Located northwest of Boston, Harvard is a small town in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The town offers affordable housing when compared to the rest of the state as well as abundant outdoor recreation. Harvard's tight-knit community, local farmers market, and small boutiques make it popular for retirees.
Climate & Geography
Harvard is a small town located in Eastern Massachusetts. Summers are sunny and warm while winters can be freezing. Residents can also expect more rain and snow than the national average.
The town is built mostly on farmland that includes plenty of rolling hills, fields, and wetlands. There are also a number of streams and rivers that run throughout Harvard and connect to Bare Hill Pond, located in the southwest of the city.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
There are multiple greenspaces and natural areas in and around Harvard for active adults looking to get outside. Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge offers habitats for nature viewing, and Fruitlands Museum has historic cultural displays. Bare Hill Pond and Bowers Spring are popular for boating, swimming, and fishing.
The tight-knit community also hosts seasonal and annual events like a flea market, farmers market, and the Apple Blossom Festival. Residents can shop at local boutiques and coffee shops, including the Harvard General Store. In addition to its local amenities, residents can easily travel 40 minutes to Worcester or an hour to Boston.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The overall cost of living in Harvard is higher than the national average but lower when compared to the rest of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts does not tax Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. Income from IRAs, 401(k)s, and any other retirement savings accounts are fully taxed at the state rate of 5.05 percent. Although property taxes can run high, homeowners who are 65 and older may qualify for a real estate tax credit. Massachusetts has a statewide sales tax rate of 6.25 percent.
The Boston metro area scores well on Gallup's Well-Being Index, ranking in the top 26 communities. Massachusetts also ranks in the top 17 states.
There are multiple hospitals near Harvard. Emerson Hospital, Lowell General Hospital, and MetroWest Medical Center are all rated high performing by U.S. News, and Lahey Hospital and Medical Center is nationally ranked. Residents can also travel to Boston, which has eight more nationally ranked hospitals.