Most attractive countries for retirement: Australia secures 6th spot

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Elderly couple
An elderly couple looks out at the ocean as they sit on a park bench in La Jolla, California Reuters/Mike Blake

Australia has secured the sixth rank in the list of most attractive countries for retirement. In the latest Natixis Global Retirement Index, the nation scored well for its retiree finances, quality of life and low level of government indebtedness.

Norway took the top spot, with Switzerland listed next, then Iceland. Sweden follows fourth while New Zealand pips Australia to be in fifth place.

The global fund manager’s study also rates the performance of every economy. It collects all scores to generate an overall ranking. The list is being updated every year.

Australia managing director of Natixis Global Asset Management Kevin Haran recognised that both Australia and New Zealand perform well in many categories, but both countries, he said, could do better in material wellbeing. "We are a rich nation, but we are drifting towards being less evenly spread," the Sydney Morning Herald quotes him as saying.

Haran said innovation from asset managers can assist the country in obtaining better retirement outcomes. He said several people do not have a clear understanding of what they need to retire comfortably. His statement was supported by a poll of nearly 600 Australian retirees and over 400 pre-retirees, which has found that about half have no investments outside of super.

Haven for retirees

As for the quality of life, the country has seen improvement from 13th to ninth in this category. It comes amid increased prevalence of renewable electricity and declines in CO2 emissions. Haran said there has been an increase for environmental, social, governance offerings.

The country’s biggest fund, the AustralianSuper, was back at 12.4 percent. SuperRatings chairman Jeff Bres­nahan stated super funds continue to far exceed expectations.

Research firm Chant West found that Australian superannuation funds recorded their eighth consecutive year of growth in 2016.The growth comes amid the global economic instability triggered by the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as president of America.

New Zealand, on the other hand, calls its superannuation program KiwiSaver. It is not obligatory, but has a good level of take-up. The nation obtained good scores in quality of life measures like air quality and happiness.

Meanwhile, a global survey has revealed the country’s rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer. A survey produced by Natixis, a $900 billion French asset management giant, noted that the gap between rich and poor is on the rise.

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