Monday, October 6, 2014

Retirement Index (USA)

The Retirement index is a wonderful document that allows one to get a picture of what is going on in the country that you live. The readers of this blog are a from many countries but the top five in no particular order are the UK, France, Germany, Canada and the USA. I will present the information from the index about these countries over the next few days. 

With a ranking of 19th place in the GRI overall, the United States has remained relatively static over the past year, perhaps due to increasing economic stability – even in the face of political uncertainty and a period of government shutdown. The national and international press has spent much time and energy decrying the US debt burden, which is reflected in the Government Indebtedness indicator where the country underperforms most of it peers coming in at position 141. Inflation rates have almost doubled since 2013, from 1.6% to 3.9%, and as a consequence the US has dropped 26 places in the Inflation indicator. 

Despite its reputation as the land of opportunity, as well as having one of the highest incomes per capita (with a ranking of 6th for this indicator), the United States places relatively low for income equality, at 81st  place – although this has improved ten places since last year. Life expectancy is also relatively low compared to other advanced Western nations (ranked 33rd, dropped 1 place since 2013), and although health expenditure is high relative to other countries, this is not matched by a competitive number of physicians or hospital beds per capita. As one of the largest and most liberal nations, however, such considerations may not be as important to individual retirees as culture or liberty – as one of the most politically free countries, the US may have other appealing characteristics.

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