Lancaster ranks No. 2 in best places to retire

Willow Valley and 17 other senior living communities to host open house Oct. 21

Lancaster County has always been a popular retirement destination thanks to the low cost of living, beautiful scenery, great arts and entertainment, vibrant downtown and high quality health care.
But a recent U.S. News & World Report placed Lancaster second in the nation in its ranking of the 2018 Best Places to Retire in the United States. The new rankings offer a comprehensive evaluation of the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, health care and overall happiness. Sarasota, Florida, ranked first.
With Lancaster’s status as a top retirement location, 18 senior living communities in the county have joined together to host the seventh annual Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) Open House Tour on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Willow Valley Communities, the nation’s premier 55+ Senior Living Lifecare Community, will join the other Lancaster County communities for this unique and informative day. The coordinated CCRC Open House Tour enables visits to several communities in one day. Attendees can go from one community to the next to tour, gather information, meet residents and ask questions. They can then schedule follow-up appointments at communities of interest after the event for a more personalized visit and information.
A continuing care retirement community is a distinct type of senior living community that offers multiple care options at one location, but Willow Valley Communities is the only full Lifecare community on the tour. Lifecare is the comprehensive promise that entitles Willow Valley residents to supportive care, should it ever be needed, without a change to their monthly fee.
Willow Valley Communities expects some 300 visitors from Lancaster County and the Mid-Atlantic area to tour through their myriad innovative amenities on their beautiful Manor Campus. Guests will also see the newest grand event venue, Chautauqua Hall, which opened in August. Chautauqua Hall is a one-of-a-kind performance and entertainment location, featuring a stage and professional entertainment light and sound package to host a wide variety of events, such as dances, parties, lectures, meetings and much more.
The venue also boasts a large professional kitchen with indoor and outdoor serving areas, raw bar, grilling station, wine and beer on tap, ice cream bar, and a professional meat smoker allowing for amazing new food options that pair perfectly with the live events.
Guests at the open house will be treated to special seasonal hors d’oeuvres and refreshments prepared by Willow Valley’s award-winning culinary team.
Willow Valley Communities’ residents hail from across the United States, but approximately half are from Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna Valley. Tom and Fran Wright moved from their large home in Millersville and were glad to be rid of the challenges of its maintenance.
The Wrights had always been familiar with Willow Valley Communities and its solid reputation, but they especially noted the benefits of Lifecare and the promise that they will receive supportive long-term care, should it ever be needed, without their monthly fee increasing. Still, “just to cover all the bases,” they researched and visited other communities before deciding on Willow Valley.
Tom retired from his marketing career at Turkey Hill Dairy just before his move to Willow Valley. “I didn’t want to be the only guy leaving for work in the morning while everyone else was planning their fun day!” Of course, continuing a career as a resident at Willow Valley would not have been a problem; as a 55+ community, there are still residents working in their chosen career fields full time.
Tom and Fran enjoy many visits from their three sons and four young grandchildren at Willow Valley. Between the pools, vintage arcade, bowling alley and restaurants, there is plenty of fun for them. Tom especially enjoys bringing his family up to The VUE rooftop lounge at their community, The Vistas, to watch football on the big screen TV.
With over 90 floor plans, from cozy studios to 3,300-square-foot townhomes, along with a host of amenities, clubs, restaurants and events, there is something for everyone at Willow Valley Communities, and everything is designed to embrace the possibilities of a Life Lived Forward.
For more information about Willow Valley Communities, visit
For more information on the CCRC Tour, visit