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retire

Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!

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Retire in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania?

Overview: Beautiful Jim Thorpe, known as the "Switzerland of America," is nestled along the Lehigh River in rolling eastern Pennsylvania and has been hailed as a great little town by numerous national publications.

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A gateway to the scenic and popular Poconos, Jim Thorpe started out as Mauch Chunk, a Native American term for "sleeping bear." The name changed in 1953 when the widow of renowned athlete Jim Thorpe convinced the struggling coal hamlet to buy her husband's remains, erect a monument in his honor and rename the town Jim Thorpe. These days, the legacy of Jim Thorpe brings a lot of tourists here, but so does the abundant outdoor recreation (whitewater rafting, in particular, is top notch). And the town's extraordinary architecture, a compact mix of Federalist, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque, creates a wonderfully elegant cityscape. With steep, lush mountains as a backdrop, the little mountain village of Jim Thorpe seems to enchant just about everyone.

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Many in-town homes date from the 1800s, while more contemporary dwellings, including ranch ramblers and cabins, are nestled in the woods.

Population:  4,800 (city proper)

Age 45 or Better:  41% 

Cost of Living:  9% below the national average

Median Home Price: $145,000

Climate:    Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and winter temperatures in the teens, 20s and 30s. On average, the area receives 45 inches of rain and 30 inches of snow every year.

At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients?   No, but Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, about 10 miles away in Lehighton, accepts Medicare patients./p>

At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission?    No, but Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, about 10 miles away in Lehighton, is accredited.

Crime Rate:  Below the national average

Public Library:    Yes

Public Transit:   Carbon County Community Transit offers door to door rides Monday through Friday. The service requires advance reservations and is limited.

Political Leanings:   Conservative

College Educated:   28%

Is Pennsylvania Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement?    Yes

Cons:    Newcomers sometimes have trouble fitting in at first. The town has lost 2% of its population during the last decade.

Notes:  Jim Thorpe is very cute town but very touristy. Shopping is mostly of the specialty type, but there is a general store for basic supplies. Autumn is particularly spectacular.

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Recommended as a Retirement Spot?    Yes, although the population loss is something to keep in mind.

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Pennsylvania:

Established by William Penn as a sanctuary for Quakers, the Keystone State was the site of two Continental Congresses. The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution became products of the second congress in 1775. Pennsylvania also played a decisive role in the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg gave General Meade with a key win and put an end to the South's Northern Invasion.

The Appalachian mountains are Pennsylvania's backbone. The state has 140 miles of shoreline along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary. Five regions - the Allegheny Plateau, the Ridge and Valley, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the Erie Plain - help provide a diversity of landscape and climate. Although Philadelphia, the state's most populous city, may experience some subtropical temperatures, the rest of the state can experience cold winters.

Pennsylvania's economy is one of the largest in the country and the world. It's a leading coal producer and the only state to mine anthracite. Fortune 500 companies based in Pittsburgh include U.S. Steel, PPG Industries, and H.J. Heinz. Locomotives for GE Transportation Systems are assembled in Erie. Mushrooms, apples, and Christmas trees are a few of the state's agricultural products.

Although it was the second state to enter the Union on December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania has recorded a large list of firsts. Betsy Ross made the first American flag in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is also the birthplace of the nation's first zoo. Titusville claims the world's first oil well.

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Stats:

Population - 12,784,227

Persons 65 years old and over - 17%

High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+ - 89%

Bachelor's degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+ - 29%

Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent - 7%

White persons, not Hispanic, percent - 77%

Median household income - $53,599

Median home value- $166,000

Social Security taxed? No

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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