Best Retirement Areas in Reading, PA

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is a picturesque city located in the heart of the Keystone State. With a population of just over 50,000, it is a small city that offers a great quality of life for retirees. Harrisburg boasts a low cost of living, plenty of green spaces, and a rich cultural scene that makes it an ideal place to retire for those who want to enjoy their golden years in peace and tranquility.

  1. One of the best areas for retirement in Harrisburg is Shipoke, a charming neighborhood located on a peninsula between the Susquehanna River and Paxton Creek. Shipoke is known for its historic homes, tree-lined streets, and beautiful riverfront park. It is a great place for retirees who enjoy walking, biking, and other outdoor activities.
  2. Another great area for retirement in Harrisburg is Midtown, which is located just a few blocks from the State Capitol. Midtown is known for its arts and culture scene, with many galleries, theaters, and music venues. It is also home to many restaurants and shops, making it a convenient and enjoyable place to live.
  3. For retirees who prefer a more suburban feel, the East Shore area of Harrisburg is a great option. This area is located across the river from downtown Harrisburg and offers many parks, golf courses, and other outdoor attractions. It is also home to many shopping centers and restaurants, making it a convenient place to live.
  4. Linglestown is another great area for retirement in Harrisburg. Located just a few miles north of the city, Linglestown is known for its small-town feel and community atmosphere. It offers many parks and green spaces, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
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In this article, we will explore the top areas in Harrisburg, PA ideal for retirement relocation.

Harrisburg is located along the Susquehanna River, a stone throw of Camp Hill, offering beautiful views and wildlife. The city provides a variety of recreational activities, including biking, music, art, and birdwatching.

Harrisburg offers a more affordable housing market and a lower cost of living than many East Coast metro areas. Pennsylvania doesn’t tax Social Security benefits, pension distributions, or retired military pay, which can help retirees stretch their dollars. The average home value in Harrisburg is $229,552, which is 65% to 67% less than the national average.

The Friendship Senior Center in Harrisburg offers a range of activities for seniors, including light aerobics, art classes, and card/table games.

The Harrisburg area also offers a blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a fulfilling retirement in a 55+ active adult community.

Harrisburg, PA, offers many great areas for retirees to live, each with its own unique character and attractions. Whether you prefer a historic neighborhood, a bustling downtown, or a quiet suburban area, Harrisburg has something to offer.

Use our map, to navigate the Retire Perfect areas in Harrisburg, PA or check any of the other areas in the state where cost of living is more affordable. 

You can also use our TALLBOX AI real estate agent to help you find what you are looking for in Harrisburg, PA.

Pros and Cons of retiring in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

  • (John Harris Sr., establishes, trading post, 1710): The neighborhood’s roots trace back to a trading post founded by John Harris Sr. along the Susquehanna River.
  • (Harris Ferry and Tavern, attracts, settlers, 1734): The iconic ferry service and tavern, established by Harris, drew settlers and laid the foundation for Harrisburg’s future.
  • (Shipoke becomes, residential area, 1840s): In the 1840s, Robert Harris (son of John Harris Jr.) began selling off parts of the land, leading to the development of Shipoke as a residential community.
  • (Chesapeake Nail Works, provides, employment, 19th century): The neighborhood thrived as a hub for industries like the Chesapeake Nail Works, attracting a predominantly working-class population.
  • (Floodplain location, leads to, vulnerability to flooding): Shipoke’s position within the Susquehanna River’s floodplain rendered it susceptible to major floods throughout its history.
  • (Population reaches, nearly 3,000, 1950): Despite the flood risks, Shipoke’s vibrant community spirit and proximity to jobs fostered a peak population of almost 3,000 residents by the mid-20th century.
  • (Tropical Storm Agnes, devastates, neighborhood, 1972): Hurricane Agnes in 1972 inflicted severe damage, displacing many residents and leading to the abandonment of numerous Victorian houses.
  • (Urban renewal projects, displace, residents, 1960s-1980s): Urban renewal projects further contributed to population decline and changes in the neighborhood’s character.
  • (Revitalization efforts, aim to, restore vitality, present): Recent years have seen renewed efforts to revitalize Shipoke through historic preservation, community engagement, and attracting new residents and businesses.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a very safe city, knows as the capital city of Pennsylvania offers a lot of benefits for retirees.

Here are some of the pros and cons of retiring in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:


  • Low cost of living: One of the biggest advantages of retiring in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the low cost of living. According to US News, the city has a cost of living index that is lower than the national average. This means that retirees can stretch their retirement savings further and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.
  • Culture: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a city with a rich history and culture. Retirees who are interested in the arts can enjoy the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, the Susquehanna Art Museum, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania, among other cultural institutions.
  • Outdoor: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is also a great place for retirees who enjoy spending time outdoors. The city is located near the Appalachian Trail, the Susquehanna River, and several state parks, offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
  • Proximity to other cities: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is conveniently located near several major cities, including Philadelphia, New York City, and Baltimore. Retirees who want to explore other parts of the country can easily do so by taking a day trip to one of these cities.
  • Job opportunities: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is home to several major employers, including Hershey’s Chocolate, Capital BlueCross, and PinnacleHealth. Retirees who want to work part-time or volunteer can find plenty of opportunities in these sectors.
  • Healthcare options: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has several healthcare options for retirees, including PinnacleHealth and UPMC Pinnacle. Retirees can rest easy knowing that they have access to quality healthcare services.


  • Property taxes: One of the drawbacks of retiring in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the property taxes. According to, property taxes in Harrisburg are higher than the national average. Retirees who own property in the city may need to budget accordingly.
  • Transportation: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a relatively small city, and public transportation options are limited. Retirees who do not drive may find it difficult to get around.
  • Amenities: While Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has plenty of cultural and outdoor attractions, the city may not have as many amenities as larger cities. Retirees who are used to having access to a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options may need to adjust to a more relaxed pace of life.
  • Downtown: While Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has a charming downtown area, it may not be as vibrant as downtown areas in larger cities. Retirees who are looking for a bustling nightlife scene may need to look elsewhere.
  • Climate: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, experiences cold winters and hot summers. Retirees who prefer milder weather may not enjoy the climate in the city.

Are there good assisted living facilities in Harrisburg, PA?

Yes, there are several good assisted living facilities in Harrisburg, PA, offering varying levels of care and amenities to suit different needs and budgets. Here are a few notable options:

Located in a central location near shops and services, Brookdale Harrisburg offers assisted living and memory care options. Residents enjoy spacious apartments, chef-prepared meals, engaging activities, and on-site amenities like a beauty salon and therapy room.

Situated in a quiet residential neighborhood, Greenfield Senior Living at Graysonview provides assisted living and memory care in a warm, home-like setting. Residents benefit from personalized care plans, delicious meals, social events, and on-site amenities like a fitness center and library.

Nestled in a scenic wooded area, The Woods at Cedar offers assisted living and memory care in a peaceful environment. Residents enjoy spacious apartments, chef-prepared meals, a variety of activities, and access to walking paths and outdoor spaces.

Located just outside Harrisburg in Mechanicsburg, Country Meadows offers assisted living and memory care in a vibrant community setting. Residents have access to a wide range of amenities, including a fitness center, salon, and movie theater, and participate in numerous social events and activities.

Serving the community since 1871, Homeland Center offers a continuum of care, including assisted living and memory care, on its beautifully-restored campus. Residents enjoy personalized care plans, nutritious meals, diverse activities, and access to on-site amenities like a chapel and library.

Top Harrisburg Neighbourhoods to consider for retirement

Ask Real Estate Agent to help with property in PA.
Ask Real Estate Agent to help with property in PA.

A top neighborhood for retirees is considered to have certain desirable attributes that meet the needs and preferences of seniors. Top neighborhood for retirees has attributes such as low crime rates, affordable housing, access to amenities, sense of community. It also must offer recreational/cultural activities, restaurants, healthcare facilities and safe walking areas, green spaces, public transportation.

Here are some of the most desirable neighbourhoods for retirement that offer almost 90% of the required in Harrisburg, PA:

Serene bond between an elderly couple as they peacefully sit on a bench, gazing upon the tranquil flow of a river.
Serene bond between an elderly couple as they peacefully sit on a bench, gazing upon the tranquil flow of a river.

Shipoke, Harrisburg, PA

Shipoke (Shy-poke), also known as the Shipoke neighborhood, is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the state’s capital between Camp Curtin, Olde Uptown, and I-83 in Harrisburg with zip code 17104. It is situated along the Susquehanna River, just south of downtown Harrisburg.

Shipoke has a rich history that dates back to the early 18th century. It was first settled by Europeans in 1710 as a small trading post, predating other areas of what is now Harrisburg. This early settlement was crucial due to its location at the Harris Ferry and Tavern, which played a significant role in the area’s development and is the origin of the name Harrisburg.

A group of people enjoying a meal at a restaurant in Harrisburg, PA.
A group of people enjoying a meal at a restaurant in Harrisburg, PA.

Affordability and Housing

Harrisburg, including neighborhoods like Shipoke, is known for having a more affordable housing market compared to many East Coast metro areas. The cost of living in Harrisburg is slightly higher than the national average, but Pennsylvania’s tax policies, which do not tax Social Security benefits, pension distributions, and retired military pay, can help retirees manage their finances more effectively.

Healthcare and Recreation

Shipoke’s proximity to downtown Harrisburg means that residents have access to quality healthcare options, such as the Penn State Hershey Medical Center and UPMC Pinnacle.

The neighborhood’s location along the Susquehanna River provides opportunities for outdoor activities and scenic views, which can be beneficial for an active retirement lifestyle.

Safety and Community

Safety is a key consideration for retirees, and while specific safety grades for Shipoke are not mentioned, nearby Harrisburg-based facilities like the Homeland Center and Homeland at Home have received top safety grades from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Consumer Assessment.

Shipoke’s historic charm and the sense of community may also appeal to those looking for a close-knit neighborhood feel during retirement.


However, it’s important to note that Shipoke has been identified as having a risk of flooding, which could be a significant concern for potential retirees.

The neighborhood is described as being primarily residential with limited commercial presence, which may affect the availability of amenities within walking distance.

Midtown, Harrisburg, PA

Midtown, PA zip code 17102, is a good choice for retirement due to its walkability, affordable housing, access to quality healthcare, recreational and cultural activities, and a strong sense of community.

People leisurely strolling along the river in retirement.
People leisurely strolling along the river in retirement.

Midtown Harrisburg boasts a vibrant history, intertwining with the larger narrative of the city’s development. Originally, the area consisted of fertile farmland owned by prominent families like the Harrises and Hummel families. With Harrisburg’s rise as the state capital in 1791, the farmland saw gradual transformation into residential areas.

By the mid-1800s, Midtown developed into a desirable residential neighborhood with grand Victorian homes reflecting prosperity. Landmarks like the Susquehanna Art Museum and the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra were founded in late 1800’s, enriching the cultural landscape.

Post-war trends like suburbanization saw population shifts and businesses moving out, leading to economic decline in Midtown. The 1960s and 70s saw urban renewal projects, some controversial, aimed at revitalization, but with mixed results. Recognition of the neighborhood’s historic value sparked preservation efforts, leading to the designation of several historic districts. 

Recent decades have seen renewed interest in Midtown, with a focus on attracting residents, businesses, and investment. New construction projects promote a mix of residential, commercial, and cultural spaces, aiming to create a livable and dynamic downtown experience.


Midtown Harrisburg is known for its walkability, which is a significant benefit for retirees who prefer to have amenities and activities within walking distance. The ability to walk to various destinations can contribute to a healthier, more active lifestyle and provide a sense of community and independence.

Housing and Cost of Living

While specific figures for Midtown are not provided, Harrisburg’s housing market is generally more affordable compared to many East Coast metro areas. The cost of living in Harrisburg is slightly higher than the national average, but Pennsylvania’s tax policies, which do not tax Social Security benefits, pension distributions, and retired military pay, can help retirees manage their finances more effectively.

Recreation and Culture

Midtown offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities. The neighborhood is close to the Susquehanna River, providing scenic views and opportunities for outdoor activities. Additionally, Midtown is home to the Midtown Cinema and other cultural attractions that can enrich the retirement experience.

Community and Safety

Midtown is part of the Harrisburg area, which has received recognition for its safety, with nearby facilities like the Homeland Center and Homeland at Home receiving top safety grades.

The sense of community in Midtown, with its historic charm and cultural offerings, may also appeal to retirees.


There is a shuttle service between Midtown and the Harrisburg campus, which can be beneficial for retirees who may prefer not to drive

East Shore, Harrisburg, PA

East Shore, PA, part of the Harrisburg metropolitan area, presents several compelling reasons for retirees considering it as a place to settle down.
East Shore, Harrisburg: Location and Surroundings. Located on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River, opposite the city’s downtown area, East Shore extends roughly from the southern tip of Harrisburg, near the Dauphin Narrows Bridge, to the northern suburbs of Colonial Park and Lawnton.

It’s bordered by the Susquehanna River to the west, Interstate 83 to the east, and State Street to the south.

The area’s appeal for retirement can be attributed to a combination of factors including affordability, healthcare access, recreational opportunities, and a supportive community environment.

Retirement communities in Harrisburg PA, walking on the street.
Retirement communities in Harrisburg PA, walking on the street.

Affordability and Housing

Harrisburg, including the East Shore area, is known for its more affordable housing market compared to many East Coast metro areas. The cost of living in Harrisburg is slightly higher than the national average, but Pennsylvania’s favorable tax policies for retirees, such as no income tax on retirement income (Social Security benefits, pension distributions, and retired military pay), can significantly help manage finances more effectively.

Recreation and Community

The East Shore area offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Harrisburg’s location along the Susquehanna River provides scenic views and opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking, birdwatching, and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.

The city’s parks and recreation programs offer activities and events that enrich the community and foster a sense of belonging among residents of all ages.

Safety and Quality of Life

Safety and quality of life are important factors for anyone considering a place to retire. Harrisburg has been recognized for its quality of life, offering a better value than similarly sized metro areas when comparing housing costs to median household income.

The area’s healthcare facilities, like the Homeland Center and Homeland at Home, have received top safety grades, contributing to the overall well-being and security of the community.

Transportation and Accessibility

For retirees who value mobility and accessibility, Harrisburg’s strategic location and transportation options are advantageous. The city’s easy access to major highways and transportation hubs facilitates travel and connectivity to other major cities, enhancing the appeal of living in the East Shore area for retirees who may wish to explore or visit family and friends in other locations.

Eco-Touristic Places:

  • Susquehanna River: Offers boating, fishing, and wildlife watching opportunities.
  • Harrisburg City Island: A natural island in the river with hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views.
  • Dauphin County Park: Featuring wooded trails, a lake, and various recreational activities.
  • In the vicinity, visitors can explore Hersheypark, a renowned amusement park, and ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park.

Linglestown, Harrisburg, PA

Muhlenberg is a diverse neighbourhood that is known for its affordability and accessibility to amenities. This neighbourhood is home to several parks and green spaces, making it an ideal location for those who enjoy outdoor activities. Muhlenberg is also home to several retirement communities, making it an ideal location for those who are looking to socialize and make new friends.

People strolling down a bustling street in Harrisburg, PA.
People strolling down a bustling street in Harrisburg, PA.

Affordability and Housing

Linglestown benefits from the general affordability of the Harrisburg housing market, which is more cost-effective compared to many East Coast metro areas. The absence of taxes on Social Security benefits, pension distributions, and retired military pay in Pennsylvania can help retirees manage their finances more effectively.

Senior Living Options

Linglestown offers a range of senior living communities, providing options for 55+ communities, independent living, assisted living, and memory care. This variety allows retirees to choose a living situation that best fits their needs and preferences.

Recreation and Community

While specific recreational activities in Linglestown are not detailed in the search results, the proximity to Harrisburg means residents can enjoy the recreational and cultural activities available in the larger metropolitan area, such as those along the Susquehanna River.

Safety and Quality of Life

The Harrisburg area, including Linglestown, is known for its quality of life and safety, with nearby facilities like the Homeland Center and Homeland at Home receiving top safety grades. This contributes to a secure living environment for retirees.

Transportation and Accessibility

Linglestown’s location within the Harrisburg metropolitan area means that transportation and accessibility to other parts of the city and beyond are likely convenient, which is beneficial for retirees who wish to travel or have easy access to various amenities.

Hershey, Harrisburg, PA

Hershey, a neighborhood in the Harrisburg metropolitan area, is considered a good place for retirement due to several factors:

A group of elderly individuals enjoying retirement by hiking in the woods.
A group of elderly individuals enjoying retirement by hiking in the woods.

Affordability and Housing

Hershey has a cost of living score of 89.8, which means the total cost of housing, food, childcare, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities is 10.2 percent lower than the U.S. average.

Pennsylvania’s tax policies are also favorable for retirees, as they do not tax Social Security benefits, pension distributions, and retired military pay.

Senior Living Options

There are various senior living communities in Hershey, offering a range of options from independent living to assisted living. This variety allows retirees to choose a living situation that best fits their needs and preferences.

Recreation and Community

Hershey offers a variety of recreational activities for seniors, including art, dining, live music, and outdoor activities like walking, hiking, and biking.

The town is also close to Harrisburg, providing additional opportunities for cultural and recreational activities.

Safety and Quality of Life

Hershey is known for its quality of life and safety, contributing to a secure living environment for retirees.

Transportation and Accessibility

Hershey’s location within the Harrisburg metropolitan area means that transportation and accessibility to other parts of the city and beyond are convenient, which is beneficial for retirees who wish to travel or have easy access to various amenities.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Retirement House

Retirement is a time for relaxation and enjoyment, and choosing the right retirement house is crucial to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a retirement house in Reading, PA.

An older couple standing in front of a welcome sign to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
A drawing of an older couple standing in front of a welcome sign to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Access to Healthcare

Harrisburg offers a variety of healthcare options, ranging from hospitals and clinics to specialized services and urgent care facilities.


  • Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: One of the top academic medical centers in the region, offering advanced care across various specialties like cardiology, cancer, and neurosurgery.
  • Harrisburg Hospital: A community hospital providing comprehensive services, including emergency care, obstetrics, and orthopedics.
  • Holy Spirit Hospital: Part of the Trinity Health System, focusing on general and specialty care services like cardiology and cancer treatment.

Clinics and Urgent Care:

  • Penn State Health Family Medicine and Pediatrics: Several locations in Harrisburg offering primary care for individuals and families.
  • WellSpan Urgent Care: Multiple clinics providing non-emergency care for illnesses and injuries.
  • MinuteClinic: Retail-based clinics offering convenient access to basic healthcare services.

Specialized Services:

  • Penn State Health Children’s Hospital: Dedicated to pediatric care across various specialties.
  • Harrisburg Center for Advanced Medicine: Offers services in areas like pain management, sports medicine, and wound care.
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America: Provides comprehensive cancer care.

Public Transport and Walkability in Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg offers a mix of public transportation and walkability, depending on your specific location and needs. Here’s a breakdown to help you navigate:

Public Transportation:

  • Capital Area Transit (CAT): The primary public transportation system, operating buses across the city and surrounding areas.
  • Coverage: Fairly extensive, reaching most major neighborhoods and points of interest.
  • Frequency: Varies depending on route, but expect longer wait times outside peak hours.
  • Fares: Affordable, with options for day passes and monthly passes.
  • Accessibility: Buses are generally accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
  • Other options: Limited availability of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.


  • Downtown: Most walkable area, with many streets designed for pedestrians, shops, and restaurants within walking distance.
  • Inner-city neighborhoods: Some areas like Midtown and Allison Hill offer decent walkability to amenities.
  • Suburbs and outlying areas: Largely car-dependent with limited sidewalks and amenities within walking distance.


  • Walk Score: Harrisburg’s average Walk Score is 68, considered “somewhat walkable”.
  • Walkability varies greatly by neighborhood: Research your specific desired location before assuming good walkability.
  • Public transportation can be helpful, but frequency and coverage limitations might require car usage for some trips.

Local Community and Activities

Harrisburg, PA boasts a vibrant community with numerous annual events and activities to explore throughout the year. Here’s a glimpse into some highlights:


  • New Year’s Eve Strawberry Drop: Ring in the year with a unique tradition featuring a giant illuminated strawberry descending from the Hilton Harrisburg.


  • Harrisburg City Islanders Soccer Season: Experience the energy of professional soccer matches played at FNB Field.
  • Harrisburg International Auto Show: Witness a showcase of the latest car models and technology.
  • ArtsFest Harrisburg: Immerse yourself in a celebration of visual arts, music, and performances during this multi-day event.
  • Bloomsburg Fair: Enjoy carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, and live entertainment at this historic regional fair.


  • Italian Lake Festival: Savor Italian cuisine, music, and cultural performances in the scenic City Island Park.
  • Fourth of July Celebration: Celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, food vendors, and live music at various locations.
  • Harrisburg Senators Baseball Season: Cheer on the city’s minor league baseball team at Metro Bank Park.
  • Arts in the Heart of Harrisburg: Explore a mix of visual and performing arts showcased in Midtown Harrisburg.


  • Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts: Experience a week-long celebration of visual and performing arts, including music, dance, and theater.
  • National Night Out: Connect with neighbors and promote community safety at block parties across the city.
  • PumpkinFest on City Island: Enjoy hayrides, pumpkin carving contests, and autumn-themed activities for all ages.
  • Turkey Hill Thanksgiving Parade: Witness a festive procession of floats, marching bands, and community groups.

Holiday Season:

  • Harrisburg Holiday Parade: Immerse yourself in holiday cheer with festive floats, marching bands, and Santa Claus.
  • Harrisburg Light-Up Night: Stroll through Midtown Harrisburg as it transforms into a winter wonderland with festive lights and displays.
  • Dickens of a Christmas: Victorian Christmas Market: Travel back in time with unique vendors, carolers, and holiday cheer in Victorian attire.

Beyond these key events, numerous other activities take place throughout the year:

  • Farmers’ markets: Fresh produce, artisan goods, and community spirit throughout the city.
  • Museum exhibits and events: Cultural and historical experiences offered by diverse museums.
  • Outdoor activities: Hiking, biking, and recreation opportunities in parks and trails.
  • Theater and live music: Performances by local and national artists throughout the year.

is Harrisburg, PA good for cycling?

Yes, Harrisburg, PA is a great place for cycling! There are many factors that contribute to this, including:

  • A variety of trails and routes: The Harrisburg region offers a variety of trails and routes for cyclists of all levels, from easy, paved paths to challenging mountain bike trails. Some of the most popular trails include the Capital Area Greenbelt, the Susquehanna River Bike Trail, and the Swatara Rail Trail.
  • A growing cycling community: Harrisburg has a growing and active cycling community, with many clubs and groups that offer rides, events, and advocacy. This can be a great way to meet other cyclists and learn more about the area.
  • A commitment to cycling infrastructure: The city of Harrisburg is committed to improving its cycling infrastructure, with new bike lanes and paths being added all the time. This makes it safer and more convenient to get around by bike.
  • A beautiful setting: Harrisburg is located in a scenic area, with rolling hills, the Susquehanna River, and plenty of green space. This makes cycling a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Here are some resources that you may find helpful if you are interested in cycling in Harrisburg:

However, it’s important to consider some potential drawbacks as well:

  • Traffic: While there are designated bike lanes in some areas, traffic can be a concern, especially on busy roads. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and choose routes with lower traffic volume.
  • Limited technical trails: Although there are some challenging mountain bike trails, Reading might not be the ideal destination for avid mountain bikers seeking highly technical terrain.
  • Winter weather: Cycling during winter months can be challenging due to snow and ice. However, there are still some trails that are cleared and suitable for winter riding.

Financial Considerations

Cost of Living

 A family of four is estimated to have monthly costs of $4,494, while a single person’s estimated monthly costs are $2,363.

These figures are based on a range of expenses, including housing, utilities, food, transportation, and healthcare.

For example, the monthly rent for an 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in a normal area is approximately $1,257, and basic utilities for a 915 sq ft apartment are around $120 per month.

Housing Market Trends

The Harrisburg housing market is stable, with steady house prices and a diverse range of housing options to choose from. Harrisburg is more affordable than nearby major cities like Philadelphia and New York City.

The median home price in Harrisburg is $229,552, which is $201,448 less than the national median home price of $431,000. The low median home price in Harrisburg makes it an ideal affordable option for retirement plans or downsizing.

House characteristics tend to be more attractive to retirees


  • Single-story homes: Eliminate the need for stairs, making them safer and easier to navigate for those with mobility limitations.
  • Wider doorways and hallways: Accommodate wheelchairs and walkers more easily.
  • Walk-in showers or tubs: Offer safer bathing options compared to traditional tubs.
  • Low-maintenance exteriors: Minimize yard work and upkeep.

Comfort and Convenience:

  • Open floor plans: Create a spacious and airy feel, promoting ease of movement and connection within the home.
  • Smart home features: Allow for automation of lighting, temperature, and other systems, enhancing convenience and potentially improving energy efficiency.
  • Universal design elements: Incorporate features like wider doorways, lever door handles, and lowered countertops to be adaptable to changing needs.
  • Energy-efficient construction: Reduces utility bills and promotes environmental consciousness.


  • Location: Proximity to amenities like healthcare, grocery stores, and social activities can be important. Some retirees favor quiet communities, while others prefer being closer to the action.
  • Community features: Gated communities offer security and planned activities, while others prefer the independence of standalone homes.
  • Outdoor living spaces: Patios, decks, and balconies can extend living space and encourage spending time outdoors.
  • Accessibility to nature: Views of greenery, proximity to parks or trails, can enhance well-being and enjoyment.

Specific house types that often appeal to retirees include:

  • Ranch homes: Single-story layout, often with open floor plans.
  • Bungalows: Smaller, single-story homes with efficient use of space.
  • Condominiums or townhomes: Offer low-maintenance living with shared amenities like pools and lawn care.
  • Active adult communities: Designed for retirees with amenities like fitness centers, social activities, and sometimes healthcare services.

Property Taxes

The effective property tax rates in Pennsylvania vary by county, ranging from 0.87% to 2.45%, with the state carrying an average effective property tax rate of 1.36%. This is higher than the national average of 0.99%. However, specific rates for Harrisburg or Dauphin County were not directly mentioned in the provided sources.

Dauphin County, where Harrisburg is located, has managed to hold the line on property taxes for the 19th consecutive year, according to the 2024 budget passed by the Dauphin County Commissioners.

This reflects a commitment to fiscal responsibility and a focus on scrutinizing spending to ensure that the general fund budget of $220.6 million does not necessitate a tax increase. The property tax rate for county services remains at 6.88 mills, where a mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value

Relocation advices to move to Reading PA for retirement

Before you move:

Consider these 3 things:

  • Neighbourhood: Different areas offer diverse vibes. Downtown is walkable and lively, suburbs provide space and quiet, while historic districts charm with character. Research areas like Midtown, Allison Hill, Uptown, and suburbs like Lower Paxton Township.
  • Accessibility: Opt for single-story homes or buildings with elevators if stairs are an issue. Look for wider doorways and grab bars for future needs.
  • Community features: Gated communities offer security and planned activities, while independent homes provide flexibility.


  • Real estate websites: Use filters for retirement-friendly features and desired locations.
  • Senior housing communities: Explore options with amenities like social events, fitness centers, and healthcare services.
  • Rentals: Consider renting before buying to get a feel for different neighborhoods.

Logistics & Preparation:

  • Downsize belongings: Declutter and consider selling or donating items you won’t need in your new life.
  • Start forwarding mail and update accounts: Notify relevant agencies and services of your move date and new address.
  • Arrange moving logistics: Hire movers or plan your move, considering insurance and any accessibility needs.
  • Connect with healthcare providers: Research and establish relationships with doctors, specialists, and healthcare facilities before or shortly after your move.

During the Move:

  • Stay organized: Keep important documents and medication accessible. Ensure smooth communication with movers and service providers.
  • Connect with neighbors: Introduce yourself, build relationships, and explore community involvement opportunities.
  • Start establishing routines: Find local grocery stores, pharmacies, and essential services. Explore senior centers, social groups, and activities that interest you.
  • Be patient and flexible: Allow time for adjustments and adapt your expectations when needed. Moving is a transition, and your needs might evolve.

After the move:

Stay Active & Engaged:

  • Explore interests: Participate in social activities, clubs, volunteer opportunities, or pursue hobbies. Stay physically and mentally active.
  • Embrace lifelong learning: Attend lectures, workshops, or educational programs offered by local institutions.
  • Maintain social connections: Build friendships with neighbors, join community groups, and stay in touch with loved ones.
  • Travel and explore: Take advantage of Harrisburg’s central location and proximity to various attractions in Pennsylvania.

Additional tips:

Next Steps for Further Research: