SOUTHAMPTON is the second most expensive city in the UK to retire in, according to new research.
Beaten in cost only by London, pensioners in Southampton are thought to need an average household income of £32,705.03.
The research, carried out by financial services company MGM Advantage, looked at average expenditure and life expectancy in Britain’s 20 biggest cities.
Cardiff was revealed to be the cheapest city for retirement, and the figures show Southampton pensioners need an extra £6,788.76 a year to get by, compared to those in the Welsh capital.
Chris Perry, director of Age Concern Hampshire, said the results were worrying.
He said: “There’s no recognition of regional variations in the cost of living in either the basic state pension or pension credit, so people in Southampton are going to find it much harder to manage during their retirement than people in other parts of the country.
“With 2.8 million older people already living below the official European poverty line, this must be very worrying for people in Southampton.
“Britain is still ranked 27th in the world for its state pension, and there are concerns that the impending public expenditure cuts might fall disproportionately on older people.”
Robbie Robinson, chairman of Southampton Pensioners’ Forum, said the findings didn’t surprise him.
He said: “Southampton is a city for young people, and the elderly have been left behind.
“So many things are on the Internet now, including really important advice and information, and a lot of older people just don’t want to use it.”
Mr Robinson, 65, believes many pensioners are also not getting the extra financial help they may be able to claim.
He said: “It’s very difficult to find out what you’re entitled to.
“You’ve got to fill in all the forms, and it really puts people off.
“There are a lot of pensioners in Southampton who are really struggling.”
Those who conducted the study also warn that retirement income is dropping because there has been a significant switch from defined benefit pensions, where payouts are guaranteed, to defined contribution pensions, where payments can depend on the performance of investments.
Coupled with the fact that people are living longer, they say pensions are likely to shrink in the future.
• Anyone worried about coping financially during retirement can call Age Concern Hampshire on 0800 328 7154 for advice.