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Devon tops the league table of pensioner wellbeing

30th July 2015 Print

The South West of England 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 Prudential. The league table, which uses a combination of census data and results from the insurer’s own retirement research, ranks the top 20 counties in England and Wales according to several measures of the wellbeing of their pensioner populations.

According to the league table, six of the top 20 counties for pensioner wellbeing 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.

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 per cent 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.

Outside of the West Country, Norfolk and Powys also rank highly in the league table. Six counties in the South East of England make the top 20, which overall is made up of 17 English counties and three Welsh.

Vince Smith Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “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.

“The changes to the rules governing access to pension savings for the over-55s may tempt those looking to relocate somewhere that better suits their retirement needs to dip into their retirement savings to help pay for the move. 

“However, before making any decisions on what to do with retirement savings or on how to secure a retirement income, over-55s should make the most of the Government’s free Pension Wise guidance service. In many cases a consultation with a professional financial adviser will also help with all the options now available to retirees.”