Updated Nov 7, 2023 - Economy

Move over, Florida: Retirees are flocking to Pennsylvania

Illustration of a pattern of rocking chairs, with one emanating a bright color.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Florida is no longer the best place to retire.

What's happening: U.S. News & World Report named Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the No. 1 place to retire for 2024. Daytona Beach was the only Florida city to hang on to a top-10 spot.

The big picture: Pennsylvania dominated the ranking, landing seven spots in the top 10.

  • Just three Florida cities — Daytona Beach, Tampa and Sarasota — cracked the top 20, compared to eight last year.
  • Yes, but: Florida remains a desirable place to live for seniors.

What they're saying: Expensive housing and the increase of extreme weather risks make Florida less appealing for retirees, U.S. News & World Report finance expert Beverly Harzog tells Axios.

Zoom in: Retirees are drawn to Harrisburg for its access to Susquehanna River walking trails and nearby attractions like Hershey Park. New York, Philly and D.C. are also within driving distance.

The intrigue: Despite growing affordability concerns among seniors, New York City rose eight spots to No. 6 on this year's list.

  • Access to quality health care and overall desirability make it a top pick for deep-pocketed seniors, Harzog says.

The other side: California continues to be one of the least desirable places to retire, mostly due to housing affordability issues. "The areas that rank high on Best Places to Retire also tend to be more tax-friendly for seniors," Harzog says.

What we're watching: North Carolina. Winston-Salem jumped from 36 to 17 since last year, and Raleigh-Durham crept its way to 25 from 29.

The bottom line: Retirees want affordable housing, quality health care and tax-friendly policies for seniors.

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