Thursday , 8 December 2022

The 25 Best Countries for Retirement: Canada Ranks #15; U.S. #18

For 10 years the French investment bank, Natixis, has been ranking 44 countries using factors that affect financial security and material well-being, including unemployment and income inequality keeping score with its Natixis Investment Managers Global Retirement Index. The U.S. has always  ranked in the top 20 except for the first year of the survey when it scored a dismal #23, but has never cracked the top 10 peaking at #14 in 2016. This year it came in at #18, down one spot from last year and down from #16 the year before that. Canada came in at #15 this year down 5 spots from the previous year. Here are the reasons why in each case.

By Lorimer Wilson, Managing Editor of munKNEE.com

Norway climbed up from #3 to claim the #1 spot, Switzerland retained its #2 spot from 2021, and Iceland came in at #3. The U.S. ranking was dragged down by low metrics of material well-being and finances. The low material well-being ranking was the result of low scores pertaining to unemployment and income equality. Its low rating in the finances category was chalked up to subpar performance for taxes, governance, bank loan portfolios and old-age dependency.

The above being said, however,  Dave Goodsell, executive director of the Natixis Center for Investor Insight, says that, to a certain extent, a large nation like the U.S. would almost inevitably have a hard time acing the goals set out in the index as the countries that perform well tend to be smaller because it is hard to get consistency in a country with a big, diverse population.

The top 25 countries are as follows:

  1. Norway
  2. Switzerland
  3. Iceland
  4. Ireland
  5. Australia
  6. New Zealand
  7. Luxembourg
  8. Netherlands
  9. Denmark
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Germany
  12. Finland
  13. Sweden
  14. Austria
  15. Canada
  16. Israel
  17. Korea, Rep.
  18. United States
  19. United Kingdom
  20. Belgium
  21. Slovenia
  22. Japan
  23. Malta
  24. France
  25. Estonia

The country reports (see pages 45 to 69 in the Natixis Investment Managers Global Retirement Index) show how different indicator movements have affected the each country’s overall and sub-index scores this year and, as such, to identify changes in retirement conditions in a particular country by comparing year-on-year performance and movements in ranking.

This site attracts the majority of its pageviews from readers in the USA and Canada so below is what the Index had to say about each of those countries:

Canada

Canada moves down five spots to 15th overall this year which is relatively similar to a decade ago when it placed 12th overall in 2012.

  • Canada has a lower score in the Material Wellbeing sub-index
    because of lower scores in all three indicators compared to last
    year. None of its indicators make the top or bottom ten.
  • Canada also has a lower score for the Finances sub-index. The
    lower sub-index score is due to lower scores in the interest rate,
    tax pressure, old-age dependency and governance indicators. It
    has the second highest score for the bank nonperforming loans
    indicator.
  • Canada also has a lower score in the Quality of Life sub-index
    because of lower scores in both the happiness and environmental
    factors indicators. It has the seventh highest score for the air
    quality indicator but the eighth-lowest score for biodiversity.
  • Canada has a higher score for the Health sub-index (11th)
    compared to last year. The improvement in the sub-index score
    is because of a higher score in the health expenditure per capita
    indicator. None of its indicators make the top or bottom ten.

The USA

The United States falls one spot to 18th overall this year. The United
States ranked 23rd a decade ago.

  • The U.S. has a lower Material Wellbeing sub-index score
    because of lower scores in the unemployment and income
    equality indicators. It has the sixth highest score for the
    income per capita indicator among all GRI countries but also the
    seventh-lowest score for the income equality indicator.
  • The U.S. also has a lower score for the Finances sub-index. The
    lower sub-index score this year is due to lower scores in the tax
    pressure, bank nonperforming loans, old-age dependency and
    governance indicators. It makes the top ten for both the
    bank nonperforming loans and interest rate indicators by
    ranking eighth and tenth respectively but also makes the
    bottom ten for the government indebtedness indicator with
    the sixth-lowest score among all GRI countries.
  • The U.S. registers an improvement in the Health subindex (17th). It has a higher sub-index score compared to last year because of a higher score for the life expectancy indicator. It has the highest score for the health expenditure per capita indicator and the fourth highest for insured health expenditure among all GRI countries.
  • The United States has a higher score in the Quality of Life sub-index
    (21st) due to higher scores in both the environmental factors and happiness indicators. It has the ninth lowest score for environmental factors among all GRI countries.