Where do older people have the nicest life?

Study rates British cities for standard of living

Updated: 
Edinburgh - Scottish Heritage
Over 50 and looking for the good life? Move to Edinburgh.

The Scottish capital beats the nine other biggest British cities when it comes to happiness levels for older people, according to over-50s insurance provider RIAS.

The company looked at annual household income, monthly disposable household income, monthly household outgoings, household value of combined pension pot, life satisfaction scores, happiness scores, potential for social activity and unemployment rates to come up with its scores.

And it was Edinburgh that came out on top, scoring above average on seven out of the eight factors, the exception being monthly household outgoings. It even beat London to the top spot for highest annual household income, whilst also registering the lowest unemployment rate.

"With Edinburgh ranking so highly across the board it's clear to see that it deserves the top spot and is the best city amongst the UK's largest for the over 50s to live in," says RIAS managing director Peter Corfield.

"Those that are 50 plus there have the highest level of household income and good pension pot sizes, which are two of the key factors that have helped make the city a great place to live when it comes to standards of living."

Yorkshire, too, looks like a pretty good place to be for the over-50s, with Leeds and Sheffield ranking second and third in the list.

London was a lowly seventh: while its inhabitants have the highest household pension pot at £145,000 and the second highest annual household income at £39,735, things aren't so good in other ways.

London residents have the largest monthly outgoings figure, of£1,384, and have the least social activity with fellow over-50s. The capital also has the second-lowest scores for happiness and overall life satisfaction amongst the over 50s.

Liverpool comes last of all, scoring below average in seven out of the eight categories. It gets the worst ratings for happiness and life satisfaction, the second-lowest monthly disposable income figure, at £377, and the highest unemployment rate.

"It is interesting to see how widely the standard of living in the UK can vary for the over 50s between cities when you consider a number of factors," says Corfield.

"The next few months will see a big change in the over-50s landscape with greater pension freedoms becoming available. While the size of people's pension pots can have a big influence on their overall standard of living, it is important to remember other factors such as employment rates, as the over-50s continue to contribute in the work place later in life."

The UK's ten biggest cities and their standard of living score
1. Edinburgh 0.75
2. Leeds 0.7
3. Sheffield 0.66
4. Manchester 0.59
5. Bradford 0.51
6. Bristol 0.47
7. London 0.44
8. Birmingham 0.41
9. Glasgow 0.36
10. Liverpool 0.27

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