I am sitting in my village home. It is a long time ago that I wrote about a survey suggesting that living longer was related to living in the country. (See “76th Birthday? Move to the Country” by clicking on May 2010 in the Archive).
Now a recent survey by property agents Rightmove of 40,000 homeowners, identified 10 locations where people were happiest to live. Harrogate in Yorkshire topped the list and generally Northerners were happier than people who live in the South. Although Truro, Exeter and Bath as well as St Albans, Ipswich, Kingston upon Thames, Bromley and Worcester were also in the top ten. Hereford was regarded as the safest place to live.
The key issues in determining their popularity were safety, neighbourliness, property condition and recreational opportunity.
The lowest rated locations were mainly in the Greater London area, probably because living spaces were smaller and as a result of safety fears.
The lesson from this survey for older people is not really about where to live because most people in retirement don’t want to move anywhere. They would prefer to stay living in their own home, or if they do move then they wish to stay close to their roots. A move away to the country or a new location altogether is only for the few.
What makes for an Age Friendly location is your family, your friends, your neighbourhood and the roots you have put down. It is about emotion not property and the truth is you can be happy in any location if it feels like a safe and secure home.
In retirement, new horizons don’t have to mean new locations, just a new outlook on life.