Thursday, February 19, 2015

Retiring in Canada

 We have been taking a look at trends in Canada, but where does Canada stand in the world as a place to retire? According to the  2015 Natixis Global Retirement Index – Top 20 Nations Canada is not in the top 10  but we are in the top 20 beating US friends by a good 5 points on the scale but we are not doing as good as our Europeon friends or our friends in New Zealand and Australia

Europe leads in quality of retirement Top-ranked countries in 2015 benefited from well-developed and growing industrialized economies with strong financial systems and regulations, broad access to healthcare, and substantial public investment in infrastructure and technology. Despite relatively heavy tax burdens, these countries rank high in per-capita income levels and low in income inequality. “These countries currently lead the way, but could face headwinds as the citizens live longer in retirement and the cost of funding various programs continues to increase,” said Hailer.

The index showed:
• Stability at the top: Switzerland retained its No. 1 ranking because of its high per-capita income, strong financial institutions and environment. Switzerland has a mandatory occupational pension system and a well-funded universal health system. Norway held the second spot on the strength of its widely shared wealth.

• Big leaps: Iceland jumped seven slots, to No. 4, because of structural changes in the nation’s financial system after its banking crisis. The Netherlands rose to No. 5 from No. 13 on strengthened finances, while Japan’s fiscal reforms and healthcare improvements helped it vault to No. 17 from No. 27.

• Down under policies working: Australia (No. 3) and New Zealand (No. 10) are two non-European countries in the top 10 due in large part to mandatory retirement savings programs.

“Bold public policies and a commitment to innovation are making the greatest contribution to the security of retirees in the top-ranked countries,” Hailer said. “They offer valuable lessons for countries trying to improve their retirement systems and prepare citizens for financial security in retirement. In the U.S., there is a need to open access to work-based retirement programs so more Americans can put money away for their future needs.”

Some progress is being made at the federal level, and the states are beginning to take action as well. Illinois, for example, recently introduced an automatic retirement savings program for workers in the state that don’t already have a retirement plan at work, a first for the nation.

The Top 20 nations, along with their standing in last year’s study, were: (last years rankings in parenthesis behind the number

1.  Switzerland (No. 1 in 2014))
2. Norway (2)
3. Australia (5)
4. Iceland (11) (7)
5. Netherlands (13)
6. Sweden (4)
7. Denmark (6)
8  Austria (3)
9. Germany (7)
10. New Zealand (9)
11. Luxembourg (10)
12. Canada (14)
13. Finland (8)
14. Korea, Rep. (17)
15. Czech Republic (16)
16. Belgium (12)
17. Japan (27)
18. France (15)
19. United States (19)
20. Slovenia (21)

For those interested where their country lands and more information the link is here (it is a PDF document)

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