Making the good life even better

Friday, 24 April 2015

Making the good life even better

Few people could have missed the news that from April 6th of this year there has been a massive shake-up of the rules surrounding pensions and how people can use the pension pots they’ve been steadily amassing over the years.

One of the major changes has been the increased freedom to take out cash lump sums – previously limited to just one withdrawal of up to 25% of the total amount of the fund.

While some people may well be rubbing their hands together and heading for the nearest Ferrari dealership, others may be taking a longer term view and thinking about how they could use their cash to make a life-changing move.

Our survey said . . .

At around the same time that the pension freedom reforms came into force, RIAS released the results of a piece of research the company had conducted into living standards for the over 50s in the UK. The results of the research bring up some very interesting suggestions for anyone who is thinking of putting their pension windfall to good use – or would like to find a UK city where their living standards could be the improved.

The survey questioned nearly 900 people living in the UK’s ten most populated cities and examined a number of factors that included income and outgoings, life satisfaction and happiness levels, and opportunities for social life.

Taking all the categories into account there was one clear winner – Edinburgh – with other northern cities Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester following on not far behind. Of the ten cities surveyed London came a lowly 7th with Liverpool at the bottom of the list.

RIAS living standards

You’ll find the full rundown of the top 10 places to live on the animated video here.

Heading for Edinburgh

So what is it that makes Edinburgh such a haven for the over 50s? Well the survey found that the average annual income for respondents’ households is a little over £40,000 and their monthly disposable income is £524. But it’s also in the more intangible areas like happiness and potential for social activity that the city also scored very highly.

RIAS living standardsPut these elements together and it creates a winning combination of a good income with plenty left over for enjoying the capital of Scotland’s many cultural, sporting and recreational opportunities.

For example, even when the world famous festival isn’t attracting a huge influx of visitors, there are theatres, cinemas and opera houses to enjoy as well as the Scottish National Gallery for art lovers.

Sports fans are perfectly placed to enjoy rugby internationals at the iconic Murrayfield stadium and there’s a huge choice of golf courses within easy reach boasting some truly jaw-dropping scenery.

Move to Edinburgh and you’re also certain to find that family and friends will want to visit – and there’s plenty to entertain them when they do.

To name just three of the top draws for visitors, there is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the imposing Arthur’s Seat, and the world-famous zoo and its star attractions, the pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang.

So if you’re giving some serious thought to how to make the most of your pension pot, a move to Edinburgh could mean a lifestyle that will be the envy of family and friends – and much more rewarding than blowing it all on a Ferrari! 

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