Want a happy retirement? Move to West Sussex! The county has just been named as the best place to retire, where pensioners have the highest quality of life, according to Prudential’s Quality of Retirement Index. Dorset, which had topped the index for three years running, is the second highest-ranked retirement hotspot, followed by East Sussex, Devon and Norfolk.
The insurer’s research looked at eight retirement factors including best access to healthcare, the number of pensioners living there, crime levels, pension income, weather, healthy lifestyle data and the number of pensioners moving to the county.
There are now 10.6 million people aged 65 or over in England and Wales, a million more than five years ago, and accounting for nearly one in five of the total population. So deciding on the right place to retire to is a challenge faced by many people each year.
Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Our analysis shows that every part of the country has something different to offer pensioners, but the counties with the most attractive attributes tend to be along the southern and eastern coasts of England. Counties like West Sussex and Dorset may be attractive because of their low crime rates or the quality of their health care. However finding the right spot to live in such popular locations can be tricky.
“To get the most choice when the time comes to give up work, people will benefit from saving as much as they can into a pension as early as they can in their working lives. And before taking any decisions on how to turn their pension savings into an income, many will also benefit from a conversation with a professional financial adviser.”
What's on offer at the top 5 retirement hotspots?
1. West Sussex
With Fishbourne Roman Palace and Arundel Castle within its boundaries, West Sussex has a history of attracting people to come and live there – it remains attractive in 2017 as proven by the fact that it has the second highest net inflow of pensioners in England and Wales. This could be down to its strong rankings for good weather and disability-free life expectancy. Indeed, West Sussex achieved top-four rankings in half of the eight research categories.
Home to much of the Jurassic Coast and enjoying a tourism boom as the location of TV drama Broadchurch, Dorset remains a popular destination for pensioners, ranking in the top ten for five out of the eight criteria. With the third highest population density of pensioners in the UK and the second-best weather, any over 65s relocating here should feel at home very quickly.
3. East Sussex
As renowned for vibrant and hip Brighton as it is for the more sedate retirement hotspot of Eastbourne, East Sussex is a county of contrasts. This is also reflected in its scores this year, with top-five rankings for net inflow of pensioners and good weather, tempered by lower pensioner population density and its crime ratings.
With a wide choice of lifestyles, from city dwelling in Plymouth and Exeter to rural Dartmoor and two different coastlines, Devon has the highest net inward migration of pensioners in England and Wales. This could be down to factors such as its low crime rate, and generally good weather.
As well as boasting nearly 100 miles of coastline, having the largest village green in England and the highest concentration of medieval churches in the world, Norfolk is also one of the most pensioner-friendly counties in England and Wales. Strong scores for low levels of crime, good weather, pensioner population density and net migration give Norfolk a spot in the top five.