Dorset has been named as the best place in England and Wales to retire, according to a Prudential analysis of official figures.
Pensioners in the county enjoyed the highest quality of life, the insurer found in its examinations of a new retirement index developed by the Office of National Statistics.
It used the index to rank local authority areas within England and Wales, based on a scale of core quality retirement indicators. These included: good health; home ownership; marital status; and propensity to travel amongst the over 65s. It also looked at the percentage of the population providing ongoing unpaid care.
Dorset was placed in the top 10% of all local authority areas for three of the core indicators - good health, property ownership, and marriage. It was also above average for retirees' propensity to travel and had a higher than average percentage of people who provide ongoing unpaid care.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: 'People looking to secure a retirement in an area where the quality of life is already high, or those simply looking to be as financially comfortable as possible when they give up work, are well advised to follow the simple rule of saving as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives.
'The decisions that retirees are faced with can be the biggest they will ever have to make. To take best advantage of the newly introduced flexible retirement income choices, professional financial advice should form a vital part of preparation for retirement.'
The insurer's analysis also showed that the quality of life experienced by retirees varied significantly across the country.
The second highest ranked retirement location was Solihull, scoring 44 out of 50. Joint third were Buckinghamshire, North Somerset and the Vale of Glamorgan with 42.
Workingham, Hampshire, Monmouthshire, Poole and South Gloucestershire tied for sixth place with a retirement index score of 41 out of 50. This means that the South West of England holds four of the top ten ranking areas.