Retiring


Switzerland ranked top place in world for older people

by Ray Clancy on September 11, 2015

Many people nearing retirement dream of moving abroad, but if they have a choice it is not always easy to know which is the best country for retirees.

But help is at hand from an annual index which shows that Switzerland is the best country in the world for older people.

switzerlandThe Global Age Watch Index 2015 rates 96 countries around the world and looks at the well being of older people in four key areas: income security, health, personal capability and an enabling ensvironment.

In second place is Norway, followed by Sweden, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Iceland, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom making up the top 10.

Other countries popular with expats for retirement are lower down the rankings, with New Zealand at 12, France ranked 16, Australia 17, Spain at 25 and South Africa at 78.

Apart from Japan, all the top 10 countries are in Western Europe and North America. Afghanistan is ranked last and all regions are represented in the lowest quarter, with countries in Africa making up half of those with low income security rankings and poor health results.However, Greece at 79, Venezuela at 76 and Turkey at 75 are in a similar position to sub-Saharan African and Asian countries.

The index report suggests that against a backdrop of global ageing, there is a danger that well being in older age is going backwards, not forwards.

It points out that even in Europe, austerity measures are hitting older people.

The 2008 financial crisis led to cuts in pensions, health and home care, as well as high unemployment rates among the 50 to 65 age group.

In 2009, for example, Poland reduced the number of people eligible for early retirement from 1.53 million to 860,000, but pension levels are set to decline from 51% of average wages to 26%.

In 2012 Portugal reduced the subsidy to senior citizens for public transport and within six months 41,000 older people in the greater Lisbon area had stopped buying the monthly travel pass.

In 2015 Ireland protected the state pension. However, rising costs coupled with reductions in secondary income supports such as telephone and fuel allowances and the introduction of a number of ‘stealth’ charges for property, tax and water, have hit older people hard. Cuts to health budgets have disproportionately affected older people.

In the USA the old age poverty rate, which varies significantly between racial and ethnic groups, has risen substantially, probably reflecting the persistently high unemployment rates following the recession.

While annual unemployment rates among workers aged 55 to 64 decreased to 4.3% in 2014, long term unemployment remains a concern among older job seekers.

Data shows that the gap in life expectancy at age 60 between countries at the top and bottom of the Index has widened from 5.7 years in 1990 to 7.3 years in 2012.

Countries that do well in the Index are thinking about ageing. They have data on older men and women and consult them on targeted approaches to meet their needs and build on their experience and skills.

These countries score highly in all four areas, have social pensions, accessible and appropriate healthcare, promote and support flexible working, as well as life long learning for older people and have created a secure and supportive environment for people of all ages.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for British expats explain why they want to retire to Spain

British expats explain why they want to retire to Spain

May 25, 2015 Retiring

The weak Euro and affordable prices are enticing more British people to retire to the south of Spain and find their dream home near the coast. British expats favour Costa Blanca because of its climate, its expat population and the fact that there are plenty of flights back home, according to estate agency HomeEspaña in […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for The Algarve named as the ideal place for retired expats

The Algarve named as the ideal place for retired expats

September 29, 2014 Portugal

In many countries there are groups of expats from all over the world who retire to find a dream home and place in the sun. Now, new research shows that the Algarve in Portugal is the ideal location. The region has more than 100,000 resident expat retirees who love its medieval towns, fishing villages, markets, […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Retired Aussies tempted by expat life in South East Asia

Retired Aussies tempted by expat life in South East Asia

August 28, 2014 Asia

More and more retired Australians are moving to South East Asia to live because costs are up to 80% cheaper than their home country, it is claimed. With the number of Australians aged 65 and over set to reach eight million over the next 35 years, the trend is sparked by the dream of living […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Spain is the top location for Brits retiring abroad

Spain is the top location for Brits retiring abroad

August 5, 2014 Britain

Over six million British adults are planning to retire abroad and most of them want to move to Spain, which is the nation’s top foreign retirement destination. New research reveals that Spain is still the most popular place for Brits to retire, with 26% opting for the country. In second place is France, with the […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Retiring overseas could be cheaper for UK pensioners

Retiring overseas could be cheaper for UK pensioners

June 16, 2014 Britain

Higher utility bills and other living costs in the UK could be enough to persuade more people to retire overseas, research suggests. Pension experts at Expat & Offshore have analysed data from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and predict that emigration out of the UK will continue to rise if current pension savings […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Currency fluctuations hit British expat pensioners hardest in Switzerland

Currency fluctuations hit British expat pensioners hardest in Switzerland

June 18, 2013 Retiring

British pensioners living overseas have potentially lost out on over £10.6 billion of their income since 2007 due to the falling strength of sterling, it is claimed. An analysis of the top 13 countries where over one million British expat pensioners live and receive state pensions by foreign currency specialists HiFX found that those living […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Belize to continue with incentives for retired expats, official says

Belize to continue with incentives for retired expats, official says

February 18, 2010 Retiring

Officials in Belize say that incentives for retired expats in the Central American country are not being discontinued despite reports to the contrary. The country on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala, has English as its official language and is popular with expats from the US and UK. Under the Qualified Retired Persons programme retirees are exempt […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Expats cut back on luxuries due to global economic downturn but most have no plans to return home, survey shows

Expats cut back on luxuries due to global economic downturn but most have no plans to return home, survey shows

February 4, 2010 Retiring

The highest paid expats in the world are living in Asia but worldwide most expats have found that the global economic downturn has affected their finances especially in the UK which is one of the most expensive countries in the world for foreigners, according to the largest ever survey of expats. While Asia has the highest earners, the […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Retiring in Thailand

Retiring in Thailand

August 6, 2009 Retiring

A New Life in Thailand For three years running, Thailand has managed to keep its position as the top tourist destination in the world. Despite the tsunami, despite the Muslim insurgency in the southern provinces, Thailand is still the destination of millions of tourists drawn to its tropical beauty, its hospitable people, and world-class services. […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Retiring to South Africa

Retiring to South Africa

August 6, 2009 Retiring

To the rest of the world, South Africa is a kaleidoscope of images — apartheid and black empowerment, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, blood diamonds and de Beers engagement rings, Christmas festivities at the beaches and safaris where visitors can view, but not shoot, the big five wild game.  For people poised to retire from a job, […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Retiring to Spain

Retiring to Spain

August 6, 2009 Retiring

It is spring in Spain. Freed from the iron rule of an aged dictator, the country is undergoing its own renaissance in all aspects of Spanish life, culture and art.  Although still burdened with such serious challenges as the separatist movement, Spain is vibrant and alive in the 21st millennium. This diverse country on the […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Retiring in the Philippines

Retiring in the Philippines

August 6, 2009 Retiring

A New Life in the Philippines The Philippines is made up of more than seven thousand islands. The count actually varies, depending on whether it is high tide or low tide. A unique island is typhoon battered and ruggedly beautiful Batanes, where people live in low stone houses without any locks, use homemade lamps to […]

Read the full article →