Chester County Pennsylvania (aka Chesco)

Chester County is a wonderful place to live. Depending on where in the county you are it may be rural or a far-out suburban. I live in the eastern part of the county (about 25 miles or so west of Philadelphia). It is quite hilly in places (many rolling hills and valleys) and the scenery is magnificent. Chester County is the county with the highest average income in Pennsylvania and sits at the western end of the Philadelphia Main Line. The train into Philadelphia takes a bit less than a hour from the station near my home.

Often called Chesco locally, Chester County is in southeastern Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia. West Chester is the county seat of Chester County. The Chester County of today is smaller than the original Chester County of William Penn’s day (1682) as a result of the original county being subdivided. A rather large piece was taken to form Lancaster County in 1729. Then a smaller piece was taken in 1752 to form part of Berks County. Initially the county seat was Chester on the Delaware River but as settlement moved west the residents of the western part of the county wanted the county seat and courthouse nearer to them but those in the eastern part of the county opposed this idea. The final decision (in 1789) was to split the eastern part off as Delaware County and this seemed to satisfy both groups. So we got the name Chester for the county and named our county seat West Chester but they got the original county seat of Chester. A bit confusing but that is what happened.

Skip ahead a few years and we moved here in 2008 when I retired. We had lived in Atlanta for 30 years while working. But our roots and families were in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states. So we looked around and found an area we liked very much around West Chester, the county seat of Chester County.

Since I am retired, I should mention that Pennsylvania is a retiree-friendly place. The state lottery benefits senior citizens. Generally pensions and social security are not taxed by the state. Here is a brief quote from a recent tax booklet. By the way, the PA PIT in the quote is Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax . I should add that I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. The booklet can be found on the Pennsylvania state website. You might want to check with the Pennsylvania revenue department for the latest details or updates.

• Social Security benefits and/or Railroad Retirement benefits
• Commonly recognized pension, old age, or retirement benefits paid after becoming eligible to retire, and retiring
• United Mine Workers Pension
• Military pension benefits
• Civil Service Annuity …

Since I mentioned taxes I should add that PA retired folks do not lead a tax-free existence. Although we may be able to avoid state income tax on a big chunk of our income, we do pay state income tax on other income. And school taxes can be pretty significant if you own property. Then there are also local taxes of various sorts and sales tax. (And of course federal taxes are pretty much the same in as long as you stay in the US. ) One thing I do miss about my county in Georgia is that some senior citizens were exempt from school taxes.

I should add the we did not pick Chester County for financial reasons. Some of the benefits of Pennsylvania were helpful perks but certainly not the driving force. Senior Ark has a nice article and some suggestions and comes down on the side of lower priced areas on Pennsylvania. But we like it here.

This website – ChescoPA

Why ChescoPa? I moved to Chester County, Pennsylvania a couple years ago and soon learned that all the counties had nicknames. Chester County is Chesco; Delaware County is Delco; Montgomery County is Montco; and the list goes on!

Several of the linked pages (see MENU above) have sites of specific interest such as local governments (townships, boroughs, a city, and school districts), Homeowner Associations (HoA) and their management companies, and sites of more local than county-wide interest.

I’m working of a list of sites for this page. I am also trying to figure out the best way to organize this. If you know of anything in Chester County with website that seems to belong here, let me know (see About page).