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West Sussex named best county for retirement

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Pensioners enjoy the highest quality of life in West Sussex, according to analysis from Prudential.

As part of its Quality of Retirement Index, Prudential looks at eight sets of data in order to rank counties offering the happiest and most comfortable retirement. These include:

  • The proportion of pensioners already living there (this is an indicator that the county has previously been an attractive location for pensioners)
  • Disability-free life expectancy
  • Access to healthcare
  • Crime levels
  • Number of pensioners moving to the county
  • Pension income
  • Weather
  • Healthy lifestyle data.

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said that with more than 10 million people aged over 65 in England and Wales, selecting the right place to retire is a big challenge faced by a large number of pensioners each year.

He continued: “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 healthcare. However finding the right spot to live in such popular locations can be tricky.”

The top counties to retire to

According to Prudential’s study, these are the best counties in which to spend your retirement years:

  1. West Sussex
  2. Dorset
  3. East Sussex
  4. Devon
  5. Norfolk
  6. Oxfordshire
  7. Worcestershire
  8. Isle of Wight
  9. Suffolk
  10. North Yorkshire

West Sussex took top spot for a host of reasons, including strong rankings for weather and life expectancy, as well as the second highest net inflow of pensioners in England and Wales.

Dorset was a strong performer too, ranking in the top ten for five of the eight criteria. With the highest population density of pensioners in the UK, older people relocating there are likely to feel at home very quickly.

If living with other people of a similar age is a strong concern, then the Isle of Wight is also a good option, with more than one in four of the population there aged 65 or over. Older people in Herefordshire enjoy the highest disability-free life expectancy, while pensioners in Wales have lots to be cheerful about, with Gwynedd boasting the highest number of healthcare workers per capita, and Dyfed and Powys enjoying the lowest crime rates in England and Wales.

While the south coast performed particularly strongly, it’s worth noting that the east coast did best on the weather, with Essex scoring highest.

Establishing where you want to live in retirement is just one step to ensuring your later years are lived in comfort. Read’s guide on How to plan for retirement for a comprehensive look at all the different elements you need to consider.

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