The happiest place to retire in the UK – and the wealthiest where pensioners’ incomes are over £21,400

Picture postcard West Sussex has knocked Dorset off the top of the retirement league as the place for golden oldies.

For the county which includes the seaside resorts of Bognor Regis and Shoreham as well as cathedral city Chichester has been named number one for quality of life for pensioners.

Low crime rates, good health care and better than average weather have made it a popular retreat for the nation’s elderly, a study has found.

According to the Prudential’s Quality of Retirement Index, Dorset is second best, with East Sussex third, Devon fourth and Norfolk fifth

With 10.6 million Brits aged over 65 – a million more than five years ago – those looking to spend their dotage in a pensioner-friendly environment should head to the Isle of Wight where a quarter of the population is over 65.

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But the cheeriest old folk are in Wales, the fittest in Rutland and the wealthiest in Surrey where pensioners’ incomes are around £21,400 – a third higher than the national average in England and Wales.

The Index analysed eight categories including access to healthcare, crime rates, weather and income to define the nation’s retirement hotspot.

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Our analysis shows that every part of the country has something different to offer pensioners, but the counties with the most attractive attributes tend to be along the southern and eastern coasts of England.

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“Counties like West Sussex and Dorset may be attractive because of their low crime rates or the quality of their health care.

“However, finding the right spot to live in such popular locations can be tricky.

“It is understandable that many people want to choose somewhere attractive to live in retirement.

“To get the most choice when the time comes to give up work, people will benefit from saving as much as they can into a pension as early as they can in their working lives.”

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