What is more important to your retirement – your health or your finances?
If it is finances, Australia actually performs very well when compared to the rest of the world, but if it is health or material wellbeing, then that is where Australia is still trailing.
The 2021 Natixis Global Retirement Index, which was released this week, shows Australia held its position in seventh of the 44 countries assessed for retirement security.
Australia managed an overall score of 76 per cent and ranked fourth in the world for finances in retirement but was 10th for health and only 23rd for material wellbeing, which measures the means to live comfortably in retirement.
Australia’s material wellbeing actually showed a slight improvement, lifting from 65 per cent in 2020 to 67 per cent this year, but was still a long way behind many countries in this area.
Also, while we are still ranked highly for finances in retirement, that fell backwards this year, down to 74 per cent from 77 per cent in 2020, dropping Australia’s standing on this performance indicator from third in 2020 to fourth this year.
Australia’s lower score on the finances index was a result of its scores for tax pressure, government debt, non-performing bank loans, interest rates and old age dependency.
Australia also scored lower on the quality of life index, mainly due to a lower happiness score.
Iceland has topped the index, which measures the relative financial security of retirees in 44 countries, for the third consecutive year.
The index ranks countries based on four factors that drive retirement security: the material means to live comfortably in retirement, access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximise income, access to quality health services and a clean and safe environment.
Australia’s performance on the health index was actually helped by its performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health index looks at life expectancy, health expenditure per capita and insured health expenditure, with these three measures providing indications on healthcare standards and the health of retirees.
Australia, along with Japan and Norway, saw far fewer deaths than the global average of 76 per 100,000 of population on the data available up until 10 August 2021.
In contrast, the other countries in the top 10 for health outcomes all had much higher than average deaths per 100,000 people, ranging from 102 per 100,000 in Ireland to 168 per 100,000 in France.
The report explained that the three countries with the lowest death tolls were more geographically isolated and were able to use this to control the arrival of travellers carrying the virus.
Life expectancy also fell for many countries that experienced higher than average deaths from COVID-19.
What do you think of how Australia rates on the retirement security index? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?
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