South West of England named as best region for retirement well-being

by Ray Clancy on July 30, 2015

People who want to retire to the UK may want to consider the South West of England as it has been named as the best location for pensioner well-being.

It is the place to live if you want a long, healthy and safe retirement, according to a new league table of pensioner wellbeing developed by insurance firm Prudential.

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A new report says the South West is the best place to retire in the UK

According to the league table, six of the top 20 counties for pensioner well-being are in the South West of England, with Devon coming out on top of the rankings, Dorset in second place, Gloucestershire seventh, Wiltshire 12th, Somerset 13th and Cornwall 19th. Tied for third place is Powys in Mid Wales and Norfolk in the east of England.

In another boost for pensioners in the region, Prudential’s own retirement research also recently found that the South West saw one of the largest year on year jumps in expected retirement incomes among this year’s retirees with new pensioners expecting to live on 19% a year more than those who retired in 2014.

The pensioner wellbeing league table rates each county against a number of indicators including the ratio of healthcare workers per head of population, the length of time a pensioner can expect to live once they’ve retired, and the annual incidences of crime per thousand members of the county’s population.

The research found that has a low crime rate at 50.1 crimes annually per thousand people in Devon is well below the national average of 56.7. The county’s pensioner life expectancy is in the national top 10 for both men and women. The average 65 year old man can expect to live for another 19 years while a woman can expect to live for another 22 years. Devon also has an above average number of healthcare workers per thousand people at 65.6 compared with the 60.9 national average.

Ranked second in the league table, Dorset’s pensioners have the longest life expectancy in England and Wales and the average 65 year old woman will live for another 23 years and a 65 man another 20 years. The crime rate in Dorset is ninth lowest at 48.4 per thousand people, but the county has a relatively low ranking of 32nd in the country in terms of access to healthcare workers at 59.1 per thousand.

Powys’ ranking owes much to the fact that it has the lowest rate of recorded crime in England and Wales at 35.8 crimes annually per thousand people. Pensioner life expectancy for both women and men is in the national top 20 with a 65 year old woman expecting to live another 22 years and a man another 19 years. The provision of 62.2 healthcare workers per thousand people is also just inside the national top 20 counties.

Norfolk’s crime statistics show the fourth lowest at 45.5 crimes annually per thousand people. Life expectancy for pensioners is comfortably within the top 15 nationally for both men and women. The county’s overall position is however tempered slightly by the fact that it ranks 25th out of the 52 counties for provision of healthcare workers.

‘For people hoping to have the most comfortable lifestyle in retirement the best approach remains to save as much as possible as early as possible during your working life but while being financially secure in retirement shouldn’t be overlooked, issues such as safety, security and health play an important part in a pensioner’s overall quality of life,’ said Vince Smith Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential.

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