Kirsty Anderson

Business Development Manager

Retirees living for the city

8 February 2017

  • More than half of urban dwellers plan to stay in their home city when they retire
  • People in Belfast and Newcastle are most likely to stay put when they become pensioners
  • Southampton, Birmingham and Norwich residents are keenest to move when retired - with the cost of living being the most common reason

Forget the retirement dream of moving to the countryside or heading to the coast - more than half (52 per cent) of the residents of the UK’s biggest cities want to stay exactly where they are when they stop work, according to new research by Prudential1.

The findings - which are taken from Prudential’s exclusive research comparing attitudes to finance and the preparations workers are making for retirement in the UK’s biggest cities - show that most people are happy to retire in the city in which they currently live. Residents of Newcastle and Belfast are the most likely to retire where they live, with 62 per cent and 61 per cent  respectively saying they plan to stay put.

Simply being happy and settled in the city in which they live is the most popular reason for people deciding not to up sticks on retirement. Those living in Newcastle (81 per cent), Liverpool (72 per cent), Brighton and Belfast (both 71 per cent) are the most likely to feel too settled in their home city to retire elsewhere - all above the UK average of 68 per cent.

Across the country’s largest cities, more than four in 10 (43 per cent) of those who will stay put when they retire say that family ties keep them from moving away. A quarter (25 per cent) want to continue to benefit from good public transport, 23 per cent feel that health services in their city are very good and one in seven (14 per cent) don’t want to miss out on the leisure facilities they currently have access to.

On the flip side, fewer than one in three people living in Southampton (32 per cent) definitely plan to retire in the city and only 38 per cent of Birmingham and Norwich residents will remain in their current city when they give up work.

More than four in ten 43 per cent of those who will definitely leave their home city when they retire say that they it has always been their plan to move away. However nearly a quarter (24 per cent) say that they are worried that the cost of living in their city will be too high and fear that their retirement income will be inadequate to cope with day-to-day costs.

Kirsty Anderson, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “It is easy to assume that city living is something that is more attractive to young professionals but our research shows that the majority of people living in the UK’s biggest cities are planning to stick around when they give up work.

“However, a significant proportion of the people we spoke to expressed concern about the cost of city living in retirement and were hoping to move away. When planning for life after work many people will benefit from a consultation with a professional financial adviser who can help them to set a savings budget and a target retirement income for their pension.

“Irrespective of their hopes for retirement, the best way for many workers to ensure they can live as comfortably as possible in the location of their choice is to save as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives.”

Earlier this year Prudential’s analysis2 identified Norfolk, East Sussex and Devon among the top 10 counties in England and Wales for a comfortable retirement. However, it would appear that many city dwellers in these counties don’t agree that their city would be the best place to retire - only 38 per cent of Norwich residents, 45 per cent of those in Brighton and 58 per cent in Plymouth are planning to stay living in these cities when they retire.

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