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Why is this small town in Pennsylvania considered the best place to retire?

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How to save enough for retirement 02:57

The ideal American small town to retire in is probably unknown to most people. But with a relatively low average monthly cost of living, low crime rate and other attributes that make it highly livable, Camp Hill in Pennsylvania's Cumberland County, may be the best small town in the U.S. for retirees.

That's according to a report by, which looked at small towns with populations of between 1,000 and 10,000, with an eye toward the perfect retirement. In addition to the total number of households and median household income of each town, researchers also obtained average rental and living costs as well as crime rates and "livability" data, taking into account area amenities, housing opportunities, transportation services and more. 

Among the report's list of the 44 best small towns to retire in, Camp Hill holds the highest livability rating and overall score. Northville, Michigan, came in second place, followed by Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, in third. Freeport, Maine, rounded out the top four best places to retire to, earning high livability marks but costing more on a monthly basis and having a more elevated crime rate. 

With a population of just over 8,000 people and roughly 3,200 households earning median incomes of about $105,000, Camp Hill is also one of the more affordable places in the country. Residents there can expect to spend about $3,360 a month on living costs, including rent and other expenditures, the report found. By comparison, Kensington, California, a town of 5,300 people, has an average monthly cost of living of $8,000. 

Other small towns offered similarly low monthly expenditures, but earned fewer points in the livability category. 

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Located two miles from Harrisburg, the state capital, Camp Hill claims to have a vibrant shopping scene, made up of small businesses, a majority of which are owned by women, according to It's also home to the award-winning Cleve J. Fredricksen Library. A weekday farmer's market runs from May through October. 

To be sure, not all Americans can afford to retire as early as they'd expected, with an increasing share of workers remaining employed, or striving to remain employed, past the age of 65, out of necessity. About 27% of people who are 59 or older don't have  any money saved for retirement, according to a survey from financial services firm Credit Karma. 

Only 10% of Americans between the ages of 62 and 70 are both retired and financially stable, labor economist and retirement expert Theresa Ghilarducci shows in her book "Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy." The rest are either retired and living less comfortably than they once did, or still working out of financial necessity. 

You can view's full list of the 44 best small towns in the country to retire in here.

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