This is a very interesting thread for me. I am familiar with Western PA. I was born 'n' raised on a farm near Grove City, but attended and graduated from Gateway High School in Monroeville. I left that area to attend college and subsequently joined the service. Never been back. I have been thinking about moving back for some time.
I still have many ties to the area. My older Brother has lived in Monroeville all his life and enjoys it very much. He has owned his home since he retired over ten years ago at the age of 54
. Also, much of my Mom's family live in Pitcairn and Export, representing a significant support system. Those folks have always seemed to be quite content in the area; all live in their own homes and none seem to be burdened by property taxes. There seems to be significant municipal property tax breaks for retirees. School tax issues may be another matter.
An interesting point is that there is no tax break for working folks when they contribute to a 401K, however the opposite side of that coin is that there is NO state tax on anything withdrawn during retirement. Also, no state tax on pensions or social security.
Of course, the advantage is that there are a lot of family members in the area and the disadvantage is that there are a lot of family members in the area