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With Scotland's population ageing rapidly - the average retirement age for men and women is now 64/65 - elevating later living across the nation has never been more important.
Retirement lifestyle trends show that deciding where to live later in life is a huge decision and choosing the best location to retire in Scotland can offer a wealth of health and wellbeing benefits during your golden years.
Browse the best retirement homes in Scotland.
Our new research has analysed several lifestyle factors crucial later in life (including popularity, affordability, investment, air pollution, crime rates and wellbeing) to reveal the seven best places to retire in Scotland: with Haddington being crowned in 1st place, Stonehaven in close 2nd and Glenrothes coming in 3rd place.
Basing our insights on several key lifestyle factors, we’ve found the happiest places to retire across Scotland.
Our research has found that several locations in the South-East appear in our list of the seven best places to retire in Scotland - including Haddington - which has been crowned the ultimate later living location.
We’ve also found North Ayrshire offers the best investment prospects, whilst the Aberdeenshire towns of Stonehaven and Fraserburgh are the most affordable retirement locations in Scotland. Our data has also revealed Glenrothes to be an up-and-coming location, increasing in popularity with older adults in recent years.
From safety and security to wellbeing and affordability, there are lots of factors that determine the perfect location later in life - and this is different for us all. For example, locations increasing in popularity with older adults offer great opportunities to socialise and build friendships.
Being in an affordable location can help make it easier to live comfortably on a fixed income, whilst good investment prospects can help your pension pot to go further - particularly important during a cost of living crisis.
Researching the air pollution of an area can help determine how beneficial a location may be for your overall health, while low crime rates offer a sense of safety and security. Analysing the wellbeing score of each area will help you understand the overall happiness levels of residents in each location.
Our new research shows that locations offering a balance of affordability, community spirit and security are the best places to retire in Scotland.
Below, we’ve looked at the seven best places to retire in Scotland according to our research. We’ve also listed care homes in each of these areas and nearby, all of which have ‘Very Good’ Care Inspectorate ratings, making them some of the best care homes in Scotland!
Our research has revealed Haddington is the best place to retire in Scotland with a total score of 23.
Haddington offers beautiful countryside, coastal adventures and historic streets filled with quaint cafes and tearooms. Google searches for ‘care homes in Haddington’ have surged by 126% over the last 12 months.
It’s no surprise that demand for later living in Haddington has increased in popularity. When it comes to investment, affordability and overall wellbeing scores, Haddington is a great investment for your later years.
Check out all our care homes in Haddington.
Famous for its picturesque harbour, scenic coastline and community spirit, Stonehaven is the second best location to retire in Scotland - with a score of 22.
Based on our analysis, Stonehaven is one of the most affordable later living locations in Scotland - scoring positively for crime rate and wellbeing.
Stonehaven offers the perfect balance of affordability and community spirit, so it's no surprise that it’s one of Scotland's top locations for later living.
Check out all our care homes in Stonehaven.
The third location for retiring in Scotland is Glenrothes - a town in the east of the country with a score of 21.
Glenrothes boasts some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes and is famous for its historical past. With plenty of outdoor activities to try and great transport links across Scotland, Glenrothes offers the perfect later living and retirement location for outdoor lovers and thrill seekers.
Glenrothes has seen the highest increase in popularity over the last year, with more people than ever before searching for ‘care homes in Glenrothes’. They’re in huge demand - with searches rising by 129% over the last 12 months.
We have Fraserburgh as the fourth best place to retire in Scotland. Famous for its scenic port, sandy beaches and breathtaking cliff-top views, there are lots of surprises to be discovered in Fraserburgh.
Our research has revealed Fraserburgh to be a great location for affordable living and happiness levels - scoring near the very top for affordability, crime rates and wellbeing.
The fifth best place to retire in Scotland is the council area of North Ayrshire.
North Ayrshire boasts open countryside and green moorlands, making it perfect for outdoor lovers. There are also plenty of opportunities for thrill seekers to enjoy watersports activities across the county's gorgeous coastline.
North Ayrshire offers the best later living investment scores across Scotland - with house prices increasing by 15% in the last year.
Check out all our care homes in North Ayrshire.
Known for its industrial past, Airdrie is a historical town located 12 miles from the centre of Glasgow and is the sixth best location for later living and retirement in Scotland.
Our data has revealed that Airdrie offers the perfect balance of affordability and investment prospects, with house prices increasing by 13% over the last year.
Check out all our care homes in Airdrie.
Finally, St Andrews is the seventh best place to retire in Scotland. Well known for its scenic coastline, sandy beaches and range of outdoor activities - including world-renowned golf courses - there are plenty of things to enjoy in St Andrews.
St Andrews has surged in popularity with older adults over the last 12 months and offers the perfect balance of affordability and quality of life - scoring positively across all lifestyle factors that we analysed.
Staying connected is an important wellbeing factor later in life - socialisation can boost your self-esteem and keep you engaged with your community.
As you age, it’s important to continue to enjoy your hobbies and interests. Finding a new passion later in life - such as learning a new skill - can also help you to stay connected to others and society as a whole, form new friendships and reduce any feelings of isolation or loneliness.
Ageing is a natural part of life. However, as you age, you become more susceptible to certain health complications - including diabetes and heart conditions.
Leading a healthy and happy lifestyle is key to taking care of your wellbeing in later life and elevating your golden years as a result. However, it’s important you’re able to easily access healthcare support to stay on top of your health and wellbeing.
Staying active is an important part of ageing well, including in retirement. As we age, our muscle mass, bone strength and overall balance decrease. However, physical activity promotes good balance and strength.
Getting outdoors and taking part in some gentle exercises for seniors is a great way to stay active and well. For example, going on a gentle walk or doing some light gardening. With lots of countryside and open spaces to explore in Scotland, there are plenty of places to check out and admire in your local area.
A daily structure can boost your wellbeing later in life and help you to stay connected to others. For example, scheduling time for a daily walk, catching up with loved ones and taking part in activities with friends.
At first, you may find knowing how to spend your free time in later life slightly overwhelming - especially if you’ve spent many years working, bringing up a family or taking care of loved ones. Your golden years offer you the opportunity to spend your free time doing the things you enjoy.
Where elderly nutrition is concerned, eating a healthy and balanced diet is key to good wellbeing as you age. Try to eat three regular meals a day and have a diet full of foods rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish, red meat, and fortified foods (fat spreads and breakfast cereals).
We aimed to find which locations in Scotland offer the most benefits for retirement and later living, based on several factors crucial to wellbeing later in life. Firstly, wellbeing data was gathered from several sources. Each location was evaluated based on the following criteria:
Each location was then given a total score out of 32 to reveal the top seven locations for later living in Scotland.
Retirement homes in Scotland offer secure, vibrant and luxurious housing for older adults with state-of-the-art facilities. Request a free retirement living shortlist and we’ll recommend retirement properties matching your criteria.