The United States isn’t one of the best places to retire anymore. In fact, it isn’t even in the top 10.
That’s the conclusion of Paris-based Natixis Investment Managers, which has ranked the 25 best countries for retirement. Natixis rated countries by life expectancy, retirement finances, quality of life, and “material well-being,” which includes factors like income and unemployment rates.
The result? The Global Retirement Index.
Iceland ranked pretty high in all four categories and scored the highest material well-being index: 91%. Switzerland had better scores for life expectancy, finances, and quality of life, but ultimately got dragged down by a lower material index, finally sitting at the shared 1st place with Iceland.
Sitting near the bottom of the list is the US, which earned a global retirement index of 72% – same as the United Kingdom. The US scored highest in the health index column (86%), but its 58% material well-being score was the lowest of the bunch. The US posted lackluster scores in retirement financing (71%) and quality of life (76%).
Scoring impressive scores of 90 and 91%, these three countries are the places where life expectancy is the highest and medical bills don’t break the bank. On the other hand, these countries have some of the lowest scores in the retirement finances category. Life may be long there, but it’s apparently not that sunny when retirement finally comes.
The highest score in the quality-of-life category, which measures general happiness, is Denmark’s 93%. Danes are widely recognized as some of the happiest people on the planet. According to Natixis researchers, they are exactly 1% happier than Finns. Koreans ranked last, at 53%.
These statistics don’t spell doom for American retirees, but there are concerns that the US retirement system is on shaky ground. The Social Security system is supported by trusts that are slated for depletion within 15 years. The situation is stable now, but there has never been a better time to think ahead.