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If you are feeling secure about your retirement, congratulations. You're a relative novelty—at least in the U.S.
A new report by Natixis Global Asset Management finds that America barely ranks in the top 20 countries in terms of overall retirement security, coming in just above Slovenia at No. 19. The winner was Switzerland, and northern European countries were heavily represented in the top 20, but the U.S. also lagged behind South Korea and Japan. Even Iceland managed to leapfrog past the U.S., moving from 23 to 4 between 2013 and 2015.
The U.S. ranks 14 in terms of public finances, thanks to low interest rates and inflation. It also rose slightly to 19 on health care, up from 21 in 2014, as the number of uninsured people declined. But on quality of life, largely measuring environmental quality and regulation, the U.S. ranked 25, and in terms of material well-being for individuals, it doesn't even make the top 30.
Income inequality is a big factor in the Natixis measure of material well-being. "Part of the U.S. is doing great, and others aren't. This index really takes into account how the overall population is doing," said John Hailer, president and CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management. "We need to look at programs in place to deal with the well-being of everybody."