Without wishing to stereotype us, I think most of us who retire would prefer to get away from the towns and cities to somewhere where the pace is a little quieter. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve reached the age where I know what I like in life. I do recognise that company is good for me, so a place with good amenities and people to meet of my own age is important to me. A low crime rate is also important as I don’t want to be worrying about venturing out.
Based on a number of studies, the following places tick my boxes:
Dorset pensioners can expect to live a good 20-25 years in retirement. The county has more pensioners per head than any other county in the UK. It also has low crime figures relative to other counties. 82% of pensioners also own their own homes. In Christchurch for example, 30% of the population are retired and are treated to some dramatic coast lines and countryside. Festivals, coffee shops, simply lovely to stroll around.
Both West Somerset and North Somerset are appealing. To be honest, the South West generally looks good to me! Nearly 30% of the population are retired here and with the beauty of Exmoor and historic towns like Glastonbury and Wells to visit, it certainly appeals.
No retirement list would be complete without good old Devon. I still remember the cream teas from family holidays so perhaps I’m biased. Now though it has over 25% of its population made up of fellow retirees. It’s quaint yes but there’s also the lovely city of Exeter not too far away. Health facilities are second to none and crime rates are very low. Boxes ticked!
Let’s give the other side of the country a nod shall we? I can’t resist the north coast of Norfolk. Those crazy open beaches and marshland areas, wonderful for bird spotting or simply lazing away a day. Old fishing villages and functional towns, Norfolk has a great combination of charm and practicality. Its rural nature means crime rates are relatively low and it scores highly for life expectancy. The only slight downside versus other places on the list is that its health facilities don’t score quite so highly.
Both East and West Sussex feature in the top 10 counties for pensioner wellbeing. With over 25% of the population in retirement both sides of the county have appeal. In the East you’ve the picture postcard towns of Rye, Battle and Winchelsea. They’re quite arty so I could indulge my love of watercolours, and there’s plenty more to do besides. In the West you’ve the seaside attractions of Bognor and Littlehampton. Well served by transport links the county is also well connected, meaning you won’t be isolated from family and friends.
There’s no doubt that the UK has a huge amount to offer when it comes to retirement. It’s a difficult choice. It’s easy knowing what I want, to live my years somewhere I’m happy and content. Making sure I can do so financially and independently takes planning and some serious thinking. I’ll get right it!