Blog: Retire to the sunny south

Written by Jack Gray
14/09/2018

Living in Brighton for nearly all of my 24 years I know the appeal of relaxing on the south coast of England. The sun, sea and rolling hills create the perfect environment for wasting away your days sitting in cafés, strolling through countryside and absorbing the sun’s rays.

Prudential’s 2018 Retirement Quality of Life Index supports this idyllic view, as regions on the south coast of England dominate the list of top places for pensioners to live. West Sussex, with its country houses and picturesque walks through the South Downs, retains its place from 2017 at the top of the list.

Seven of the top 10 are in the south of England, with Dorset and East Sussex making up the top three and the Isle of Wight, Devon and Oxfordshire coming in 4th, 6th and 8th respectively. The only counties in the top 10 that are not in the south were Norfolk, Worcestershire and Shropshire, and no northern counties made it onto the list at all.

The factors considered when assessing places to retire included: pensioner population, life expectancy, access to healthcare, crime levels, pension income, weather and happiness.

Finding the right place to retire is important in your twilight years and higher average life expectancy is meaning more and more people are having to make this choice. Prudential retirement expert, Kirsty Anderson said: “Our analysis hopefully helps future retirees with this decision and highlights that every county has something different to offer and considers some indicators that might not be obvious when making the decision.”

Retirees should also be flocking to Leicestershire, the most improved county, as it climbed 14 places to rank 32, while Herefordshire rose 13 places to 20 on the back of their top performance in disability-free life expectancy.

Although many southern counties do not rate highly in some areas, such as crime levels, it’s still better than retiring in the north or Kent, which fell 13 and 12 places to rank 35 and 52 respectively, and you are more likely to be happy, enjoying the warmer weather.

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