Retiring in Pennsylvania, Part 2: The Downsides

two men shoveling snow
Image via Creative Commons.
Among the downsides of a Pennsylvania retirement is the wintertime chore of snow removal.

The other side of the coin of advantages in retiring in Pennsylvania is its negatives. Retirepedia tallied the aspects of Keystone State life that may have retirees thinking twice.


Pennsylvania winters are cold, with low temperatures often dropping into the teens.

That bone-chilling air, when mixed with moisture from the state’s proximity to vast amounts of water (the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Lakes), often produces heaping snow.

Pennsylvania averages 38 inches of snow per year, versus the U.S. average of 28 inches. That accumulation needs shoveling or plowing — perhaps not the most enjoyable (or safe) activity for a retiree.

Inheritance Tax

Pennsylvania is known for its beneficial tax treatment of retirees but, unfortunately, those tax benefits are not passed along to heirs. Wealth passed to heirs is taxed by the state at rates up to 15 percent. 

Lack of Diversity

Most of our in-state diversity comes from the city of Philadelphia and its surrounding areas.

In 58 of the state’s 61 counties, the White demographic constitutes 90 percent or more of the population. 


Retirees will be thankful they do not have to navigate traffic during a daily commute anymore because the state of Pennsylvania ranks as the sixth worst for drivers.

Bad Roads

Perhaps traffic wouldn’t be so bad if Pennsylvania invested more in its roads.

The state ranks as having the fifth worst roads in the country, with 30 percent of its roads in poor conditions and 18 bridges structurally deficient.

Air Pollution

Pennsylvania ranks as the 11th worst state in the country for air pollution. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and even Lancaster areas rank in the top 10 percent of worst air quality. 

Much of the unhealthiness of the state’s air results from the state’s six coal-burning power plants. 

Read more about the downsides of retiring in Pennsylvania from Retirepedia.