AARP Report Ranks PA Low

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BLOOMSBURG -- According to the 2010 census, Pennsylvania has among the highest population of senior citizens in the country, but according to a recently published report by the American Association of Retired Persons, the Keystone State is not the best place to grow old.

That report by the AARP ranks Pennsylvania 46th in the nation in terms of affordability for senior citizens.

Read the full  AARP Pennsylvania Fact Sheet.

When Newswatch 16 spoke to seniors in Bloomsburg and Berwick about these statistics, their opinions on the report and Pennsylvania were split down the middle.

The report is called, "Raising Expectations 2014" and it ranks Pennsylvania 42nd on long-term services for senior citizens. It ranks the state 46th in terms of access to long-term care and affordability.

Some of the seniors at the Bloomsburg YMCA disagree with the report.

"As far as Pennsylvania goes, they don't tax social security, they don't tax pensions, which is good for the seniors," said Larry Bechtel of Bloomsburg.

Fred Ainsworth of Bloomsburg moved to Pennsylvania about 10 years ago because he says the cost of living is cheaper.

"To stay in New Jersey and pay the expensive taxes and the cost of living, it was cheaper for us to come out here to Bloomsburg."

Other seniors who Newswatch 16 spoke with agree with the report and say Pennsylvania's cost of living is way too high.

"Food is terribly priced. People are getting…they can't do it. Money's getting tight and jobs aren't good," said Nancy Demarco of Berwick.

Dorothy Long is 93 and has lived in Berwick her whole life.

"I think things here are too high," she said.

Long says the only reason she can afford to live here is because of her family. A few years ago she needed assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and was told she was number 200 on the list.

"But about a month ago, i did get a call from them and got a little bit of help. A little."

A spokesperson for the state Department of Aging says Pennsylvania is in the process of launching initiatives which are aimed at improving long-term services to senior citizens.


  • Robert Algar Jr

    The reason AARP doesn’t do good around here is that they have been outed for the political hack organization they are. It should be called American Association of Keeping Old Democrats in power. They do nothing but scare the elderly that someone is going to take away their Social Security. (and yes, Social Security IS a retirement plan)

  • Sharon

    rent in this area is entirely too high for the elderly and it seems that absolutely no one cares to change this.we are in the process of triying to find SOMETHING in the Lycoming county area that is affordable/ And IF you find housing no one wants animals so one has to get rid of that pet that is like family!!!!! Wheres the justice for our elderly???????

    • David Modlesky

      What they do is round them up and put them into high rises and then they base their rent on their income which, for most, isn’t that much and the rent is way too high. The purpose of the high rises is supposed to be to give elderly a nice place to live when they’re retired and most live like paupers.

  • David Modlesky

    We live in one of the most corrupt states in the U.S. What makes anyone think any “initiatives” the state provides for Seniors is actually going to help them all that much. However, do some research on how much Luzerne County would take in if the local EIT was raised from 1% to 3% in municipalities only paying 1% and see how much more income it provides the county compared to property taxes. It would be a fair way of taxing people since there’s a lot of people who don’t own homes who have children who use the schools; schools that are paid for by property owners.

  • David Modlesky

    The reason why the cost of living here is so high for seniors is because of the ridiculously high property taxes. All of the taxes we pay should be earned income-based so when you retire and don’t have any earned income you can enjoy your retirement years and not have to worry about your house being taken away because you can no longer afford to pay the taxes. People work hard all of their lives to pay for their home and nobody should have the right to take it away from them. Raise the EIT now and do away with property taxes. Give Seniors a break.

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