Yes, homeless beggars would love to live in million dollar Manhattan penthouses. No, I don't have any sympathy for people who say they're "going to starve" if they're not afforded every luxury on their wish list. If anybody starves by refusing to take their retirement income out of central London, or if anybody starves because they refuse to live in a building they think is too new
and mediocrely constructed, then it's self-inflicted and they deserve it. Having the sense to to live within your means is basic to being an adult.
I do have respect for those who actually acknowledge all their options as valid but make a conscious decision to work more hours/years for luxuries they think would be nice.
And no, we don't all secretly want to be urbanites. It's normal for people to spend their careers dreaming of escaping the city to a rural location in retirement.
Generally, homeless beggars would love to live anywhere with a roof and no violence. And I knew a few.
I think you are conflating two topics here: older people retiring on a small pension vs. my own financial matters.
On my own financial matters: no, I'm not going to "starve" in a literal sense. But I also don't buy into the "eat, shut up and be grateful" modesty that, surprisingly, only some poor or religious people ever seem to adopt. Living within your means is sensible indeed, but it does not mean that you have to accept the "your means" as being what you "deserve". There is plenty to talk about and fight for in terms of urban planning, housing policy, the distribution of wealth and so on. The simplistic work hard > earn what you want idea is just what people who most definitely don't
earn in proportion to the work they put in, tell people on low incomes so they can be economically exploited ad infinitum.
On retirement: again, living in a specific area is important to some older people for the reasons I already outlined, whether it's London or elsewhere. It is true that not everyone wants to live in the city (I think we can generally agree that people are diverse in their preferences). Most people I've met desired access to both town and country, but it's irrelevant to the argument what exactly is the most desirable location. What matters is that some areas are more desirable than others, on the whole, and it sucks that someone on a state pension has to relocate due to financial hardship. And, as I said earlier, it's not just the matter of housing: there's also fuel poverty, and actual starvation among some pensioners here, believe it or not.