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Norway tops list of countries where retirees live best

Results of the Natixis Global Retirement Index show retirees live best in Norway based on measures of health, material well-being, finances and quality of life. Rounding out the top five are Switzerland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Austria.

The index is sponsored by Natixis Global Asset Management, the world’s 13th largest asset management firm ($779 billion AUM)* as part of its Durable Portfolio Construction® Research Center.

Of the 150 countries included in the index, the top ten was composed completely of Western Europe nations. This trend is in large part due to the strong safety nets currently available to those in old age among these industrialized countries – a trend that is likely to change as these countries struggle with financial challenges. France ranked 10 in the survey, while the United Kingdom was 20. Among non-European countries, Australia ranked highest, coming in at 11. Japan and the U.S. ranked 15 and 19 respectively, pointing to the need for individuals to shoulder greater responsibility for their retirement needs.

A list of the top 25 countries, including index methodology, is available. The embedded asset has been deleted:
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The index is a composite developed in collaboration with Core Data Research, a London-based financial research firm, and provides a look into best practices for public policies that impact retirees. It examines four key areas:

  • Health: Per-capita health spending, life expectancy, the number of physicians and hospital beds per 1,000 citizens, and the level of noninsured health spending. (Sources: World Bank’s Development Indicators, 2012; World Health Organization)
  • Material well-being: Per-capita income, income inequality and unemployment. (Source: World Bank)
  • Finances: Old-age dependency (the ratio of retirees to workers), inflation, interest rates, taxation level and bank nonperforming loans. (Sources: World Bank, United Nations)
  • Quality of life: The level of happiness and satisfaction of citizens, as well as the quality of the climate and environment. (Sources: Gallup World Poll 2012; Environmental Performance Index 2012)
Along with the Retirement Index, the Natixis Durable Portfolio Construction Research Center conducts annual research in the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors, financial advisors and institutional investors around the world. Additionally, the Center publishes research in the area of portfolio construction and asset allocation.

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