Cory Youlden admitted killing 83-year-old Paul Cox after what police described as a burglary that went “terribly wrong.”
Youlden broke into the pensioner’s home in Rednal in Worcestershire on June 3rd.
During the burglary the grandfather was attacked and died after being strangled.
Youlden stole Mr Cox’s car, a small amount of money and some groceries.
The car was found burnt out two days later in Erdington in Birmingham.
Det Ch Insp Paul Williamson of West Mercia Police said: “This was a senseless and brutal killing.
"Mr Cox was an elderly man who enjoyed watching sports, the odd pint and spending time with his family.
"His life has been tragically cut short because of Cory Youlden’s actions.”
The pensioner’s body was discovered by police after a neighbour noticed a broken window and realised the 83 year old’s car was missing from the driveway.
He had been killed just days before his 84th birthday.
Cory Youlden was arrested on a train in Bristol after going on the run.
Youlden had previously denied murder but changed his plea earlier this month.