Christchurch is UK retirement capital

Sam Cordon

September 13, 2013

Prudential’s analysis of the latest UK census data found that three in every 10 people (30%) living in Christchurch are retired.

The figures show that the proportion of pensioners in the town is over 80% higher than the UK average of 16%.

Christchurch, also home of the most expensive beach hut in the UK, has a total population of nearly 50,000 of which more than 14,000 are pensioners.

South West England is the most popular region in the UK for retirees generally. Over a million pensioners live there – 20% of the total population – and five of the UK’s top 10 places to live for retirees are in the region.

Alongside Christchurch, other West Country retirement hotspots include: West Somerset (second in the UK overall: 29%), East Devon (fifth: 28%), East Dorset (sixth: 28%) and West Dorset (eighth: 27%).

Across the UK, approximately one in six or 16% of the population is retired, equating to more than 10 million people. London is home to 17 of the 20 local authorities with the lowest proportion of pensioners in the country.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has the lowest proportion of retirees of any local authority in the UK with only 6% of people living there aged over 65.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “The latest census results throw a light on the most and least popular places to retire.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly there’s a tendency for people to move out to the country when they stop working where property prices can be lower and the quality of life is often thought to be higher.”

This year’s census figures back up the findings of the previous study into home ownership by retired people.

Smith-Hughes added: “Many are freeing up funds to boost their income or reduce their living costs by downsizing or moving to where property prices are lower. And according to our new research those moves tend to be to the countryside.

“However people planning to stop working shouldn’t assume that a move to the country is the simple answer to a comfortable retirement as the cost of living in these hot spots can be surprisingly high.

“People looking to secure the best possible quality of life after work should seek assistance from a financial adviser or retirement specialist to help maximise their income.

“It is also important to start saving as much as possible as early as possible in your working life towards your retirement.”

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