in which it is hot no more
Experian – the consumer research and credit rating agency – released an updated version of its Mosaic UK profiles in 2009. Their new database, compiled from 441 data items selected from every person, household, postcode and Output Area in the UK - a total of ‘21 billion data items’ - made some revealing findings on the changing status of Britain’s aging population.
According to current predictions, in 10 years time there will be 2.4million more over-65s than there are today. This shift in the number of people reaching retirement age, coupled with rising levels of wealth is already taking affect, according to the Daily Mail, with many retirees turning their backs on the traditional sea-side retirement destinations for preference over more sought after inland locations.
The traditional coastal retirement resorts, which grew to accommodate the retiring middle-class after the war, are no longer the destination of choice for this new demographic. Or rather the five new demographic types of retiree according to Mosaic:
Beachcombers (who reflect the growing trend for the middle-class retired to select smaller communities, many on the coast or a river, rather than larger resorts) choose Barnstaple, Newport (Isle of Wight), Carmarthen, Inverness, Kendal, Newton Abbot.
Balcony downsizers (higher-status retired people in their 70s and 80s, who live in privately owned or leasehold apartments in purpose-built blocks of flats suitable for those too fragile to cope with the upkeep of houses and gardens) choose Worthing, Boscombe, Edinburgh, Southend-on-Sea, Barnet, Kingston upon Thames.
Golden retirement (people with accumulated assets, who pick prestigious retirement communities, lead busy social lives, drive and garden) choose Exeter, Southampton, Poole, Chichester, Norwich, Canterbury and Ipswich.
Bungalow quietude (retirees with modest pensions, living in older-style bungalows, often in less well-off areas unattractive to younger families) choose Blackpool, Rhyl, Scarborough, Plymouth, Nottingham, Peterborough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Lincoln, Leicester.
Country-loving elders (people on comfortable incomes living in former farms or older-style properties in quiet villages and market towns) choose Truro, King's Lynn, Hereford, Carlisle, Shrewsbury.
This shift in lifestyle choice, partly supported by the sale of mortgage-free homes, is better accommodated for by inland market towns, historic cities and major cultural destinations.
‘People want to spend more of their retirement in the country, in areas of attractive scenery,’ said Richard Webber, visiting professor of geography at University College London, who helped develop Mosaic. ‘And they are choosing to live a long way from London and other major population centres.’
Webber said around half of those reaching retirement age choose to carry on living in their own home, or at least in the same area. But of those with above-average wealth, around 60 per cent choose to live somewhere else. Half of these now select less traditional retirement destinations.
‘A lot more older people want to retire to places of historic importance, places that have orchestras and festivals,’ said Webber. ‘They're looking at historic market towns and cities, places like Bath and Cheltenham, cathedral cities and university towns where there are beautiful buildings.’