Europe continued to dominate the top spots of this year’s list of best countries for retirement, with Norway at No. 1 for the second year in a row, followed by Switzerland and Iceland. Sweden ranked No. 4 and New Zealand rounded out the top 5, according to the 2017 Global Retirement Index by Natixis Global Asset Management.
Rounding out the top 10 were Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Germany. Denmark, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Luxembourg and Denmark were new additions to the top 10 this year and two of the most-improved performers. Canada and Austria, which ranked 10th and 9th in 2016, respectively, fell to 11th and 13th place respectively.
With more retirees around the world responsible for their own financial security, the countries that ranked the best benefited from a combination of strong social programs, widely accessible health care and low levels of income inequality, according to Natixis.
Recent public spending in top-ranked Norway has bolstered the nation’s pension plans, helped in part by the country’s massive sovereign wealth fund. Other high-ranked countries, such as New Zealand and Australia, have universal, mandatory retirement savings plans.
Natixis examined access to financial services and quality health care as well as the ability to live comfortably in a clean, safe environment to compile the list of best countries for retirement.
The index, launched in 2013, assesses how well retired citizens live in various nations across four broad categories — health, finances, material well-being and quality of life. The 2017 index was released Wednesday.
Forty-three nations with developed retirement systems were assessed in 2017 to determine the countries for retirement..