Three out of four people would like to move home and spend their retirement in a new location, research reveals.
Favoured destinations, picked from a shortlist of picturesque towns across the UK, included Christchurch in Dorset and St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.
Ambleside in Cumbria, Skipton in Yorkshire and Wilmslow in Cheshire also made the top five in a study compiled by Age Co, the commercial arm of charity Age UK.
Christchurch: Average house prices are currently just shy of £400,000
Age Co created a shortlist of 10 destinations for people to choose among by analysing search results for retirement towns in the UK.
It then whittled that down by looking at each area’s crime rate, percentage of residents aged 55-plus and average house price.
Some 73 per cent out of 1,000 adults surveyed said they would like to relocate in retirement, split between 49 per cent who would consider moving and 24 per cent who said they had definite plans to do so.
Age Co also asked the cohort of over-55s among those questioned how they wanted to spend their pension fund in old age.
It found 49 per cent had no plans yet, while 24 per cent would invest, 18 per cent intend to spend the lot, and 9 per cent would share their money with family.
Ambleside: The popular town sits on Lake Windermere in the Lake District
What towns are favourite retirement destinations?
1. Christchurch, Dorset
Topping the list, Christchurch is located between Bournemouth to the west and the New Forest National Park, and has countryside and seaside attractions to offer retirees.
Average house prices are currently just shy of £400,000, according Age Co’s analysis, and some 30 per cent of the town’s population is aged 65 and above, almost double the national average.
2. Ambleside, Cumbria
In a close second place, the popular Ambleside sits on Lake Windermere in the Lake District.
In addition to active outdoor activities in the national park, Waterhead Pier offers regular ferries to nearby Bowness, Wray Castle and Brockhole. House prices average just over £320,000.
Skipton: Historic market town with a picturesque high street and canal
3. Skipton, Yorkshire
Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, surrounded by natural beauty, Skipton is a historic market town with a picturesque high street and canal.
House prices average £240,000 and around 20 per cent of the population is aged over 65.
St Andrews: Home of golf and the beach featured in Chariots of Fire
4. St Andrews, Fife
Known as the ‘home of golf”, the seaside town boasts the Old Course, which is open to the public to play rounds – subject to handicap restrictions – take walks on Sundays, or use public pathways around it on other days.
The West Sands beach was featured in the movie Chariots of Fire. The average house price is just over £400,000.
5. Wilmslow, Cheshire
Near Manchester and Chester, the town is famous for shopping, from designer boutiques to the monthly Artisan Market.
Just under 20 per cent of the population is aged 65 and above and the average house price is £440,000.
Wilmslow: Shopping opportunities include designer boutiques and a monthly Artisan Market
The other towns on Age Co’s retirement shortlist were Uppingham in Rutland, Abersoch in Gwynedd, St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen in Carmarthenshire, and Ballycastle in County.
Tracey Heap, digital marketing manager at Age Co, says: ‘For a lot of people after their years of planning and dreaming, retirement presents the perfect opportunity to escape busy city centres and lengthy commutes and make a new start for themselves in a new town.
‘People want the best possible quality of life, and to ensure their savings last, and where you live has a large impact on both.’
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