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With more than 28.6 million people retiring in the third quarter of 2020, some say that COVID-19 has accelerated the process of retirement for Baby Boomers. 

With more people approaching retirement age, where are the best places to live for different types of retirees? 

Our Life Plan has conducted research which analysed different cities around the world across a variety of metrics such as the yearly number of sunlight hours, the number of outdoor activities and average cost of a meal, to reveal where to have fun whilst living a work-free life. 

The research identifies 5 categories to find out the ideal cities to retire in for different types of retirees:

  1. Nature Lovers
  2. Globetrotters
  3. Foodies
  4. Pet Lovers
  5. Introverts

Tokyo is the best city for Nature Lovers 

With the term ‘nature lovers’ we identify all those retirees who love spending time outdoors and who prefer warm, sunny days over rainy weather. 

Famous for its cherry blossoms and boasting 657 parks and natural spots, the city of Tokyo ranks first for the best cities for nature lovers to retire, followed by Lisbon and Rome. 

Despite the average yearly number of sunlight hours (1,876.70), Japan’s capital city offers over 387 outdoor activities to its residents, making it the best option for this type of retiree.

With around 1,000 sunlight hours more than Tokyo, Lisbon ranks as the second best city for nature lovers. Despite the low number of parks and green areas (56), Lisbon is the city that offers the highest number of outdoor activities (497) out of all the cities analysed, followed by London (433). 

According to the study, the 10 best cities for nature lovers are:

Rank City Annual number of sunlight hours Number of naturalspots and parks  Outdoor activities
1 Tokyo 1,876.70 657 387
2 Lisbon 2,806.00 56 497
3 Rome 2,473.00 131 363
4 London 1,633.00 283 433
5 Jerusalem 3,390.00 33 124
6 Athens 2,773.00 21 275
7 Paris 1,662.00 281 331
8 Madrid 2,769.00 74 216
9 Santiago 2,807.90 73 197
10 Amsterdam 1,662.00 58 422

London is the best city for Globetrotters

With ‘globetrotters’ we refer to all those retirees who would love to spend their retirement years travelling and exploring different parts of the world. 

London ranks first in the best cities for globetrotters with 6 airports and offering over 433 outdoor activities, the UK’s capital hosts millions of visitors every year, and is home to people of all ages from around the world. Despite being the fourth most expensive city for cost of living (£859.94 excluding rent), London remains one of the busiest and most exciting cities for travellers. 

Lisbon and Mexico City rank second and third for best cities for globetrotters to retire in, with one and three airports respectively. 

While Lisbon offers the highest number of outdoor activities and has a moderate cost of living of £503.23 excluding rent, Mexico City on the other hand offers a limited number of outdoor activities (192), but it is the third cheapest city to live in, with an average of £365.71 excluding rent. 

According to the study, the 10 best cities for globetrotters are:

Rank City Number of airports Cost of living(Excluding Rent) in £ Outdoor activities
1 London 6 859.94 433
2 Lisbon 1 503.25 497
3 Mexico City 3 365.71 192
4 Bogota 2 295.16 247
5 Amsterdam 3 793.31 422
6 Paris 4 818.63 331
7 Berlin 4 687.81 254
8 San Jose 2 462.01 281
9 Athens 2 530.35 275
10 Rome 2 702.16 363

Bogota is the best city for Foodies

With this third category we recognise all those retirees who love food and like to go out for meals and try new dishes on a regular basis. 

With more than 940 take out restaurants and a very cheap cost of living (£295.16 excluding rent), Bogota ranks as the best cities for foodies to retire. Colombia’s capital also has the lowest average price of a meal compared to every other country in the study. 

Tokyo comes second in the ranking, with a much higher cost of living compared to Bogota (£848.72). With a staggering amount of take out places (5,861) and an average price of meal at £6.55, Japan’s capital city is one of the destinations most sought after by foodies. 

Ankara is the second cheapest cost of living and average cost of a meal out of all the countries considered in the study (£295.29 and £2.95 respectively), ranking third as the best city for foodies to retire.

According to the study, the best cities for Foodies to retire are the following.

Rank City Cost of living(Excluding Rent) in £ Average cost of a mealin an inexpensive restaurant (£) Number of take out restaurants
1 Bogota 295.16 2.18 941
2 Tokyo 848.72 6.55 5861
3 Ankara 295.29 2.92 173
4 Mexico-City 368.01 5.4 1313
5 Budapest 433.94 5.28 819
6 Prague 511.07 5.01 1177
7 Santiago 498.99 6.44 1092
8 Warsaw 522.29 5.57 842
9 San Jose 462.01 5.53 206
10 Bratislava 510.71 5.09 214

Washington is the best city for Pet Lovers

Pet lovers are all those retirees that are looking for the perfect place to retire with their cats or dogs. They are looking for cities that offer a high number of green spaces for their pets to go and have fun. 

Counting over 78 parks and green spaces, the US capital city of Washington ranks first as the best city for pet lovers to retire too. Over 39% of the population are cat owners, and a staggering 50% owning a dog, making it the perfect place for animal lovers to call home.

Mexico-City boasts over r 65 parks and natural spots making it the second best city for pet ownership, according to the study. 64% of the population owns a dog, with cat ownership being lower at just 24%. 

Finally, with 185 parks and green spaces, Riga ranks third city for pet loving retirees to move. Latvia is the second best country for cat lovers after Washington, with over 38% of the population owning a cat, and 27% of the population owning a dog.

According to the study, the best cities to retire with pets are:

Rank City Number of naturalspots and parks  Cat ownership (country) % Dog ownership (country) %
1 Washington 78 39 50
2 Mexico-City 65 24 64
3 Riga 185 38 27
4 Tokyo 657 14 17
5 Paris 281 31 20
6 Warsaw 57 32 39
7 Ottawa 63 35 33
8 Budapest 53 34 35
9 Lisbon 56 31 38
10 Canberra 59 29 39

Washington is the best city for introverts to retire

With ‘introverts’ we identify all of those retirees who appreciate alone time over a busy lifestyle. Unlike globetrotters, this category of retirees enjoy watching a film from the comfort of their cozy homes.

With a population of only 714,153 people and 744 take out restaurants, Washington ranks as the best city for introverts to retire. The US capital city counts over 67,278,433 Netflix subscribers, which makes it the perfect destination for couch potatoes. 

Surprisingly, London ranks second best destination for introverts to retire. This is mainly due to the high number of Netflix subscribers (12,752,006). Offering the highest number of take out places out of all the cities in the study (a staggering 6,417), the UK capital is the second best place to enjoy a meal in solitude during retirement.

Finally, Rome is the third best city for introverts. With a smaller population than London (4,278,350), and over 3946 to choose from, the eternal city is an ideal place to retire and enjoy time alone. 

According to the study, the best cities for introverts to retire to are:

Rank City Cost of living(Excluding Rent) in £ Population size(city) Number oftake out restaurants (city) Number of Netflixsubscribers 2021(country)
1 Washington 805.23 714,153 744 67,278,433
2 London 859.33 9,425,622 6417 12,752,006
3 Rome 702.16 4,278,350 3946 3,688,379
4 Madrid 579.94 6,668,865 2491 4,775,895
5 Ankara 295.29 5,215,747 173 3,089,928
6 Budapest 433.94 1,771,865 819 339,047
7 Prague 511.07 1,312,199 1177 456,795
8 Paris 818.63 11,078,546 4363 8,367,985
9 Bogota 295.16 11,167,392 941 2,731,350
10 Berlin 687.81 3,566,791 1729 10,696,426

Regardless of how you plan to spend your retirement there are cities around the world perfectly equipped to help you make the most of it. So, what kind of retiree are you?

Methodology

To conduct the research we took into consideration the countries listed in the OECD and analysed different metrics for each country’s capital city (all metrics are listed below). According to the metrics, we identified 5 categories of retirees. Finally,we combined all the metrics in an index for each category to find out the best cities for different types of retirees.