Pennsylvania is where it all began way back in 1776. What, with the Liberty Bell, the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Valley Forge. This is to say nothing of the Gettysburg Address and other equally important moments in time. The Keystone State is more than a thing of the past, though, and could be just what you need in your future. Retirees and those aged over 59 benefit from a great many tax breaks as well as a focus on elder care unseen in other areas of the country. Read on to see whether the state known for virtue, liberty and independence is right for you and yours!
Being aged 65 and over in the Keystone State means you are in good company. More specifically, you are in the company of nearly 700,000 other residents that are enjoying the best years of their life. Not only does this equate to just over 16% of the entire population, but also lands Pennsylvania fifth on the list of states with the greatest number of older adults. What does that mean to you? Well, besides an ever-increasing focus on long-term care and tax incentives, there is also the greater likelihood for community-based activities due to shared experiences and concerns.
Of course, the state of Pennsylvania is not without some minor downfalls. To wit, retirees should expect wait times for emergency care of up to 22 minutes with discharge time tallying another 142 minutes. A broken bone could mean an hour’s wait for relief while an overnight stay will mean another 106 minutes spent waiting for urgent care. In order to mitigate any potential issues when it comes to calling for help, older folks would be wise to investigate whether an in-home or mobile medical alert device might be more than a convenience. These devices are more than simple pendants alerting medical personnel of a fall or loss of consciousness. The latest medical alert devices now feature wearable technology and can double as activity and fitness trackers, which can aid in keeping this key demographic aging in place within the comfort of their own home.
When paired and deployed to help seniors in Pennsylvania, health care services and medical alert devices leave relatively few gaps in coverage. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the state 11th for overall health are access with quality of care coming in at 26th and public health finishing a respectable 32nd. McKinsey & Company followed up those rankings with a cumulative ranking of 11th for all aspects of health care access to include the availability of adult dental clinics (#25), primary care provider networks (#19) and affordability (#17) for all of the above. Quality of life in this historic birthplace was also ranked extremely well at fourth behind only Minnesota, Massachusetts and California.
The Keystone State is a solid choice for health care services as only twelve other states spent more per capita in 2014 on its over 65 crowd. The Department of Aging stretches this budget, though, and now includes access to ombudsman, prescription information, protective services, transportation, housing assistance, help at home, day centers for learning, insurance, meals and more non-traditional options like PrimeTime Health, PACENET and attendant care programs. Seniors are also encouraged to live as independently as the founding fathers. Those who elect to forgo nursing homes and the like, however, should consider investing in a home monitoring system should they become incapacitated in a medical emergency.
Pennsylvania offers a unique climate that enables folks over the age of 65 to age gracefully and independently. To wit, the state is just one of a few that does not tax retirement income such as that received from 401(k)s, Roth IRAs or Social Security. What’s more, this all beings at just 59½ years of age. Unlike the rest of its neighbors in the cost-prohibitive Northeast, Pennsylvania is only 1% above the national average for cost of living and homes cost only $141,000. This can vary, of course, depending on where one decides to settle. Still, Pennsylvania is a strong candidate for retirees looking to maximize their quality of life, maximize their retirement income and delight in the historically sites on offer around the Keystone State.