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Forbes ranks Bethlehem, PA – Top 25 best places to retire

May 29, 2018

It is estimated that over 4 million Americans are retiring each year. There are several lifestyle adjustments that come with retirement, such as less income; however it also offers the opportunity to start fresh and relocate. Forbes collected information from 50 states, spanning 550 communities, to find the top 25 places to retire in the United States, and our rejuvenated steel town made list!

To craft the list, Forbes polled the housing costs, taxes, access to medical care, and crime rates, as well as volunteering and exercise opportunities that add to a fulfilled retired lifestyle. Bethlehem boasts an average cost of living that is 6% lower than the national average, and a median home price of $152,000. According to Forbes, the average national home price is $228,400 making Bethlehem a bargain. Low crime rate, physicians per capita and good air quality also add to Bethlehem’s appeal. In Pennsylvania, Social Security and most pension and IRA payouts are exempt from state income tax, thus offering a break to retirees.

Additionally, our City offers a high walkability index. This is measured by the ability to perform errands and shop by walking. Forbes reported that outside of major cities, little of the U.S. is conducive to walkability. This makes Bethlehem stand out among the crowd, as it offers two vibrant downtowns with local grocers, restaurants, retail and cultural amenities. Walkability also encourages an active retirement, which intern boosts quality of life.

Forbes noted that their top cities are slightly skewed towards college towns, as educational institution typically translate to increased cultural and learning opportunities. Bethlehem is lucky to have not one, but two educational institutions in our backyard, Moravian College and Lehigh University. Both higher educational institutions continue to invest and reinvest in the community.

Though Forbes did not include a rank order of their top 25 places to retire, we’re sure Bethlehem shines bright among the choices. Economic growth continues to increase. Art, culture and our downtowns are flourishing, and revitalization is everywhere. This once run down steel town is bustling and vibrant, making it a great home for retirees, college students and everyone in between.


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