Residents also keep busy at the fly fishing club, holiday parties, crafts group, yoga, and seasonal the farmers markets. The community is also just outside of beautiful Caledonia State Park, which is open all year.
Low $100s - High $100s
Close to the cities of Hershey, Lebanon, and Reading, Arbor Gate is an established retirement community of 378 resale attached and single-family homes. Downtown Lebanon is just five minutes away, and it has a Walmart, medical centers, restaurants, a Home Depot, salons, and anything else you might need.
This affordable, land-lease neighborhood has 10 models, sized from 1,234 to 2,058 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Upgrades may include fireplaces, breakfast nooks, and covered porches, and the HOA fee covers community amenities.
Arbor Gate’s Lakeview Center clubhouse is the heart of the community, with its own beauty salon and coffee shop, plus a catering kitchen and ballroom, an exercise room, and activity areas. There is also a three-acre fishing lake on the property, and popular clubs and activates include potluck dinners, golf outings, dances, and planned trips.
Mid $100s - High $200s
A suburb of York, PA, Red Lion is an old-fashioned town with modern conveniences. Residents can visit historic buildings, attend concerts in the park and street fairs, and shop at locally-owned businesses. William Kain Park and Fairmount Park provide outdoor fun, and top area hospitals include OSS Orthopaedic.
The Paddock will have174 new and resale attached homes upon completion, with seven models ranging from 1,310 to 3,000 square feet. These feature two or three bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half bathrooms, attached two-car garages, and features like sunrooms, hardwood floors, fireplaces, and gourmet kitchens.
The private clubhouse has a patio, a party room, and an exercise room; well-attended activity clubs include the Equine Singers, community dinners, and Aqua Fit classes.