United States Ranks as 19th Best Country for Retirees

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Retirement in the United States
(Alamy)

By MANDI WOODRUFF

For retirees hoping to live long and prosper in their golden years, the U.S. is only the 19th best place to be, according to a new index by the NGAM Durable Portfolio Research Center.

The humbling report, called the Natixis Global Retirement Index, places Western European countries far ahead of the U.S. in areas like health, finances, quality of life, and material well-being.

"The message is clear: You will be called on to finance more of your retirement," John Hailer, NGAM's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"Citizens of other industrialized nations can rely on strong social safety nets in old age, at least for now. In the U.S., we encourage workers to plan, save and invest, and promote policies that help them meet their future needs."
Norway ranked the best out of 150 nations studied, followed by Switzerland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Austria.

The U.S. was also overshadowed by its neighbor to the North, Canada (No. 13), Japan (No. 15), and came in just one spot ahead of the United Kingdom (No. 20).

Here's where the U.S. falls behind:

A costly health care system. Although the U.S. spends more on health care per capita than any other country in the world, consumers are still left to cover a big portion of those costs on their own. For retirees, those costs only increase with age. On average, a 65-year-old couple will shell out more than $250,000 for out-of-pocket health care spending needs, according to U.S. News and World Report. Nearly all the high-ranking countries in the NGAM index have universal health care systems in place.

Aging boomers. Americans are living longer than ever, but federally sponsored social programs that so many older consumers rely on today may not be able to sustain future retirees. According to NGAM, the number of people aged 65 or older is on track to triple by 2050. There's no telling how long Social Security will last as a viable income option, and as it stands, more than half of married couples and 74 percent of unmarried persons receive 50 percent or more of their income from Social Security. It's more vital than ever for consumers to re-estimate how much they'll need to support themselves in retirement.

Retirement savings deficit. It should come as no surprise that more consumers are relying on social programs to supplement their income in old age. The Great Recession played its roll in pummeling nest eggs for millions of workers, but U.S. workers aren't exactly known for their savvy savings strategy to begin with. More than 53 percent of American workers 30 and older are on a path that will leave them unprepared for retirement, according to a recent U.S. Senate Report. And as it stands, only one-third of eligible workers bother to take advantage of retirement savings plans through their employer.

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9 Comments

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YourFtr

Buy the 26,000 House; if you need a place....

April 02 2013 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cubamex2003

Yeah, I'd like to live in a refrigerator ( Norway) the rest of my days.

April 02 2013 at 9:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Horndog

Ever since George Bush ruined America retirees are struggling. Of course the elite won't admit it and the government won't change for the better so 19th could be worse. America was on top but greed and cheating by her leaders have her a third world country that loves to start wars. Great.

April 02 2013 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Horndog's comment
bchrist751

Have you ever thought about taking care of yourself? and stop blaming others.

April 02 2013 at 11:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
illusionstool

Save what? The price point of our society is set at somewhere between $25.00 and $30.00 per hour for minimum survival without government assistance, yet the average wage for the average American is probably between $10.00 and $15.00 per hour, next the interest rate is probably less than 5% of the inflation rate, yet the banks can legally tare people’s heads off with uncapped interest rates as high as 30% and the same banks can barrow from the Fed at meager rates of probably less than 5% if I could make 300% on my lending money I would be able to retire as well... How about you???

April 02 2013 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to illusionstool's comment
bchrist751

Another one blaming someone else. its always someone else fault. employers don't pay enough, banks pay little interest on CD. As far as bank interest rates Blame the Fed for keeping interest low. But then blame the Fed when the rates are increased on lost Jobs.

Stop blaming others and take care of yourself.

April 02 2013 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
racetrked

`VE got 800.00 per month. to live on . and after these dames i had in my life took me over for my houses.and cost me my job while i fought them. this is what is left of me. living hand to mouth. as i`m 74 and where do you get employment? i was a motor vehicle damage appraiser. before my life ends in some trash can. tell me how to continue on. thanks Edward .////racetrked@aol

April 01 2013 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
glers

19th huh, The rich get richer and the rest of us off can go fuch off.

April 01 2013 at 11:41 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to glers's comment
bchrist751

People like you will never get rich.

April 02 2013 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply