When we think about the prospect of retiring, we often picture idyllic locations and rolling hills, afternoons spent inhaling fresh air, and little else on the agenda. London very rarely comes into the picture. Things, however, are changing. More and more advantageous retirees are choosing London as their retirement home, and very few are regretting their decision.
London is the heart of the UK’s bustling and rapidly growing culture. Despite the looming changes that are sure to be enforced by Brexit, very little is set to slow that growth down. The quality of life London offers may not be immediately appealing; living costs are through the roof, property is in high demand, pollution within big cities is always of concern, the population is dense, and everyone is on their own agenda. But let me assure you, with every negative comes many positives.
Who Says We Want a Quiet Retirement?
I understand the sentiment that retirees require and desire the simple life – but if we, the older generation, should take anything from the modern world, it’s that nothing stays the same. Throughout my career, I have been exposed to the delight of the hustle and bustle that London can offer, and I have naturally escaped the city for much-needed rest breaks as my fast-paced career allowed me too. I have to confess, though, that I worry about my sanity once I stop, or simply slow down, the pace of my current lifestyle completely. Have I really dedicated my life to work just to simply hide away and not enjoy the new wave of entertainment that larger cities can provide?
London is a hub for culture and entertainment, and when I say that I mean it is recognized globally. Should you choose to retire in the UK’s capital city, you will have access to a host of services, events, facilities, medical care, restaurants, art…the list goes on. You will never find yourself without public transport and, therefore, you will never feel isolated. London is home to one of the most advanced public transport systems known to man, all of which are offered free to pensioners should you embrace the benefits that come with retiring.
So while we might assume pensioners wish for a quiet life, many are choosing London as their new home and have been for the last three years in increasing fashion. One pensioner stated that the lifestyle in London means you are constantly encouraged to be active and on your feet, a contrast to the need for a car in the countryside. Cars make us lazy and feed the growing issues we face with global warming; the more we can utilize public transport, the better.
A study conducted in July of 2014, but still very present today, was published by Britain Thinks and evaluated the current population of London. One thing that came from the analysis was the growing number of “thrivers” living within the capital city at the time.
What do we mean by “thriver?” Generally, these are people who make up the wealthier population and, therefore, are naturally better suited to the London lifestyle. Thanks to a long serving successful career, thrivers can afford to utilize London and everything it has to offer. If you compare the thriver to, say, the “survivor” (the young professional trying to keep up with the rat race), you can understand why London is highly appealing to the older, more settled generation. Thrivers have the support of a private pension and most likely purchased property many years ago, when it was affordable. The UK property market is slowly, but surely, learning from our friends over the pond in the United States. Furniture hire, an extremely prominent trend within the American property market, is vastly growing, especially in London. Furniture hire providers will kit the whole property out and simply remove the furnishings when you no longer require them, or fancy a change of surroundings.
Why Refuse a Rural Retirement?
Your years dedicated to work will have shaped your identity, there are no two ways about that. I myself have been working since the young age of fourteen, and it feels as though I haven’t stopped since. The ever-pending void that will inevitably come with retirement looms on me, and in all honestly, petrifies me. Many of us seek ways to avoid the obligatory loneliness that comes with retirement. It’s vital you put the pieces in place to ensure you are not shut off.
Give yourself a purpose, connect yourself. In a bustling city like London, a quick train ride will take you to your companions in no time at all, and your grandchildren who are no doubt scattered across the country can easily reach you for weekend. Battersea Place is home to London’s first luxury lifestyle retirement community; it opened its doors in 2016 and has since housed many a London-loving retiree. The homes have been built around medical services and essential amenities. Of course, prices are high, but the freedom gained speaks volumes. You can step out to enjoy London’s buzzing culture, or stay put in a quiet age-restricted community.
Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/london-england-canary-wharf-city-1979441/