Surrey pensioners have the highest average income in the country (£21,200), while those in Dyfed and Powys enjoy the lowest crime rate, and people in Herefordshire have the most years in retirement before disability kicks in.
However, these aren’t the best places to retire in the UK – a study by Prudential has revealed that this particular honour goes to Dorset.
The quality of life index took a number of things into account, including crime levels, pensioner income, the health of people in retirement, access to healthcare, its attractiveness as a retirement destination, and the amount of sunshine.
Top 5 best places to live
This took the top spot the last time the index was released – in 2014 – and the reasons are obvious. It’s a beautiful place, with all-round appeal. It scored well for almost every aspect – particularly for attracting pensioners, health in retirement, and pensioner income.
It was in the top 20 for its climate and crime-rate, and only fell outside the top 30 when it came to access to healthcare.
2. West Sussex
This is the fourth most popular destination for retirees, and has a number of major attractions. Outdoorsy retirees will appreciate the fact it took the top spot for decent levels of sunshine. That’s perhaps why it took fourth place for both health in retirement and attracting new retirees.
It’s a wealthy place for retirees too – as they have the third highest incomes in the country. Only access to healthcare lets it down – as it took 52nd position in the national league table.
This is the only county in the top five not located on the South Coast of England, and offers enormous appeal for those seeking peace and tranquility in a rural setting.
One major reason for its position is health, as it takes the top spot for health in retirement, and fourth place for access to healthcare: both may go some way to explain why it is also third on the list for attracting pensioners. Its overall ranking suffers, however, from being 33rd in terms of retirement income and 26th for sunshine.
The beauty of this county, and its position as the home of the cream tea, may go some way to explaining why it did so well. It also scored impressively for its low crime rate, good weather, reasonable retirement income, and its attractiveness as a retirement destination. In fact, the only area where it fared poorly was access to healthcare – where it took 32nd position.
5. Isle of Wight
Ever since Queen Victoria decided to spend the later part of her life on the island at Osborne House, the Isle of Wight has continued to be a magnet for retirees – it remains the most popular destination in England and Wales for pensioners.
Part of the reason is that the area takes the top spot for decent level of sunshine. It also fares reasonably well for health and wealth, and is only let down by a relatively high crime rate and poor access to healthcare.
6. East Sussex
Home to the seaside resorts of Brighton and Eastbourne, East Sussex owes its top five place to the fact that it is the only county to rank in the national top 30 in all seven of Prudential’s indicators. It is also ranked as joint best for the sun, and scores well for pensioner wealth.
Seventh place went to Rutland, which was only really let down by comparatively poor levels of sunshine, and low pensioner incomes.
Next was Dyfed which scored well for its low crime rate, but disappointed on pensioner incomes and health in retirement.
Norfolk was ninth, scoring well for attracting new pensioners, but poorly for pensioner incomes, health in retirement and access to healthcare.
And in tenth place was Surrey, where pensioners are healthy and wealthy, but it doesn’t tend to attract retirees – in fact they are more likely to cash in on their property price and move elsewhere.