Data and Research

Retirees’ Perceived Quality of Life Declines

The U.S. fell three places to No. 17 in the Natixis Global Retirement Index, comprised of 43 nations.

By Lee Barney editors@strategic-i.com | July 19, 2017

Among the 43 countries in the Natixis Global Retirement Index, the U.S. fell three places to No. 17 and achieved an overall score of 72%. 

U.S. retirees’ perceived quality of life decreased in 2016. While the U.S. maintained its No. 7 ranking in health, its highest ranking in the sub-indices, the U.S. ranked 30th in life expectancy, suggesting that what Americans spend on health care may not be yielding the same return on investment as in other countries.

The U.S. had the fifth-highest income per captia in the index, but its income inequality rose. “The results suggest that millions of lower-income Americans are missing out on economic growth and may struggle to save for a secure retirement as a result,” Natixis says.

The U.S. ranked in the top 10 for finances, “largely due to improvements in bank non-performing loans and federal debt levels relative to other nations,” Natixis says. However, the nation’s ratio of retirees to employment-age adults rose, putting increasing pressure on Social Security and Medicare.

“This year’s Global Retirement Index is an important reminder that retirement security is a complex, multi-dimensional issue that is vastly influenced by a nation’s policies, politics and economics,” says Ed Farrington, executive vice president of retirement for Natixis Global Asset Management. “The population is getting older, making retirement security one of the most pressing social issues facing the world. Factors such as increasing longevity, income inequality and the impact of monetary policy on personal savings and pension liabilities are challenging the longstanding assumptions about how Americans plan for and live in retirement.”