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City Living 'Cost Squeeze Hits Over-55s'

13 April 2016

  • Brighton is the most expensive city for pensioners while Cardiff is the cheapest
  • More than six out of 10 over-55s worry about the cost of retiring in their home city
  • But two out of three don’t want to relocate when they retire
More than six out of 10 over-55s worry about the cost of continuing to live in their home city in retirement but want to avoid the hassle of moving, new research* from over-55s finance specialist Key Retirement shows.

Its unique study of the cost of living in the UK’s top 20 cities found 62% of over-55s are worried about making ends meet in retirement where they live -  but two out of three (66%) do not want to move out.

Key’s analysis** shows the most expensive city for pensioners to live in is Brighton where the average annual cost is more than £13,266 a year, followed by London on £12,941 and Bristol on £12,058. By contrast pensioners in Cardiff enjoy the lowest annual cost of living at £9,723 – around 36% cheaper than Brighton – with Birmingham and Coventry joint second cheapest at £9,897.

Despite the possibility of major savings from relocating the study shows over-55s are reluctant to move – 63% say they like where they live while 35% say they don’t want the upheaval of moving and 29% are concerned about losing touch with family and friends. Younger people are more likely to relocate, the study shows. Around 57% of 18 to 34-year-olds say they would relocate when they retire.

Key believes property wealth can be a major factor in helping people stay in their homes – on average homeowners can release enough money from their homes to fund four years of living costs. In London the average homeowner can fund seven years of living costs.

Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement (, said: “Moving out of the city to save money can make financial sense but it is not an easy decision to make in retirement with the costs of moving as well as the risks of losing touch with family and friends to consider.

“But apart from all that, quite simply most people like where they live and want to stay there if they can afford it despite the rising costs.

“Property wealth can make a major contribution to increasing retirement income and enabling pensioners to strike the balance between living where they want and being financially comfortable.”

The table below shows how much property wealth average homeowners*** can access through equity release with wide regional differences ranging from £93,771 in London to £30,099 in Cardiff.
LONDON £12,941 £93,771 79%
BIRMINGHAM £9,897 £40,525 60%
LEEDS £10,409 £43,990 68%
GLASGOW £11,257 £33,548 66%
SHEFFIELD £10,409 £34,571 51%
BRADFORD £10,409 £37,105 67%
EDINBURGH £11,257 £39,761 69%
LIVERPOOL £10,757 £43,107 67%
MANCHESTER £10,757 £33,287 63%
BRISTOL £12,058 £55,195 75%
WAKEFIELD £10,409 £43,102 68%
CARDIFF £9,723 £30,099 55%
COVENTRY £9,897 £41,177 62%
NOTTINGHAM £11,500 £33,988 54%
LEICESTER £11,500 £41,946 64%
SUNDERLAND £10,141 £31,883 70%
BELFAST £10,478 £36,968 65%
NEWCASTLE £10,141 £46,842 56%
BRIGHTON £13,266 £61,947 71%
HULL £10,409 £34,227 58%
Anyone looking to release equity from their home can get Key’s independent guide to equity release by calling 0800 531 6027 or visiting
 Notes to Editors
* Research conducted online among 2,000 adults including representative samples in each of the UK’s top 20 cities by population by OnePoll between July 7th and 17th 2015
** Key Retirement analysis of ONS 2015 Family Spending data
*** Key Retirement analysis of market data