Christchurch named retiree capital

16 September 2013 08:34

A couple walk through a park in the coastal town of Christchurch

A couple walk through a park in the coastal town of Christchurch

With its invigorating sea air and mild climate, the Dorset coastal town of Christchurch has been named the UK's pensioner capital.

Three in 10 people living there are retired - almost double the national average - according to analysis of official census data by Prudential.

Pensioners may also be attracted to the historic town because of its 11th-century castle and large natural harbour.

Almost half of homes currently for sale there have a price tag of at least £300,000, and last year a beach hut in the area sold for £170,000 two days after going on the market.

The South West is the most popular region for retirees, largely because of its warmer climate, abundance of beaches and miles of glorious countryside. Almost a fifth of people living there are of pension age.

Although the relatively good weather is a big selling point, it's not always that balmy, but retirement gives older people with seniors travel insurance the chance to holiday abroad more, especially during the colder months.

The place in the UK with the lowest proportion of retirees is Tower Hamlets in London, where just 6% of people are pensioners.

West Somerset is the UK's second biggest retirement hotspot, with 29% of people living there drawing their pension.

At regional level, Wales has the second biggest concentration of pensioners, while the North East, South East and East Midlands are also popular. London is the least popular region for retirees, where only one in nine people are pensioners.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: "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.

"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 hotspots can be surprisingly high."

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