Lancaster is the nation’s No. 1 place to retire, according to U.S. News top 100 list

Central Market in downtown Lancaster (Getty Images)

LANCASTER — Thinking about finding the perfect place to move when you retire?

If you live in Lancaster, you’re better off staying put.

According to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 100 Best Places to Retire in the USA, Lancaster is the best place in the nation to spend your golden years.

The Red Rose City beat out Florida cities Fort Myers and Sarasota, Austin, Texas and Pittsburgh in the top five.

To compile the list, U.S. News analyzed data for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. to assess how well they meet the needs and expectations of retired Americans. The rankings are based on overall retirement scores for each city included in the analysis. The overall retirement score is a weighted average of six indexes. The overall retirement score and each index score was calculated on a 10-point scale based on the data sources and scoring methodology described in more detail below.

The six indexes are: Housing Affordability, Happiness, Desirability, Retiree Taxes, Job Market and Healthcare Quality.

The weights for each index were determined based on an online survey conducted by U.S. News of pre-retirees (age 45-59) and retirement-age individuals (age 60+) during the first week of September 2017. Respondents were asked to indicate the attributes of a retirement destination that are most important to them, choosing from a predefined list of options. Responses were collected from 841 people age 45 and older nationwide. Based on the survey scoring, U.S. News assigned the following weights to the indexes in compiling the overall retirement score for each city. Note that for the 2019 rankings, the weighting of the Desirability Index was increased from 10 percent to 15 percent and the other indexes were adjusted accordingly.

Lancaster had an overall score of 7.5, and scored well in housing affordability (6.7) and healthcare (9.3).

“Lancaster offers a balance between natural and commercial spaces that residents appreciate,” the list concludes. “Expansive farms rub elbows with manicured suburbs, which lead right into the bustling city. A short drive can take one through each of these environments. Each area boasts its own unique groups of inhabitants: farmers, families, college students and young professionals. From close-knit church communities to the indie coffee shop scene, Lancaster holds something for everyone.”

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