Retirement can pose challenges, particularly in the UK, where living costs and standards differ greatly depending on the region.

While many retirees opt to stay close to their families and friends, others may want to discover new places to live during their golden years. However, selecting the best place to retire in the UK requires time and effort, especially for those unfamiliar with the country’s retirement landscape

This analysis will guide you through the best places to retire in the UK in 2023.

Key Takeaways:

  • The UK offers a variety of excellent retirement locations, each with unique features and benefits.
  • The best places to retire in the UK typically feature a low cost of living, good healthcare, transportation, and ample amenities and attractions.
  • The top five retirement locations in the UK are Derry, Carlisle, Bradford, Glasgow, and Aberdeen.
  • It’s crucial to consider your personal preferences and needs when choosing a retirement location.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Place to Retire

There are many factors to consider when choosing a place to retire. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s a good starting point for determining where you want to live. These include:

  1. Cost of Living

When choosing a place to retire, you’ll want to find a location where your retirement income stretches further, covering housing, food, utilities, and other expenses. Living in an urban area with a high cost of living can make it challenging to afford your desired lifestyle. Since most retirees have little or no income stream, it’s reasonable to choose a place where you can live comfortably without overspending.

  1. Safety

After working hard for years, you’ll likely want to spend your retirement in a place where you can relax and feel safe. Therefore, consider factors such as crime rates, emergency response times, and available community resources when choosing where to retire. You’ll also want to find a location to walk in the evening without fear of getting mugged.

  1. Access to Healthcare

Access to healthcare facilities is crucial, especially if you have a chronic condition or are dealing with an illness. Some states offer better access to healthcare facilities than others, affecting your quality of life. The availability of healthcare facilities also influences care costs. For instance, having more hospitals in a state reduces healthcare costs, as patients can avoid travelling far for treatment.

  1. Low Taxation

Considering tax implications is essential when selecting a place to retire. If you’re living off retirement savings, you may need to pay taxes, depending on your residence and annual income. While some states have more favourable tax structures for retirees, this factor significantly impacts your decision on where to settle.

  1. Access to Transportation

Public transportation availability is essential if you no longer have a car or cannot drive due to age. You may need to travel for various reasons, such as visiting family or going on vacation, and it can be challenging to get around without a car. This is especially true if you live in an area without bus or train lines. Easy access to transportation reduces stress and helps you stay active in your community.

  1. Opportunities to Socialize

Retirement can become dull when you need people to talk to, so it’s essential to consider your new location during retirement. Remember, during your working days, you were always in a rush, and there’s no reason to retire to a place full of working-class individuals. Moving into a community where other retirees share your situation can help alleviate loneliness and foster new friendships.

  1. Cultural Amenities

Considering the availability of cultural amenities can help you find the best retirement community. It’s essential to remember that retirees have diverse interests and beliefs. Some may enjoy attending arts and crafts classes, while others prefer sports activities like golf or tennis. So, when moving to a new place, factor in your interests and beliefs.

  1. Climate and Weather

Another factor to consider is the climate and weather of a specific community. This is important because it can help determine whether the place meets your retirement needs. Some retirees prefer colder climates, while others enjoy warmer temperatures. Ultimately, people have different preferences and allergies concerning their health and the environment.

Top 5 Places to Retire in the UK in 2023

Retire in the UK

This section explores the best UK regions for retirement, focusing on affordability and safety. We use Halifax’s price-to-earning ratio to identify affordable areas and consult Numbeo for crime rate statistics. Based on these metrics, here are the top retirement destinations for a desirable lifestyle:

#5 Stirling, Scotland

  • P/E: 5.4
  • Crime Rate: 50.07 Moderate
  • Average House Price: £208,927

Stirling, Scotland, with a P/E of 5.4 and an average house price of £208,927, is ranked fifth among the best retirement destinations in the UK. Despite its rich history, stunning scenery, and abundant cultural and recreational opportunities, its moderate crime rate of 50.07 is a concern for retirees seeking a safe environment. 

Besides, the high cost of living could deter retirees relying solely on social security benefits. However, Stirling’s cultural and natural attractions, including Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, and nature reserves, make it an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts and history lovers.

#4 Perth, Scotland

  • P/E: 5.5
  • Crime Rate: 44.35 Moderate
  • Average House Price: £203,229

Perth, Scotland, ranked fourth among the top UK retirement destinations, with a P/E of 5.5 and an average house price of £203,229. The city’s moderate crime rate of 44.35 and affordable cost of living make it an attractive option for retirees on a budget. 

Perth is also known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and scenic landscapes. It offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities, including museums, galleries, theatres, and outdoor activities like golf, fishing, and hiking. Its central location and good transportation links make it an ideal base for exploring nearby attractions and the Scottish Highland.

#3 Aberdeen, Scotland

  • P/E: 5.4
  • Crime Rate: 32.70 Low
  • Average House Price: £205,199

Aberdeen, Scotland, takes third place among the top places to retire in the UK in 2023. It has a P/E of 5.4 and an average house price of £205,199. Its low crime rate of 32.70, combined with its rich history, beautiful architecture, and thriving oil industry, makes it an attractive option for retirees seeking a safe and culturally rich environment.

The city boasts numerous cultural attractions, including museums, theatres, music venues, parks, and gardens, providing ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in Scottish culture to explore and enjoy. Further, sports facilities, clubs, and events are available for retirees to participate in, alongside shopping and dining options.

#2 Londonderry, Northern Ireland

  • P/E: 4.7
  • Crime Rate: 47.50 Moderate
  • Average House Price: £155,917

Londonderry, or Derry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city and the fifth-largest on the island of Ireland, ranks second in our list. Its P/E of 4.7 and average house price of £155,917 make it an affordable choice for retirees on a budget. While its moderate crime rate of 47.50 is a concern, the city’s cultural and recreational opportunities more than make up for it.

Londonderry has a rich history, known for its walled old town, two road bridges, one footbridge, and unique names and symbols. Its historical landmarks, including the iconic Derry Walls, the Guildhall, and St. Columb’s Cathedral, provide endless opportunities for retirees to explore and appreciate history. Several museums and galleries, such as the Tower Museum and the Void Gallery, showcase the city’s vibrant culture.

#1 Carlisle, North

  • P/E: 4.8
  • Crime Rate: 25.00 Low
  • Average House Price: £163,232

Carlisle, a city in northwest England near the Scottish border, ranks as the best UK retirement destination, with a P/E of 4.8 and an average house price of £163,232. The city’s low crime rate of 25.00, coupled with its rich history dating back to Roman times and notable landmarks such as Carlisle Castle and Hadrian’s Wall, provides retirees with a safe and culturally enriching environment.

The city’s low cost of living, which is the same as the average house price, makes it an affordable option for retirees looking to save money. Carlisle also has numerous facilities and amenities, including museums and galleries such as the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, showcasing the city’s history and art.

International Living

Retiring abroad offers several benefits, such as a change in lifestyle, new experiences, and access to affordable healthcare. It can also provide investment opportunities to realise dreams, lower the cost of living, and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, including dining out and travelling. Retirees can experience a new culture, learn a new language, and make new friends while enjoying the beauty of their new surroundings.

Meanwhile, many reports online prove Portugal, Panama, Spain, Belize, Thailand, France, and Vietnam are among the best places to retire abroad. These countries offer attractive lifestyle options like warm weather, beautiful beaches, and mountainside views. Moreover, retirees can enjoy affordable healthcare and active social life.

Retiring abroad requires careful planning and consideration of several factors, as mentioned earlier. Retirees interested in moving abroad must also navigate residency requirements and other local regulations. This is because some countries have specific visas for retirees, and it’s essential to understand these requirements before making any decisions.

Rounding Off the Top Retirement Places

The UK presents abundant opportunities for retirees seeking a comfortable lifestyle amidst picturesque beaches and countryside views. However, some regions in the UK can be expensive, necessitating thorough research to make informed decisions based on one’s budget and cost of living preferences. 

Alternatively, retirees can explore retiring to affordable and appealing destinations abroad, such as Thailand or Mexico. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to consider the cultural disparities between these countries and one’s home country before settling on a retirement location.

Aremu Adams Adebisi graduated from college with a B.Sc in Economics. He’s pursuing his MBA while covering trending topics in trading, investment, and cryptocurrency. He’s fascinated by the surges of...

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