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US ranks high but not highest

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Posted: 2 pm ET

An analysis of factors affecting security among people living in retirement worldwide ranked the United States 19th out of 150 nations. It's a middling score that puts us behind such countries as Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Republic of Korea.

The annual study by Natixis Global Asset Management calculated security levels from four highly subjective subcategories:

Health (U.S. ranks 21). We spend more per person on health care than any other nation, but life expectancy is lower than it is in most advanced Western countries, possibly because access to health care is limited due to costs, Natixis says.

Financial well-being (36). While Americans have the sixth-highest per capita income in the world, Natixis discounts this because of high levels of income inequality and persistent unemployment.

National financial stability (22). This category includes taxation levels, government indebtedness and the ratio between the number of workers paying into Social Security and those collecting it. Worsening the situation is the level of U.S. debt -- it is among the world's top 10 most indebted nations, Natixis points out.

Quality of life (24). This measure of citizen happiness and satisfaction also takes into account the quality of climate and environment. Americans rate their level of happiness and satisfaction as high, but U.S. environmental policies pull down the overall ranking.

Tracey Flaherty, a senior vice president of government relations and retirement strategy at Natixis, says the point of the study is to focus more attention on the increasing challenges of retirement planning. "Financial security is weakening, putting more responsibility on individuals. Even Social Security isn't simple. We've done a great job making things incredibly complicated," she says.

The top 20 nations in this ranking:

  1. Switzerland (ranked 2nd in 2013)
  2. Norway (1)
  3. Austria (5)
  4. Sweden (4)
  5. Australia (11)
  6. Denmark (8)
  7. Germany (9)
  8. Finland (6)
  9. New Zealand (22)
  10. Luxembourg (3)
  11. Iceland (23)
  12. Belgium (14)
  13. Netherlands (7)
  14. Canada (13)
  15. France (10)
  16. Czech Republic (17)
  17. Korea (27)
  18. United Kingdom (20)
  19. United States (19)
  20. Israel (12)
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Barry hoffman
February 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

I notice all the top countries are cold weather places.who wants to retire to snow I have enough already.

Michael Rodrick
February 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

They are the most sought after due to the freebies supplied to anyone crossing any border from anywhere. Legally or not.

Freddy k
February 26, 2014 at 10:12 am

Well this is good news! Now we don't have to worry about immigration problems because all of the people from other countries dying to get here now will stop. Why would anyone from anywhere else want to come here with these statistics. I guess the authors think the U.S is becoming a third world country. I know when I retired I asked my financial advisor"what is the current status of our climate control".. If they like to rank things where to we stand in educational achievement, I think somewhere around 30 in the world.

February 26, 2014 at 9:57 am

Natixis is just another French drivel spouting machine. It is a socialist leaning institution, and has always been critical of the United States.

February 26, 2014 at 9:54 am

You know ever since. I can't remember. Many years ago I was always told social security was not to be touched for any kind of loan to the government. It seems to me they have taken over that just like the I.R.S. takes are taxes. What is the real story about S.S. Who was it that said S.S. is the best thing are government has come up with for are citizens. And will not be touched by any loan committee of the U.S Government, or other agency's?

February 26, 2014 at 8:55 am

If our government could stay out of the social security funds that have been paid in and stop raising the debt ceiling maybe that would help us move up closer to the top. Stop your spending in the government; stay on a budget like everyone else has to.

February 26, 2014 at 7:53 am

Ever see how many Canadians come to Florida? This article is suspect in substance.

February 26, 2014 at 7:33 am

Mike, Are you saying that the US and UK are the most sought after countries for people to retire to? That is what this article is about--stability in retirement. Where do you get your information? Thanks.

Eric Graham
February 26, 2014 at 7:18 am

Yes, These bankrate statistics are always suspect. Most of these articles are written with such liberal bias that they are quite unbelievable in most cases. You can even note that the English used by the authors is very frequently out of context and incorrect grammatically.

February 26, 2014 at 12:57 am

These rankings are comical. If the US and UK are so far down the list in the eyes of the world why are they still the most sought after areas to immigrate to.