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Lehigh Valley Ranked One of Best Places in U.S. to Retire

By Colin McEvoy on November 21, 2022

Allentown made Realtor.com's list of "10 U.S. Cities With Huge Increases in Homeownership."

The U.S. News & World Report has ranked the Lehigh Valley one of the best places in the country to retire.

The Lehigh Valley has been ranked one of the best places in the country to retire, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The publication evaluated the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, health care, desirability, and overall happiness.

“The Lehigh Valley is a special place, whether or not you’re in the cities or outside the cities,” said Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds. “We’ve known for a long time it’s a great place to raise a family, come to work, but also to retire. We have so much to do as far as recreation and just being able to shop downtown. So it’s (the ranking) is really just an amazing honor.”

The Top 10 list was released this month, and the Lehigh Valley came in at #9, and scored particularly high among in such methodology factors as quality of life, value of living, and strength of job market.

“Choosing a place to spend your retirement years is a big decision for many retirees,” said Emily Brandon, U.S. News senior editor for retirement. “The Best Places to Retire rankings spotlight places that most meet the wants and needs of people in, or entering, retirement age.”

U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Lehigh Valley as one of the Top 10 Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania this year, as well as one of the best places and safest places to live in the United States overall.

“We’re so thrilled with this recognition,” said Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk. “Allentown is the urban center of the Lehigh Valley, and part of what makes the Lehigh Valley such a special place. Whether you’re choosing Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton for retirement, or even to live and start a family, we’re happy to welcome you.”

The Lehigh Valley is no stranger to high rankings on lists like these. Last year the region made Livability.com’s Top 100 Best Places to Live in America and Ownerly’s Top 25 Places for Remote Work in the U.S..

The Lehigh Valley has previously made Best Places to Retire list by other publications like Forbes and Money magazine, and for two consecutive years the region was also among the nation’s hottest ZIP codes.

The Lehigh Valley traditionally does well on these lists for myriad reasons, including the Lehigh Valley’s superior health care services from the Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s University Health Network, as well as its excellent restaurants, outdoor recreation offerings, and amenities like ArtsQuest’s SteelStacks and events like Musikfest.

U.S. News & World Report had previously ranked the Lehigh Valley as the 11th best place in the country to retire in last year’s list, meaning the region jumped up two spots in this year’s rankings.

“We all know how special the Lehigh Valley is, but our golden citizens are now finding out it’s a great place to retire because of our culture, our history, and all the wonderful things that are happening in the Lehigh Valley as a whole,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr.

The measures factored into this year’s rankings were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are nearing retirement age (ages 45-59) and those who are of retirement age (60 or older) to learn what matters most when considering where to retire.

The overall retirement score is a weighted average of six indexes: housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market and health care quality, Brandon said.

Data sources for the Best Places to Retire List included the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sharecare, and U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, according to U.S. World & News Report.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance.

Although U.S. News & World Report identifies the region as Allentown in its listing, the ranking is for the Lehigh Valley as a region, and Allentown is listed because the region’s metropolitan statistical area is known as Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton.

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