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US News ranks the best places to retire. This Northeast city was No. 1.

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Downtown-Lancaster-PA
An aerial view of historic downtown Lancaster, Pa. Adobe Stock

WASHINGTON — US News & World Report unveiled Wednesday its 2019 Best Places to Retire rankings. The list offers an evaluation of the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures that include housing affordability, health care, and overall happiness.

Up from No. 2 last year, Lancaster, Pa., topped the list at No. 1 due to increases in housing affordability and the overall happiness of its residents. Fort Myers, Fla., jumped from No.15 to No. 2 after seeing increases in its desirability and happiness scores. Sarasota, Fla., fell from No. 1 to No. 3 this year because of a decline in both overall happiness and desirability. Austin, Texas, jumped to No. 4 from No. 9 for an increase in desirability, followed by Pittsburgh, rounding out the top 5.

Seven New England cities cracked the top 100: Portland (19), Boston (25), Springfield (69), Hartford (73), New Haven (74), Worcester (77), and Providence (85).

This year, U. News increased the weight of the desirability metric from 10 percent to 15 percent, as it provides a more balanced understanding of the opinions gathered through consumer surveys. Desirability is one of the six factors in the 2019 Best Places to Retire methodology. The others are housing affordability, retiree taxes, the happiness index, the job market, and health care quality. These measures were selected and weighted based on a public survey of pre-retirees (age 45-59) and retirement-age (age 60+) individuals across the United States to find out what matters most when considering a place to retire. Data sources include the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as US News hospital rankings.

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