It is going to happen to all of us – we are going to grow old!
With many people upping sticks and deciding there are better places to move to once they retire, a recent report on the quality of life for the over 60s in nearly 100 countries around the world makes really interesting reading.
Release of the Index was timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons on Wednesday. The 13 indicators measured in the index include life expectancy, coverage by pension plans, access to public transit, and the poverty rate for people over 60.
Switzerland, Canada and Germany joined Norway and Sweden in the top five. The United States was eighth, Japan ninth, China 48th, Russia 65th and India 69th.
Australia, which can offer so much, lost quite a few points because it ranked 61st in its region for income security, measuring older people’s access to money and their capacity to spend it independently. Their pension coverage and welfare rates were both below average.
At the top end of the scale, Norway was definitely the best place to spend one’s later years. This is because it offers a generous oil-funded pension scheme, good employment opportunities for the over 60s and a well funded health system. It also has a National Council for Senior Citizens which gives a political voice for older people.
The top ten countries to grow old in, apart from Japan and New Zealand, were all in Western Europe or North America. United Kingdom came in at 11 and Denmark at 12.
In the mid range several Latin American countries scored much more highly than in past similar surveys, especially due to new commitments in ensuring social pensions for the poorest older people. In Mexico, for instance, eight out of 10 people aged over 65 receive a social pension.
African countries scored badly because of low income security and poor health results but the very worst country to grow old in was Afghanistan, ranked low in all areas and coming in at number 96.
Not all countries were included as data for nations such as Cuba, Oman. Egypt and Madagascar were unavailable.
Obviously these results really portray people living in those countries and would not indicate that they are necessarily a good place to retire to if you live in another country now. So do your due diligence carefully if you plan on retiring somewhere other than where you are living now.
There are many individual personal factors and other aspects that affect what is right for you, but as an overall picture of the world’s ageing population, this was indeed an interesting survey.
Go well till the next time