Maybe you should retire outside the US

According to a new study, the nation lags well behind many others when it comes to overall financial security for retirees.

By Bruce Kennedy Mar 11, 2013 7:54AM

Image: Man and woman sitting and reading map © Maria Teijeiro, OJO Images, Getty ImagesThinking about moving, once you retire? If you're American, how about out of the country?

A new annual index by Boston-based Natixis Global Asset Management says the U.S. ranks 19th worldwide when it comes to retirement security.

The study looked at how well retirees in 150 countries live, based on health, material well-being, their finances and other personal data. Not surprisingly, the top 10 countries on the list were all in Western Europe, which has a tradition of strong health care and social programs for retirees. Norway came in on top, followed by Switzerland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Austria.

Natixis says a number of factors are at work when it comes to its rankings.While the U.S. has the world's largest pension market, it still trails less affluent nations when it comes to income and health metrics. And even though the U.S. might have the most per-capita health care spending, individuals still have to pay at least part of their own health care expenses.

"The U.S. does lag behind Western Europe and some smaller economies in retirement security, specifically in the areas of health and income equality," Tracey Flaherty, Natixis senior vice president for government relations and retirement strategy, said in an interview with Pension&Investments. "There are also demographic trends (in the U.S.) that will have a negative impact on retirement."

Among those trends, according to the study, is America's rapidly aging population, higher life expectancy and declining birth rates. And as the over-65 population increases, so will the pressure on federal programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Combine those figures with many Americans' lack of personal investment and savings with the economic toll taken on retirement savings during the ongoing global economic downturn, and you have a recipe for trouble.

The study's overall message, says Natixis President and CEO for the Americas and Asia John Hailer, is that Americans will be called on to finance more of their own retirements.

"Citizens of other industrialized nations may rely on strong social safety nets in old age, at least for now," he said in a press release. "In the U.S. we encourage workers to plan, save and invest, and promote policies that help them meet their future needs."

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Mar 11, 2013 11:31AM

Let me see if I got this right, in the past few years we have been told we need to do the following:

     - Save more for our retirement

     - Do not plan an getting as much from social security

     - Work longer hours

     - Work past normal retirement age

     - Pay more in taxes and get less from the government

     - Pay fees for things the government use to provide free

     - Take more risk in our investments but get less protection for wall street greed

     - Get paid only pennies in interest for the money you save at the bank

     - Be happy making less money for working then I made 10 years ago

     - Pay to cover the health care for illegal immigrants'

     - Get a college education with no grants but with loans at interest rates higher then I pay on a mortgage

     - Do not tax the rich or they will pay me less then they are already paying. 

     - Reduce my standard of living (sounds like a good idea for the rich)

     - lastly remember to smile cause the government is here to screw you at every chance they get.


Funny how life has change for us yet I have not heard of any cuts in pay or benefits for the congress me or the president.  I have an idea lets cut the House Fitness Gym because based on the half naked photos of Congressman Weiner (for which he was so proud of his body) if that is the best that Fitness Center can do I think it is a waste. 

Lets not forget the joy a bailing out the banks and auto makers so they can pay bonuses to the top execs.  We were told that they had to pay the bonuses for two reasons.  First the execs achieved their goals and have therefore earned the bonus.  Was their goal really to run the company into the ground.  How do you get a job like that?  Second, if we did not pay the bonus the execs would leave their jobs and we needed them for all their knowledge.  They would leave their job and what, join the rest of us in the unemployment line.  Did we really need their knowledge of how to screw up the business.

Just wondering were is my Obama money?

Mar 11, 2013 12:11PM
Think most of you miss the point!  Those "Boomers" have been paying into the system for over 50 years.  What entitlements?  It is their money that they were forced to place in the system.  So they are "entitled" to the money they put in the system, so if that is an entitlement program....then maybe!!!
Mar 11, 2013 11:54AM

The 3 smartest financial moves Americans (or anyone) can make is....

1. Have their home paid for when your ready to retire.


2. Have their home paid for when your ready to retire.


3. Have their home paid for when your ready to retire.

Stop taking out 2nd & 3rd mortgage's.

Mar 11, 2013 12:19PM
OH, and also don't forget, our government owes almost $2.6 Trillion to our Social Security "general fund", which is MORE than we owe China.

Face it, we seniors who have worked very hard and paid into this with every single paycheck we received and ARE ENTITLED to, are being screwed between the losses we took in the 2008 Financial Crisis and the financial issues of SS/Medicare.

Mar 11, 2013 12:01PM

I'd like to see the writer suggest that illegal immigrants should retire to someplace else besides the US - Mexico comes to mind


...that would certainly make it easier on the rest of us

Mar 11, 2013 12:10PM
How is it that all these 20-30 year olds are experts on retirement?
Mar 11, 2013 10:32AM
And as the wave of retirees is seen coming over the hill the ensuing void will appear sooner rather than later.  This whole concern will evaporate in just a few years.  In 15 or so years this discussion will be meaningless as the boomers wave will be in decline. This large clump of boomers will come and go and research shows that the population following will be much younger and much much different. Yes there is a problem, but once the problem is actually here the sea change will be next and that shows American establishment i.e. white folks birth rates are in decline.  And from what I understand the new generation will actually have a shorter life expectancy.  The fun of hating us old folks will not last long so enjoy the party.  It will be rather short lived.
Mar 11, 2013 12:11PM
Let's not forget, the Economic Financial Crisis of 2008.

It reduced Retirement Savings of our Seniors by just over $2 Trillion.

Do you think we would have a retirement problem if our Seniors still had those $2 Trillion.
Mar 11, 2013 10:00AM
Hey Bruce, you missed the boat - Who cares if retirees have it good in Western Europe if their massive social programs are unsustainable and going broke?  A generous retirement program is only good as long as it lasts.  Instead of focusing on the "here and now", we should be looking ahead to the future.  Current entitlement/social programs that seem great now are massively underfunded and unsustainable in the near future.  You can't just keep borrowing and printing cash and then give it away forever, somebody has to pay for it sometime.
Mar 11, 2013 1:08PM
"Maybe you should you retire outside the US"

Maybe you should you edit your articles before posting them
Mar 11, 2013 12:21PM

I doubt you are going to save any money by moving to Western Europe. The social programs may be more encompassing (for the moment), but those get paid for by higher taxes and therefore a higher cost of living. The people providing services have to make enough to pay all those taxes, and VAT is a direct high tax on everything you buy--just hidden in the price.


But really, all cultures are full of BS, so just pick one that is charming to you. Life's too short for all this analysis! 

Mar 11, 2013 2:02PM
Paul Ryan's plan does not balance the budget. Never did, never will. Paul Ryan's plan fundamentally changes SS and Medicare to voucher programs. The government decides how much you will get in an annual check to go out and buy health care on your own as a senior. That amount is currently bantered about at about $6k. Please do go out and price health care plans and see if any healthcare company will give you a policy for $6K. Not gonna happen. Not a plan in the world that will cover what's needed for your personal healthcare in retirement at $6K.  Plus, Ryan's plan ensures you have to work a couple years more to get SS or Medicare benefits as it raises the age to collect benefits. Any average worker doing basic labor, construction work, etc. is basically screwed trying to stay healthy at manual labor long enough to collect benefits. And remember kids, the longer it takes grandma and grandpa to retire from their jobs the less chance you have of getting it if needed. But Ryan's plan does give more money to the job creators at the top. You know, those same job creator companies and CEOs reaping record profits and double digit increase in CEO pay. 
Mar 11, 2013 12:57PM
I guess most people were not paying attention in high school personal finance class.  I remember the rules for retirement.  1/3 social security., 1/3 company pension, 1/3 personal savings.  The old 3 legged stool.  SS was to keep you from starving. 
Mar 11, 2013 1:00PM
Corporate America wants workers to slave with low pay and no benefits until the day they die. Since smoking and asbestos shows up decades after exposure I am supprised companies don't have people working in asbestos walled rooms smoking cigarettes so they will not be able to collect a pension.
Mar 11, 2013 1:38PM
That is because a sorry ashed CONGRESS keeps stealing money out of what the old people have paid in and are giving it to the young and the restless.  I picked up an EBT card receipt from a parking lot.  It had about 55 dollars of good meats, pork chops, steaks, etc. on it.  No tax was charged. It said "tax forgiven!"  I had bought about 35 dollars worth of items, with about 10 dollrs of that being food, bananas, etc.  I paid over 3 dollars tax!  Yet, the idiot legislators are talking constantly of taking the old people's SS checks or reducing them!  Yes, I think we are behind.  And, I don't even care if some country with good leadership would come over and take over!! It might be best!!!
Mar 11, 2013 9:55AM
I'm moving to Equador.  Good food, nice weather, and cheap overall living expenses.  Won't you join me?

Sexy Susan Slutmeyer
Mar 11, 2013 3:05PM

1. I would think we want people to retire especially since we have a shortage of jobs. We need rotation through the workforce, we cannot create enough jobs to have people working into their 70's.

2. When people retire (if they do not have to save all their money for healthcare costs and premiums) they tend to spend it on eating out, travel, etc. We are a consumer driven economy.

2. SS is not a retirement plan but people payed into it. Not everyone lives to 70. It is not realistic to

assume people can live on the 1200 average monthly income.  Do most of you want too? I would say it is envy for some of you that some people get the above. Clean up the fraud and the other waste in it regarding benefits that were not there in the original plan. Like Congressman Ryan getting a monthly benefit to use because his dad died early in life. He used his to go to College. Both Dems and Republicans are at fault here.

Mar 11, 2013 1:31PM
What a stupid non-article and non-content piece.  The title says one thing and the article says another. Because retirement benefits are better in other countries, it doesn't mean that American retirees will beneft, even though costs can be lower in other countries.  Zero useful info and no news... so why the article?  Because they need content, no matter how stupid.
Mar 11, 2013 2:32PM
 In the 80's when corporate America got rid of the defined benefit retirement plan and replaced it with the 401k was the true start of the up and coming retirement crisis.  The financial service industry was able to make this sell ( also by spending millions in advertising ) to the America public with the implied promise we were all going to be rich and a modest, steady pension wasn't needed. What they failed to tell us that in a long protracted bear market most people would be wiped out if they were to retire at the wrong time when they began withdrawing their funds such as now.  The Fed has made it even more difficult by holding interest rates artificially low so CDs and other conservative investments are paying less then 1% ( but with real inflation exceeding 5%)  so millions of us stay in at the mercy of this corrupt market.   The entire system for over 30 years has been skewed to take care of Wall-Street but not us average Americans.  Until that changes, and the old time pension plans make a come back, most Americans will never retire and Wall-street will continue to thrive at our expense.
Mar 11, 2013 2:15PM
We need to slap down the people who wave their chinese made American flags in our faces and yell "WE"RE NUMBER ONE! WE"RE EXCEPTIONAL!" because we're not. They're diverting attention away from recognizing and solving all these categories that we're plunging in when compared to other better run countries around the world.
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