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UK plans a retirement revolution

Press release: 01/03/2013

  • Britain’s current top 10 ‘retirement capitals’ are all by the sea
  • The grey escape: typical retirement set to change as pre-retirees plan to shun a move to the coast

Today’s traditional image of the pensioner on the pier is set to change, according to research from retirement specialist LV=. While the current top 10 UK ‘retirement capitals’ are all on the coast, future retirees look set to shun the seaside in favour of a livelier retirement.

Today, the Isle of Wight is the retirement capital of the UK, with 42% of its residents claiming state pension, followed by Bexhill and Battle in East Sussex. In contrast to the coastal areas that make up Britain’s current retirement hot spots, those areas with the fewest retirees are all urban. The London constituency of Poplar and Limehouse is the least popular for retirees with just 9% of its population claiming the state pension, followed by Glasgow North and London’s Vauxhall.

Most popular 2012 UK Retirement Destinations

Constituency

% of residents claiming state pension

Type of region

Isle of Wight

41.88

Coastal

Bexhill & Battle

33.87

Coastal

Christchurch

33.32

Coastal

Louth & Horncastle

32.91

Coastal

Clacton

32.41

Coastal

West Dorset

31.91

Town / Coastal

Chichester

31.61

Town / Coastal

East Devon

31.44

Countryside / Coastal

Suffolk Coastal

31.28

Coastal

North Norfolk

31.02

Countryside / Coastal

Least popular 2012 UK Retirement Destinations

Constituency

% of residents claiming state pension

Type of region

Poplar & Limehouse

8.44

City

Glasgow North

9.86

City

Vauxhall

10.00

City

Bethnal Green & Bow

10.11

City

Lewisham, Deptford

10.14

City

Hackney South & Shoreditch

10.17

City

Birmingham Ladywood

10.20

City

Hackney North & Stoke Newington

10.32

City

Bermondsey & Old Southwark

10.45

City

Battersea

10.52

City

Source: ONS

However, the stereotypical view of a quiet, ‘put-your-feet up’ retirement by the sea looks set to change, with the majority of those not yet retired predicting a retirement revolution. Almost two thirds (57%) of Britons believe that by the time they stop working, the average retirement will be very different from what it is today. When listing their priorities for retirement, being close to amenities such as a good public transport network (43%), access to bars and restaurants (30%) and culture and entertainment (27%) all scored far higher than proximity to the sea (19%), or living in a community where there is a large number of other retirees (7%). Proximity to their family was the most important factor (49%) when considering where people might live in retirement.

Over half of people still working (56%) are looking forward to keeping themselves very active and trying new things in retirement. The majority of people (68%) want to continue to live independently in their own home, either alone or with their partner. However, the research also suggests a gradual move to more intergenerational living in retirement. 10% of today’s 18-34 year olds would wish to live with their future extended family in retirement (including any children and grandchildren they may have), as opposed to 5% of UK pre-retirees over 55. The research also indicates a rise in ‘Golden Girls’ style communal living, with 9% of 18-34 year olds wanting to relive their student days in a communal house, living with friends in retirement.

UK retirement destination priorities:

1

Proximity to family

49%

2

A good public transport network

43%

3

Fresh air

35%

4

Amenities (bars, restaurants)

30%

5

Culture and entertainment (museums, art galleries, cinema, theatre)

27%

6

Proximity to the countryside

25%

7

Proximity to the sea

19%

8

A large community of other retirees

7%

9

Other

4%

10

None of the above

11%

Ray Chinn, LV= Head of Pensions said: “It’s clear that when you ask people about what they want in retirement their aspirations tend to mirror more closely their lifestyle today, rather than one which we would typically associate with a pensioner. Regardless of how people feel when they actually reach retirement, to ensure that they can continue to enjoy their life to the full they need to have planned their finances accordingly.

"We would urge people to seek professional financial advice whether they are very close or a long way from retirement. Being aware of all the options available, such as enhanced annuities, drawdown or equity release, can make a significant difference to the lifestyle people are able to enjoy in retirement."

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Notes to editors

Research information gathered through a nationally representative online poll of 2,031 adults not yet retired by Opinium Research. Questions were in field from 15th to 18th February 2013.

Both the Na h-Eileanan an Iar borough and the Orkney and Shetland borough have been withdrawn from the table of least popular retirement destinations as the population is too small for comparison.

About LV=

LV= employs over 5500 people and serves around five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF. www.LV.com