The largest city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is a bustling metropolis filled with historical museums and cultural sites . Its combination of a vibrant city center and extensive green spaces makes it a popular destination for retirees looking for the amenities and activities of a big city with the comforts and outdoor recreation of a rural town. Besides this, residents enjoy four distinct but moderate seasons, affordable housing, and easy travel by train or plane.
Climate & Geography
Philadelphia is located on the fall line between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Piedmont Plateau in Eastern Pennsylvania. As a result, it experiences a humid subtropical climate rather than a continental climate. Summers tend to be hot and muggy, spring and autumn are mild, and winter is moderately cold. The Appalachian Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east help regulate extreme temperatures. Precipitation is spread evenly throughout the year, but snowfall is variable and unpredictable each year, influenced mainly by coastal storms. Residents can expect about 207 days of sunshine each year.
Downtown Philadelphia is in a broad, flat valley with rolling hills to the north and west of the city center. The Delaware River creates the eastern border, and the Schuylkill River runs through the western portion of the city.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
As one of the oldest municipalities in the country, Philadelphia has abundant historic and cultural sites. Some of the most popular include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Rocky took his triumphant steps, as well as the Independence National Historical Park, which houses the Liberty Bell. The Philadelphia Zoo, The Franklin Institute, and the Barnes Foundation are well-liked scientific and educational sites.
Despite being the sixth most populous city in the country, residents don’t have to leave the city limits to enjoy outdoor recreation. Fairmount Park is a historic, expansive natural space near downtown with walking trails, public art, and gardens. It connects to the northern Wissahickon Valley park, featuring over 50 miles of trails for hikers and bikers as well as trout fishing in the creek. Residents can also walk through the Magic Gardens, a folk art venue with mosaic galleries and a sculpture garden.
The city is divided into numerous neighborhoods in six sections, but the most populous one is Center City, the bustling and pedestrian-friendly downtown area. It houses not only many of the historic sites of the city, but also the most restaurants, bars, and shops. Foodies enjoy the offerings of the historic Reading Terminal Market, and residents head to tree-filled Rittenhouse Square for designer shopping and community events. Though Center City is the biggest and most active neighborhood, residents can find even more boutique shopping and local cafes in the various small neighborhoods throughout the city.
Sport fans have a full range of events in South Philadelphia, which houses three sports complexes all next to each other. Residents catch baseball at Citizens Bank Park, football at Financial Field, and hockey and basketball and the Wells Fargo Center.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Philadelphia’s cost of living matches the national average. Housing is very affordable, especially for a major city in the U.S. Utilities and transportation are the biggest costs associated with life in the city.
Pennsylvania does not tax any form of retirement income, including Social Security, IRAs, and 401(k)s. For pensions, residents must be over the age of 59 and a half to remain untaxed. Property taxes in the state are fairly high, but retirees can qualify for a rebate. Philaldephia’s combined sales tax of 8 percent is higher than the national average.
The Philadelphia metro area ranks in the top 105 communities on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
There are several hospitals that are nationally ranked by U.S. News within the city. These include Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (No. 18 in the country), Jefferson Health-Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, and Pennsylvania Hospital.