By: Russ Kamp, Managing Director, Ryan ALM, Inc.
The Natixis Global Retirement Index is out for 2022, and the results suggest that the U.S. has a long way to go before our aging population is truly prepared for the “golden years”. The annual review provided by Natixis analyzes myriad factors for 44 countries beyond just interest rates, savings rates, and inflation. “People are living longer, and with age comes increased need for medical care. So the index considers health factors alongside finances. To ensure their finances hold up, the index considers key economic indicators that examine material wellbeing. And because retirees need to live in a clean, safe environment, the index considers the quality of life.” (Natixis report)
The rank of 18 is slightly worse than the U.S.’s rank in 2021, but up from 23 “achieved” in the initial study in 2012. The combined score for the U.S. based on all of the factors is 69%, which is down from 72% in 2021 and surprisingly 71% in 2012. Regrettably, the U.S. doesn’t score in the top 10 in any of the subcategories, including Health, Quality of Life, Material well-being, and Finances in Retirement. The best U.S. rank is in the Finances category where we rank 11th. Our worst score is in Material Well-being in which we rank 30th. This score is heavily influenced by income inequality.
This is a very disappointing study to read from the perspective of someone who has been involved in the US retirement industry for 40+ years. Yes, there are factors being considered in this study that fall outside of our control and responsibility, but I have often felt that most of us working in the retirement industry have done very well financially while the folks that we are serving continue to struggle. Not good!