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Would you prefer to retire to the countryside or city centre?

218 replies

Faciadipasta · 15/10/2022 16:02

Inspired by another thread on here I'm just curious to see people's thoughts. I'm not due to retire for another 20 years or so but really hadn't considered doing so in the centre of London (or maybe another big city) but now after the other thread I'm thinking what a bloody brilliant idea!
I'd always just thought people tend to retire to the seaside or countryside before. So what do others think? City or countryside? And why?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

54 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Mellowday · 16/10/2022 09:00

GlistersisnotGold sounds ideal! We live in a beautiful village.. after being in a lovely city.
I dont like cities amymore bit we are miles from.a hospital and buses stop at 8 pm .

mondaytosunday · 16/10/2022 09:01

City centre! I want to be five minute walk to cafés, shops, restaurants, tube and a nice park. I want hustle and bustle!

FirstnameSuesecondnamePerb · 16/10/2022 09:03

Neither. I live in a tiny town. Decent high street, 15 mins drive /train to coast. Station opposite for trips to London (2 hr 20 mins). Brilliant GP service. We moved here 5 years ago when we were 50. Really can't see us moving again, it seems the perfect balance

PuzzledObserver · 16/10/2022 09:51

@Scrowy I’ve moved to edge-of-town just a short distance from bus stop and station, not deeply rural. And into a new build estate, so not taking affordable housing from anyone, thanks for the judgement.

As for feeling good about my contribution, I’m very clear in my own mind that I volunteer first and foremost because I enjoy driving. It’s also helping me explore the area and get to know people - part of settling in and integrating in the area that DH and I are making our home.

Are you opposed to people having the freedom to live where they want?

MugginsOverEre · 16/10/2022 09:52

Ugh I don't even want to visit a city. Gimme rural life any day.

youngerself · 16/10/2022 10:20

I live between 2 places for various reason - a city and a rural market town.
I'll move to the market town when I retire.
This sounds ridiculous but this is due to electric scooters.
They are ridden on the pavement (as well as bikes) in the city centre and I think they are really dangerous. It's hard to hear them and they are fast. They come round corners with no thought for pedestrians. I can't imagine having to deal with them when I may have mobility issues, sensory impairment.
It's so much more relaxing being able to walk on pavements knowing I'm not going to be knocked over.

I believe Kent are banning them. The nurses at one of the city's a and e department are apparently fed up of them because of the number of injuries.

Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 10:30

I can’t think how rural life can be in any way enjoyable when you’re in your 80s and incapable of doing anything strenuous, going out in very cold weather, doing the gardening etc. All the elderly people in the village I grew up in just sat inside watching TV or in their conservatories ‘watching’ the birds in the garden. It aged them rapidly.

I’m hoping to live fairly centrally in a large town or small city, in a low maintenance but plush flat with a balcony.

Blaggertyjibbet · 16/10/2022 10:46

City, I think. We’re raising our children in a large house in the countryside, which I love, but I’d like to downsize to a something nice in a good area and be within walking/tube distance of big city amenities and buzz when it’s just DH and I.

etulosba · 16/10/2022 11:12

I am retired. I live in a small village ten miles from the nearest town and that is where I intend to stay.

I have lived in town and city centres in the past and it really isn’t for me.

Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 11:17

Only because I’m nosy and we’re discussing it but if you need care what will happen then @etulosba ?

FruitPastilleNut · 16/10/2022 11:27

There's a lot of ground between city centre and middle of nowhere. I wouldn't want to live in either right now and can't see that changing tbh.

Right now we're coastal, 2 minutes from the beach, rolling countryside very close by but on the edge of the City - 10 minute drive to the centre. I can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else tbh.

Reservoirbogs · 16/10/2022 11:30

Exactly where I am now. On the edge of a city. 10 minutes to city centre, 10 minutes to countryside, beach and decent hills for hiking. Oh and 10 minutes from the airport! I have thought I want to escape to the country many times but ultimately I need my amenities! I can walk to cafes, cinema, shops etc from where I live but it's far enough out we don't have much traffic noise or bin lorries emptying glass at 5am from resteraunts.
Problem with having all that on your doorstep is the cost of housing which is rising rapidly here.

Umbellifer · 16/10/2022 11:31

Great thread thank you OP! I’m just starting to think about this decision so it’s really helpful seeing everyone’s thoughts…I’m thinking I’ll end up in a big village/small town in the countryside but I still hanker after the coast…so who knows!!

user1471556818 · 16/10/2022 11:34

If in UK definitely in town
Worked for yrs in health and social care
All is fine in countryside until you can't drive and need care then its a massive issue sadly

Chocchops72 · 16/10/2022 11:34

TBH I think by the time I retire, private transport i.e. cars, are going to be so expensive and inconvenient to run that it will limit many people's choices.

I grew up on a farm, and my parents still live a couple of miles from there. My sister and I both live city centre and the novelty of having services and facilities right there, no car needed, has never worn off for me. My parents are totally stuck without a car, there is literally nothing within walking distance - no shops, nothing. They are both still fit to drive but it is a worry for the future.

Zipps · 16/10/2022 11:36

Couldn't live in a city again. I like city breaks for a few days but then I start craving proper green spaces, not parks.
Small historic pretty town is my preference with countryside on the doorstep and a city within 40 minutes drive for gigs, events, occasional shopping.

MrsSchadenfreude · 16/10/2022 11:39

We live in a flat in London in zone 1 and I love it. If I move, it would be further in, to Covent Garden or Bloomsbury. DH wants to retire to the arse end of nowhere. I have said he can go on his own. We have so much life on our doorstep, and a cab home from the theatre takes 10 minutes.

Chocchops72 · 16/10/2022 11:39

its exactly people like that who move to the countryside from elsewhere to downsize in retirement, who take the affordable housing from local young families, allowing the authorities to get away with not providing decent transport services by volunteering, salving your own conscious all the while about how good you are and how much you are contributing.

This exactly. The village closest to where I grew up is full of retired judges, professors, doctors, etc. They price out, by a huge margin, any younger locals that want to live there. As a result there are zero services except for the school which is hanging on by a thread (7 pupils atm, there were 30+ in my day). The only business is a huge antique centre with a 'food library' and expensive cafe.

My parents are in the volunteering cohort now (mid 70s, still fit and driving) while many of their neighbours are starting to rely on others for help. Many of them do not live close to their own children, so are really struggling once they cannot drive.

Fuuuuuckit · 16/10/2022 11:45

I have very elderly relative who moved to a very isolated town in Scotland 20 years ago. He's now a widower with failing health. Closest family 300 miles away. Logistics are impossible (he won't consider a move closer and insists his (also ageing, elderly) neighbour is happy to keep running him to the gp and hospital appointments 100 mile round trip away).

My parents have been mulling over moving a few miles away to a village they love. But the realisation that travel will become a huge challenge is making them reconsider.

For me, a city would be the best retirement location. A seaside one would be even better!

Fuuuuuckit · 16/10/2022 11:48

Zipps · 16/10/2022 11:36

Couldn't live in a city again. I like city breaks for a few days but then I start craving proper green spaces, not parks.
Small historic pretty town is my preference with countryside on the doorstep and a city within 40 minutes drive for gigs, events, occasional shopping.

40 minutes drive to the nearest hospital? I've just spent 6 months ferrying my mum to twice-weekly appointments, and a 40 minute drive is very often doubled on public transport

NeedAHoliday2021 · 16/10/2022 11:48

I think countryside is beautiful but I need a city fill every now and again. I’d love a flat (house boat in st Katherine’s dock is my dream) in London using my Zimmer frame to hobble to the theatre but dh isn’t as into London as me so Bath is a possibility. Or countryside with weekend city breaks.

NeedAHoliday2021 · 16/10/2022 11:52

My parents moved to the middle of no where age 56 for 11 years but recently moved to a village just outside a town, near the sea in Devon. Bus and local shop was essential for them as I don’t think they plan to move again. It was interesting how they changed priorities. Still have 5 bedrooms though which is unnecessary imo. They haven’t quite mastered downsizing.


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Chocchops72 · 16/10/2022 11:52

This is total O/T but what do posters mean by a 'market town'? It's not a term I'm familiar enough with to understand (Scottish) and my understanding is an old one that the 'merket toun' would be the place with a cattle market in the past? What does it mean in a modern context? What services would you expect to find there? How big is it?

Cuppasoupmonster · 16/10/2022 11:54

It basically does mean that @Chocchops72 towns which are small yet also big enough to need a weekly market - think 20,000-50,000 people.

motherstongue · 16/10/2022 12:01

I’ve always lived in a small town. Going to retire in the next 5 years and have really surprised myself by seriously considering buying a small flat in a city centre as I hate driving at night now and it can curtail my social life in the winter months as public transport is non existent in our area. I like the idea of everything being on my doorstep that I’d want to do and having a lot more choices around clubs, societies, restaurants, theatres etc.

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