Ed Mead

How London is reinventing retirement

  • From Spectator Life
The communal lounge at Auriens, Chelsea

Even ten years ago you’d have been laughed at for suggesting it – but there are several reasons why a London retirement is becoming more palatable, even desirable for those approaching the end of their careers and the start of the leisure years. The number of people aged over 65 projected to rise by over 40 per cent in the next 15 years to over 16 million. By 2040, nearly 25 per cent of people in the UK will be aged 65 or over – according to AgeUK. Figures like these show how the city could grow in appeal for a demographic that have traditionally gravitated towards the well-worn seaside retirement towns of the South East and South West. It’s not for nothing that Eastbourne is known as God’s waiting room. As the number of over 65s increases, retirees will need to think creatively if they want to avoid the obvious candidates for relocation and make the most of the continued good health and comfortable pensions that many of today’s retirees now enjoy. 

Not only is there better access to medical facilities in the capital, but worsening transport in the countryside means it makes more sense to be somewhere well connected. Being in London means you’ll have the country’s best cuisine and theatre on your doorstep at a time of life when you have the means and the opportunity to enjoy it. 

For a generation hooked on gadgets, high end décor and luxury it’s the perfect storm. Gyms, onsite medical facilities and proximity to transport links are all part of packages that can either be bought or leased. If you’d like to enjoy the entirely selfish life denied to you when younger, travelling with a free over 60s Oyster Card means the city is yours to explore. Enhanced pension funds which many of the current cohort of soon-to-be-retirees have acquired means that they can keep up a regular roster of restaurant and concert trips with relative ease.

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