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Lakeland Ranked No. 14 On U.S. News' List Of Best Placed To Retire

Patch 11/1/2022 D'Ann Lawrence White
Stroll down the Frances Langford Promenade and through Hollis Garden, a botanic garden set in a neo-classical architectural setting with patterned flower beds, public art and fountains in Lakeland. © Visit Central Florida Stroll down the Frances Langford Promenade and through Hollis Garden, a botanic garden set in a neo-classical architectural setting with patterned flower beds, public art and fountains in Lakeland.

LAKELAND, FL — Those who have opted to spend their golden years in Lakeland appear to have chosen well. Lakeland has been ranked No. 13 on the 2022-2023 Best Places to Retire in the United States, according to a list compiled annually by U.S. News & World Report and released Tuesday.

Although that's down a spot from last year's ranking of No. 12, it still puts Lakeland among the top 20 places in the United States for retirees.

The new list evaluates the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including those on housing affordability, health care and overall happiness.

In Florida, 12 cities placed in the top 40 on the list this year, up from 10 last year.

Upheaval in the housing market is causing older Americans to reassess where they plan to retire, U.S. News senior editor for retirement Emily Brandon said in a news release.

The list is based on six measures of how well metropolitan areas meet Americans’ expectations of retirement — housing affordability and access to affordable health care among the top measures. Metro areas were evaluated using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as U.S. News’ internal resources.

The weighting of each of the six indexes was determined by the answers to a March 2022 public survey in which people from across the country voted on what they thought was the most important thing to c consider when choosing where to live after retirement. Read more about the methodology.

“The drastic shift in the housing market, high inflation and concerns of a pending recession have retirees weighing housing affordability more heavily when considering where to retire,” Brandon said.

“Additionally, with COVID still a concern and access to good, affordable health care being of importance to retirees, Pennsylvania dominated the Best Places to Retire ranking’s top positions, taking five of the top 10 spots on the list," she said.

Last year, Florida was home to eight of the 10 top states for retirees. This year, Pennsylvania had five and Florida had four of the top 10 metro areas for retirees. Michigan had one city, Ann Arbor, which moved up a position from last year. Here’s the top 10 list:

  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  2. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  3. Pensacola, Florida
  4. Tampa Florida
  5. York, Pennsylvania
  6. Naples, Florida
  7. Daytona Beach, Florida
  8. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  9. Allentown, Pennsylvania
  10. Reading, Pennsylvania

“With mortgage rates more than doubling over the past year, it stands to reason that falling affordability would lead to changes in the rankings,” real estate economist Patrick S. Duffy said in the news release. “As long as both rates and home prices are high, indexes related to things like happiness or health care quality, while important, will take a back seat to affordability.”

He said buyers who are able to purchase homes with cash, as investors, should pay close attention to housing values, which may be lowered to compensate for rising mortgage costs.

Florida cities making the top 40 best places to retire in the country are:

  • No. 3 Pensacola
  • No. 4 Tampa
  • No. 6 Naples
  • No. 7 Daytona Beach
  • No. 11 Sarasota
  • No. 12 Melbourne
  • No. 13 Lakeland
  • No. 16 Ocala
  • No. 31 Orlando
  • No. 35 Jacksonville
  • No. 38 Fort Myers

The article Lakeland Ranked No. 14 On U.S. News' List Of Best Placed To Retire appeared first on Lakeland Patch.

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