Revealed: The top UK retirement destinations


beach huts

Where do you dream of retiring in style? Somewhere sunny by the sea? Perhaps somewhere in the South of the UK? The good news is that you'll fit right in. The bad news is that you may find it a bit overcrowded.

A new study has revealed the retirement capitals of the UK - and they're clustered around places like this.

The research, from LV= found that the Isle of Wight is the UK's retirement capital - where almost 42% of people are of state pension age. That is followed by Bexhill and Battle at 34%, Christchurch at 33% and Louth and Horncastle at 33%.

The top 10

Isle of Wight 42%
Bexhill and Battle 34%
Christchurch 33%
Louth and Horncastle 33%
Clacton 32%
West Dorset 32%
Chichester 32%
East Devon 31%
Suffolk Coast 31%
North Norfolk 31%

It's not a huge surprise that these coastal and often rural places are so attractive to older people. After proximity to family and good transport, fresh air is considered the most important aspect of a retirement destination. This is followed by things to do - from cafes to art galleries - and then proximity to the countryside or the sea.

Clearly once you have stopped having to sit cheek by jowl with other people in order to join the rat race into work, you want somewhere calmer, more beautiful, with plenty to do.

By contrast, the ten least popular retirement spots are all in the city. They are led by the South and East of London, Glasgow and Birmingham.

The bottom 10

Poplar and Limehouse 8%
Glasgow North 10%
Vauxhall 10%
Bethnal Green and Bow 10%
Lewisham and Depford 10%
Hackney South and Shoreditch 10%
Ladywood in Birmingham 10%
Hackney North and Stoke Newington 10%
Bermondsey and Old Southwark 10%
Battersea 11%

It may well be that once your working days are over, you are likely to cash in on the relatively overpriced housing in these parts of the world, and head for somewhere less hectic, demanding, crowded and noisy.

Perhaps its lucky that 7% of people name 'a large community of retirees' as a priority when choosing a retirement destination - as it seems they are highly concentrated.

The future

One interesting question is whether this will continue to be the case, as more people work into retirement, and more of them still need to be close to a source of work in their later years. The Isle of Wight may be a lovely place to relax in your golden years, but it's hardly a hive of industry.

The survey found that 57% of Britons believe that by the time they stop working, the average retirement will be very different from what it is today. They still expect to be working, and they expect to be active too: over half of people still working (56%) are looking forward to keeping themselves very active and trying new things in retirement.

When listing their priorities for retirement, being close to amenities such as a good public transport network (43%), access to bars and restaurants (30%) and culture and entertainment (27%) all scored far higher than proximity to the sea (19%).

Ray Chinn, LV= Head of Pensions, questioned whether those answering the survey would still feel the same by the time they came to retirement. He said: "It's clear that when you ask people about what they want in retirement their aspirations tend to mirror more closely their lifestyle today, rather than one which we would typically associate with a pensioner."

On the one hand they may just be missing the point about what they will want out of life in retirement. On the other, they may simply be reflecting the fact that they expect to live longer and work well into their 70's, so the life of those over the age of 65 may well be very different by then.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Seven retirement nightmares

Seven retirement nightmares