Many nations are choosing to adjust their pension systems in an effort to incentivize people to stay in the employment longer as longevity increases and the population of people who are retirement age continues to rise globally. In the meantime, here are the top 25 countries to retire in.
Our world’s population is aging. The OECD projects that by 2050, 30% (read below) of the world’s population would be 65 or older.
As Raul Amoros of Visual Capitalist explains below, while some nations are comparatively equipped to handle this rise in the old population, others are already feeling the strain and are having trouble coping with the problems that come with a swiftly aging population.
Which nations are best able to care for their senior citizens? Based on a number of different variables that we will examine in more detail below, this chart depicts the best countries in the world to retire in, according to data from the 2022 Natixis Global Retirement Index.
What Makes a Country Retirement-Friendly?
It makes sense that when people think of what makes a place an ideal retirement site, they would picture white-sand beaches, warm weather, and nonstop sunshine. And in reality, having the appropriate net worth gives one a lot of options for where to spend their elderly years.
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The Global Retirement Index (GRI) takes a different, more quantitative approach to retirement analysis. The annual research examines 44 different nations and assigns rankings depending on how secure their retirement systems are. The index takes into account 18 elements, which are divided into four broad categories:
- Health: Health spend per capita, life expectancy, and non-insured health spend.
- Quality of Life: Happiness levels, water and sanitation, air quality, other environmental factors, and biodiversity/habitat.
- Material Wellbeing: Income per capita, income equality, and employment levels.
- Finances in Retirement: Government debt, old-age dependency, interest rates, inflation, governance, tax pressure, and bank non-performing loans.
Each nation receives a score between 0.01 and 1 based on these 18 parameters, which is then translated to a percentage. Visit Appendix A (page 72) of the report for a more thorough explanation of the approach.
The Top 25 Best Countries to Retire in
Norway ranks first on the ranking as the most retirement-friendly nation, with an overall score of 81%.
For a number of factors, Norway is ranked first this year. Its high average life expectancy, which is 83 years old, or 9 years greater than the global average, helped it earn the top score in the Health category.
Norway also has the greatest score of any nation for Governance, a category determined by examining country corruption rates, political stability, and government effectiveness, and is in a three way tie for the Health category with Japan and Luxembourg.
Switzerland, another nation in Europe, is ranked second overall on the list with a score of 80%. It earns the greatest overall score in the category of Finances in Retirement as well as the highest ranking for environmental factors.
A Regional Breakdown
How does Europe as a continent rank overall, given that European nations make up the top 10 in the ranking? In fact, the study divides Europe into two parts: Eastern Europe (grouped with Central Asia) and Western Europe. This is vital to know before continuing.
And, from a geographical standpoint, North America takes first position despite the fact that no countries in the region cracked the top ten. North America is represented by only two countries: Canada (#15) and the United States (#18), both of which rank relatively high.
By comparison, Western and Eastern Europe have a lower regional average because there are more countries to take into account.
The Future of Retirement
Many nations are choosing to adjust their pension systems in an effort to incentivize people to stay in the employment longer as longevity increases and the population of people who are retirement age continues to rise globally.
People in the UK, for instance, were able to apply for their State Pension after they turned 65 in 2018. This age restriction will increase to 67 by 2028.
Government involvement, however, might not be required given that many people currently work past the customary retirement age around the world (perhaps more out of necessity than choice).
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