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When the time comes to retire, many of us wonder what we are going to do with our newfound free time. Often, the answer to this question relates to where we live - or, in some cases, where we want to live. The top places to retire tend to have a few things in common: they're quiet, have some beautiful views, and are close to local amenities.

Retiring provides us with new opportunities for pursuing our favourite pastimes. Sometimes we're already in the perfect place; other times we may need to move to a new home. To help you settle into retirement properly, we will look at the top places to retire in the UK.

Finding the Right Place

When looking for the ideal place to retire, there are a few things to consider. Different factors come together to decide whether an area is right for you or not. Moreover, what is right for one person may not be right for you.

Affordability

If you are planning to move somewhere new after retirement, it's important to know whether you can afford to move (and live) there. What are the average house prices? Can you afford to downsize? Will you be selling your current home to move elsewhere?

Hospitals and Surgeries

In later life, we often find we need additional healthcare. This is especially true if we have any long-term health conditions. As a result, it is important to be within easy reach of a GP or hospital. Will you be within easy walking distance of your local surgery? Are there bus routes to the nearest hospital?

Public Transport

On the subject of bus routes, it's important that you can get around. Even if you are currently a driver, older age can pose an obstacle. If the time does come that you stop driving, you will still want to be able to get around. Check that the area you are moving to has reliable bus routes. Trains, too, could be ideal if you are planning to travel.

Local Amenities

It's always nice to know that your local shop is only a short walk away. A forgotten bottle of milk or expired loaf of bread become trivial things with the convenience of local amenities. The closeness of these shops and cafés also mean you will be more likely to bump into familiar faces, allowing you to forge friendships amongst your neighbours.

Safety

We all want to feel safe in our own homes. Criminals tend to consider older people vulnerable, after all. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself safe from crime. When choosing a place to retire, consider the safety of the neighbourhood you will be living in. The UK Police website provides an overview of how safe an area is. For added peace of mind in your own home, you might also want to consider a personal alarm.

Top Places to Retire in the UK

Now we know what to look for, let's consider the top places to retire in the UK. To make this list, we have looked at average house prices, crime rates, access to amenities, and thrown in some thoughts about the aesthetics of these areas.

1. Suffolk

If you're looking for somewhere quiet and idyllic, you can't go wrong with Suffolk. This county sits in the East of England and is home to beautiful coastlines. It is also a largely rural region, known for its flat landscapes and peaceful villages. For the retiree looking for peace and quiet, this could be the ideal location. And for the days when you crave something to do, towns like Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich are reasonably easy to reach.

2. Cornwall

One of the most desirable areas of the UK is Cornwall. As a result, house prices are a little steeper than elsewhere; it is worth it, though, for all-year access to the county's fantastic views. Thanks in no small part to its bustling tourism industry, Cornwall is home to a multitude of independent shops and popular pubs. This means you will always have plenty to do. Plus, Cornwall offers elderly transport schemes to support retirees who want to see all their home has to offer.

3. Edinburgh

For a change of pace, Edinburgh offers access to a lively retirement. You will be perfectly places to endure all the cultural heritage the city has to offer, as well as being in easy reach of trips to the countryside. If the prices of homes within Edinburgh are too high, its suburbs and nearby villages benefit from strong public transport connections. Moving to Edinburgh in retirement is the ideal way to live your later life in Scotland.

4. Cumbria

Moving to Cumbria offers low crime rates and reasonable house prices. This makes it a highly desirable area to move to. Furthermore, it is another of the top places to retire in the UK that provides picturesque landscapes for you to enjoy. There are plenty of quiet villages for you to reside in, where you are sure to make some fast friends. And if you prefer city living, Carlisle has a lot to offer, including countless restaurants and rich history to explore.

5. Staffordshire

Retirees choosing to live in Staffordshire can expect low crime rates, reasonably priced property, and connections all across the country. Staffordshire is ideally placed for the elderly explorer who wants to travel. Visits to the Peak District will be easily feasible, as will journeys to historic villages and towns. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you might also want to check out the annual folk festival.

Staying Safe in Retirement

Whether you're aiming for a sedate retirement or plan to do some travelling, it's important to stay safe in later life. Personal alarms from Lifeline24 support your independence at home, providing peace of mind throughout the year.

When you purchase a personal alarm, you will receive a base alarm and a pendant. This pendant can be worn on the wrist or as a necklace. When you press the pendant button, an alert is sent to our 24/7 Response Team. They will then arrange help for you by contacting your emergency contacts.

For added protection, consider a fall detector alarm.

To find out more about the Lifeline24 personal alarm service read our useful guideOrder your Lifeline alarm today or call us on 0800 999 0400 if you have any questions.

This article was contributed by Gus Gonzalez of Gus the Freelance Writer

Travelling gives you unforgettable memories and experiences you wouldn't have back home. From a lovely weekend trip to the countryside to visiting the vibrant city of Barcelona, there are endless opportunities for you to see the world! It may seem impossible to have a great adventure without breaking the bank, but with a few essential "travel hacks", you can easily save on your next trip.

To help you get started, here are six ways you can find the best deals when travelling to your dream destination.

Use a Points-Friendly Credit Card

When it comes to travel, not all credit cards are created equal. A number of credit cards are popular with frequent travellers because of their generous rewards systems, providing a variety of bonuses for loyal cardholders. With every transaction you make, you receive a certain number of points. Once you've accumulated enough, you're eligible for several perks, including free travel tickets.

The sooner you open and start using your travel-friendly credit card, the earlier you can start collecting points and saving towards your future trip. When choosing the best card for you, make sure to look for extra sign-up bonuses that can help you win that free adventure even sooner. The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card, for example, gives you a generous 20,000 points after spending £3,000 in 3 months or less.

Book Your Ticket at the Right Time

While it's tempting to book a last-minute flight somewhere, did you know that there's a specific timeframe where ticket prices are much lower? Based on Cheapair's analysis, booking your ticker 21 to 95 days in advance can guarantee you the best deals when travelling.

The closer you get to your departure date, however, the higher the fare. This is because most airlines raise their prices tenfold to take advantage of last-minute buyers. To avoid paying much more for the same flight ticket, you should buy at least a few weeks in advance.

Plan Your Trip During the Off-Season

In addition to buying your ticket ahead of time, maximize your savings further by booking your trip during the off-season. Besides finding cheaper fares and accommodation, you will also have all the popular attractions to yourself without having to deal with tourist crowds. Off-season trips can give you the best deals when travelling by allowing you to truly appreciate the sights without being jostled by massive crowds.

A trip during the off-season can also benefit the local communities that depend on tourism to make a living. However, since every country is its off-peak season, you should do some research before you go. This will help you know when their off-season is, and what to expect when travelling at off-peak times. Some attractions, for example, may not be available.

Keep an Eye Out for Package Deals

If you want comfort, convenience, and a great deal, you can also opt for travel packages that provide you with everything you'd want on your holiday at a bargain. Most discount packages include round-trip flights, accommodation, and even classic all-inclusive features such as buffets and shuttles to and from your hotel. Instead of paying for everything separately, all you need to do is pay for your package and count down the days until your next holiday.

Take Advantage of Travel Discounts for Seniors

There are a lot of travel companies out there offering incredible deals for seniors wanting to go on holiday. Before booking an airline, hotel, or even a ticket to a tourist attraction, always do your research. Many places offer a senior discount. Don't be afraid to ask, either.

One place you can benefit from a senior discount is Eurail. Are you turning 60 soon? If so you're in luck. Everyone over 60 can ride the train to their favourite tourist destination while saving 10% with Eurail's senior pass. Perfect if you're planning a trip to Europe.

Fly with a Low-Cost Airline

Flight tickets are one of the most significant holiday expense, so they may put off some travellers. Luckily, they've become a lot cheaper, and there are many airlines that specialise in budget travel.

With a flight from London to other parts of Europe starting as low as £20, you can enjoy a fantastic holiday without having to spend most of your travel money on just getting there. Make sure to book ahead of time, as budget flights tend to fill up very quickly, especially during the peak season.

Deals Everywhere You Look

Don't let money be the reason you won't go on the adventure of a lifetime. Regardless of your budget, you can enjoy a fun and memorable holiday while saving a great bit of cash.

From buying budget-friendly travel packages to knowing when to book your flight ticket, you have a lot of opportunities to find the best deals wherever you're travelling to. Hopefully, these tips can help you plan a great holiday.

Lifeline24: Supporting You at Home

We understand that you want to feel safe wherever you are. That's where Lifeline24 comes in. If you're feeling ill at home, or need immediate assistance, just press the button on your pendant alarm. Our 24/7 Response Team will be there to alert your emergency contacts on your behalf, ensuring you receive the help you need.

Please contact our customer service team on 0800 999 0400 or through our contact form if you would like to learn more about our personal alarm service. You can also read our helpful guide, which answers many of the questions you may have.

This article was contributed by Chris Smith of Spend It Like Beckham

There's a common misconception that travel is a young person's game. Have you ever mumbled that you've passed the craze, you're too old now, or "that kind of stuff just isn't for me"? A life of aeroplanes, backpacking, and sightseeing is surely for youngsters. However, this is absolutely not the case.

There is no expiration date on travel. It's something that can be enjoyed at any age. So, no matter if you're just starting to explore or want to continue your adventures, don't let your age put you off.

To convince you, here are five reasons why you're never too old to travel.

1. You've Got the Time

After years of working hard, it's time to enjoy retirement. However, it's important to keep busy. What better way to stay active than going on holiday?

Retired folk can pick when to go on vacation. Gone are the days of working around the kids' school holidays or your annual leave; you can go whenever you want.

Plus, going at off-peak seasons will mean destinations aren't as busy. It'll also save you a bit of money.

2. It's Not as Expensive as You Think

Holidays used to be expensive back in the day due to expensive air travel. However, this has changed over time, and now billions of people fly across the world every year.

Also, following on from the above point, OAPs can benefit from discounts. There are many over-60s discounts available to take advantage of, from plane tickets to tourist attractions and more!

Additionally, there are countless "travel hacks" to learn from to help you budget while on holiday. You can save more by looking into travel credit cards, free activities, self-catering, or budget hotels.

3. There's No Time Limit On Adventure

Just because you're older doesn't mean you can't try new things and explore the world. There's a misconception that older people have "seen and done it all" but this is simply not the case!

Saburo Shochi was 106 when he travelled around the world by public transport. He covered over 35,000 miles and has even been recognised by the Guinness World Records.

There should be no age limit to travel. All ages, genders, and backgrounds should experience the joys of travel. The only one stopping you - is you!

4. There's More to Gain Than Risk

It's common for older people to suffer from travel anxiety. Leaving the home comforts for a foreign land can be daunting at any age, but especially as you grow older. It's easy to fall into routines and habits, which can be difficult to break.

Plus, between 30 and 40% of people admit to being scared of flying. On top of travel anxiety, this fear can deter countless people from travelling.

But it's important to remember the positives of travelling. Air travel is only one aspect of the journey; there's so much more to look forward to once you've landed. Think of all the pictures you can take of attractions, landscapes, and scenery. You'll learn different history, experience new things, and immerse yourself in the culture. For that, you'll come back a better person.

5. Instead of Saying "No", Adapt

There will always be a million reasons to say "no" to something. However, instead of giving in, why not adapt?

As you get older, you chances of developing health issues increase. Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic pain can feel like enough to discourage you, but there are ways to modify your travel to satisfy your need to explore while keeping safe.

Always discuss with your doctor or consultant before planning any travel. They will be able to advise you on what is best for your condition. Some conditions could be unsafe to fly with, but that doesn't mean you can't travel by train, coach, or even a luxury cruise. It's all about adapting.

If your health prevents you from travelling, make an appointment with your doctor or specialist to see what can be done to help. For example, if your irregular heartbeat is causing you to become dizzy or faint, ask about getting a pacemaker. Many think pacemakers prevent them from flying, but this is not true. You should be able to fly fine with one but will have to inform airport security.

The World is Yours

Overall, travelling is not an age-restricted hobby. While ageing comes with more health complications, this doesn't mean you have to give up on new adventures. By adapting your itinerary, you'll still be able to explore this little blue planet.

There's a saying that goes, "you're only as old as you feel", and if you feel like travelling you should!

Personal Alarms from Lifeline24

Whether travelling the world or staying at home, it is important to feel safe. Choosing a personal alarm from Lifeline24 provides extra peace of mind around the home. If you feel unwell or have a fall, simply press the button on your pendant alarm and you will be put in touch with our 24/7 Response Team. They will then alert your emergency contacts. If necessary, they will also inform the emergency services.

You can find out more about the personal alarm service by checking out this helpful guide. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our helpful customer service team on 0800 999 0400 or use our helpful contact form.

Note: Lifeline24 personal alarms cannot be used outside of the UK.

Want to order your alarm or have a question? Get in touch!