retirement

Philadelphia: A Great Large City for Retiring in Good Health

The "City of Brotherly Love" appeals to a variety of people -- from art enthusiasts to fitness buffs.

Population: 1,567,442

Cost of living: 119.5 (national median: 100)

Median home price: $180,000 (national median: $185,000)

Healthy highlight: Philadelphia's annual Broad Street Run is the largest 10-mile race in the country. This year, more than 40,000 runners took to the course in the pouring rain.

For retirees eager to keep their mind and body in motion, Philadelphia offers no shortage of activities. The culturally inclined can take in the art at the city's world-class museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation. Or they can attend concerts and lectures at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, whose fall lineup includes the touring cast of An American in Paris and chef and author Anthony Bourdain.

Health-conscious retirees might spend their mornings shopping for fresh produce, meats and cheeses (and maybe the occasional cannoli) at the Ninth Street Italian Market or going for a bike ride among the gaggles of runners, walkers and strollers on scenic Kelly Drive. What's more, Philly is home to several excellent university health systems, including those at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Each of Philadelphia's neighborhoods has its own flavor, says Heather Petrone-Shook, a real estate agent at Long and Foster and a member of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors. If you don't want all the hustle and bustle of city life, she says, Manayunk, just 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia via Septa Regional Rail (people age 65 and up ride free), offers a blend of urban amenities and small-town charm. The neighborhood scores major walkability points thanks to its bustling mile-long Main Street corridor. Main Street boasts seemingly one or two of everything, from bars and restaurants to high-end clothing boutiques to quirky record stores and antiques shops. Just steps from Main Street, active residents can visit the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, with basketball courts and a 250-seat theater, or walk along the Manayunk Canal Towpath—a two-mile boardwalk that connects with more than 60 miles of trail along the Schuylkill River.

Formerly known as a haven for Philly college students, Manayunk's housing prices, location and improving amenities have recently brought empty nesters to the neighborhood in droves, says Jane Lipton, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corp. Renovated townhomes built from 1900 to 1920 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms sell for about $220,000 to $350,000. New homes, most of them 2,000 square feet or more with garages, start at about $550,000, she says.

Pennsylvania is tax-friendly for retirees. The Keystone State doesn't tax retirement income for residents age 59½ or older, income from individual or workplace retirement accounts, or Social Security benefits.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
25 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco
Smart Buying

25 Best Kirkland Products You Should Buy at Costco

Many of warehouse club Costco's store-branded Kirkland Signature items get high marks for quality and value. Check out our picks.
July 21, 2021
Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments
Tax Breaks

Warning: You May Have to Pay Back Your Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments

Unlike stimulus checks, you might have to repay your monthly child tax credit payments if you get too much money from the IRS.
July 16, 2021

Recommended

How Patients with Lasting Symptoms of COVID Can Apply for Disability
Financial Planning

How Patients with Lasting Symptoms of COVID Can Apply for Disability

Those who can no longer work because of COVID-19 may qualify for these benefits but the approval process can be a difficult road.
July 30, 2021
Older Adults Battle Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Financial Planning

Older Adults Battle Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

Seniors are more likely to suffer from long COVID, and it's unclear when, or even if, they will fully recover.
July 29, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
retirement

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Even with the federal exemption from death taxes raised, retirees should pay more attention to estate taxes and inheritance taxes levied by states.
July 26, 2021
10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees
retirement

10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

When it comes to state and local taxes, retirees in these states are likely to pay more than retirees in other states.
July 26, 2021