Study reveals the 10 best places to live as a retiree, based on wellbeing-focused ranking factors

A new study by the independent retirement living provider Retirement Villages has ranked Britain’s towns and cities against a strict criteria, to reveal the best places for over 65s to live and settle in their retirement stage of life.

Deciding where to settle down and enjoy this new retirement era of life is a very important decision; both for retirees and their families. This study hopes to help make this choice easier for people by looking at important factors that will bring over 65s a better quality of life.

The study has assessed British locations against five important lifestyle factors that are crucial to retirees;
1. total percentage of local residents who are aged 65+, to boost socialising opportunities
2. percentage increase in retiree population over the past decade, to identify locations that are up and coming for this generation
3. good transport connectivity for exploring the neighbouring area, and for accessibility for visiting family and friends
4. low crime rate for assured safety and peace of mind
5. outdoor parks and activities to maintain a physically active and healthy, fulfilling lifestyle

Lucy Black from Retirement Villages Group says: “We have purposefully chosen to analyse data sets that are actually important to older people in 2023, rather than just looking at stereotypical hospital scores and bingo halls. We are much more interested in factors that offer over 65s a fulfilling, active and exciting life such as socialising opportunities, National Trust locations, and strong public transport links so families can visit. From the latest census data, we found that over 65s and retirees account for almost a fifth of the population in both England (18.4%) and Wales (21.3%), so it’s important that many more towns and cities adapt to needs and activities for all ages.”

Here’s the 10 Best Places To Live as a Retiree in Britain in 2023:

1. Guildford
2. Swindon
3. Warwick
4. Gloucester
5. Warrington
– 6. Telford (joint)
– 6. York (joint)
8. Reading
9. Plymouth
10. Cardiff

When looking into the top 10 locations specifically, here’s what makes them great settlement locations for retirees

A 21.5% increase in the number of over 65s moving or living there in the last decade.
A combined retiree population of 2 million, and on average, the over 65 generation accounting for 17% of the population in each town or city.
A combined total of 780 National Trust locations nearby for walks, events and days out. Guildford scored highest in Britain for this ranking factor.
A low crime rate of 78.63 per 1,000 people (based on a mean average across the 10 locations). The top three towns or cities with the lowest crime rate (Swindon, Warwick and Guildford, respectively) are also the top three locations.
Collectively, a whopping 24 national train stations, making them highly accessible.

Insight from the retirement living experts:

Lucy Black from Retirement Villages Group comments: “People assume that the most important factor for retirees is proximity to their families for convenience of visits, but we believe this cohort of people need as much independence, exploration opportunities and activities as their children and grandchildren. In modern Britain, most families are dispersed and we have amazing transport connections, so we encourage older people to choose locations and communities that fulfill their retirement expectations and encourage a social, and active lifestyle first; with geographical location as a secondary factor.

“This study has been incredibly interesting and helped to reveal potential up and coming locations that will be sociable, safe, accessible, and popular with future generations. Locations with an abundance of National Trust activities, are easily accessible by train for family or adventures, and have a low crime rate are truly non-negotiables these days for example,” concludes Lucy.

Best in category: how our towns and cities fare across the ranking factors

For each individual ranking factor, or category, additional towns and cities received standout scores. Some retirees may find certain factors more important to their personal situation, so Retirement Villages has highlighted the top three and their scores in each category here.

Best for having the highest percentage of retirees (aged 65+)
1. Bournemouth – 21.6%
2. Blackpool – 20.8%
3. Swansea and Sunderland – both 20.5%

Best for popularity, with % increase for retirees moving/living there in the last 10 years
1. Milton Keynes – 43.6%
2. Telford – 35.7%
3. Swindon – 28.6%

Best for number of national train stations (joint first place)
1. Cardiff – 6
1. Liverpool – 6
3. Birmingham – 6

Best for having the lowest crime rate (per 1000 people)
1. Swindon – 68.33 per 1000
2. Warwick – 69.49 per 1000
3. Guildford – 72.3 per 1000

Best for number of National Trust locations nearby (joint first place)
1. Guildford – 123
1. Reading – 123
3. Slough – 122

For more information about the best retirement locations, the full study can be accessed here:

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4428 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.