Some countries do better than others when it comes to offering a secure, quality retirement.
Natixis looked at factors driving retirement security for 43 countries, using data from numerous sources, including the World Bank, to arrive at the final index results.
The 43 nations make up the International Monetary Fund advanced economies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the BRIC countries.
According to the Natixis 2018 Global Retirement Index, which looks at the economic, health and environmental factors that affect retiree welfare and financial security, the U.S. actually rose to 16th place from its previous slot of 17, thanks to improvements in material well-being (where it ranks 26th) and finances (where it comes in at 9th place) from the year before.
The index incorporates 18 performance indicators divided into four main categories critical to retirement:
- Finances in Retirement
- Material Well-being
- Quality of Life
It evaluates those factors against the demographics of retirees to evaluate and compare the level of retirement security in different countries around the world.
But it’s not all about money—or health. Such factors as happiness and biodiversity also play a role in where the countries rank.
Although the U.S. rose from 17 to 16 in ranking, it lost ground on health, life expectancy and quality of life, the latter including dips in happiness and biodiversity indicators.
One interesting note: With the single exception of Finland, all the Scandinavian countries finished comfortably in the top 10.
One section in the report, “Protecting the Promise: Five critical threats to global retirement security,” examines challenges to retirement in the wake of the financial crisis. It finds that “the unintended consequences of monetary policy moves playing out over the past decade have put retirement security further from reach, making savings more expensive, stifling employment and wage growth, and all but eliminating the yield retirees were counting on from bond staples.”
The Natixis report is full of thought-provoking data, and the authors say they hope it will contribute to the dialogue on how best to meet older generations’ needs now and in the future.
Below are the top 10 countries with the most secure retirement for their residents: