Pensioners seeking sun and fun should head to West Sussex

The top ten places in the UK for quality of life in retirement

Updated: 

West Sussex offers the best quality of life for retired people, according to a study covering England and Wales.

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Places in southern and eastern England dominated the top 10 list, with Dorset, East Sussex, Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk also identified as hotspots by Prudential.

Prudential looked at a range of data including disability-free life expectancy, access to healthcare, crime levels, pensioner populations, healthy lifestyles and the weather to make the findings. It used figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Met Office.

While nowhere in Wales made the top 10, Prudential said pensioners there do have reasons to be cheerful, for instance Gwynedd has a particularly high proportion of healthcare workers compared with the population size and Dyfed-Powys has notably low crime rates.

With Fishbourne Roman Palace and Arundel Castle within its boundaries, West Sussex attracts particularly high numbers of pensioners and also enjoys strong rankings for good weather and disability-free life expectancy.

Dorset, home to much of the Jurassic Coast and the backdrop for TV crime drama Broadchurch, also remains a popular destination for pensioners and has particularly good weather, Prudential said.

Surrey has the highest average pension income at £21,400 - nearly a third higher than the average in England and Wales.

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: "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 a huge number of people each year.

"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."

Here are the overall quality of life in retirement rankings, according to Prudential:

1. West Sussex

2. Dorset

3. East Sussex

4. Devon

5. Norfolk

=6. Oxfordshire

=6.Worcestershire

8. Isle of Wight

=9. Suffolk

=9. North Yorkshire

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