The Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate cuts could hurt your retirement security, so maybe the answer is to spend your golden years abroad.
Natixis Investment Managers recently released their annual report of countries with the best retirement security using metrics like health care, quality of life and financial well-being. The U.S. ranked 18th of the 44 countries the study evaluates.
While middle of the pack doesn’t seem too great, America did improve in one aspect: interest rates. But that’s based on the multitude of rate hikes that happened last year, according to Dave Goodsell, the author of the report.
Now that the Fed has implemented two rate cuts in the last three months, though, retirement security may take a hit. Wednesday marked the second 25-basis-point cut to the Fed’s key interest rate, which is now down to a range of 1.75%-2%.
“Interest rates are one of the things we consider a threat to retirement security,” Goodsell said. “It makes it hard to generate income in the short term, and in the long term it makes it difficult to preserve capital.”
Here are the Top 10 countries on Natixis’ list, and while some may not have a leg up on the U.S. for financial security, they make up for it in other categories like quality of life and health care.
This year, Luxembourg moved up one spot on the list, replacing the Netherlands.
Some of its big draws for retirees: competitive scores when it comes to health expenditures, the environment, employment and overall happiness.
Other areas where it did not do as well: income inequality and income per capita.
The country holds onto its top 10 status, despite falling three places this year.
Australia boasts the highest score for air quality. It also scores high when it comes to health expenditures.
Some areas where it’s weaker: environmental factors and happiness.
The country moves up one spot after it broke onto the top 10 list in 2018.
It scores particularly high with regard to employment and income equality. It also has high marks for air quality and happiness.
Canada has also made improvements in health and material well-being categories.
This year, Denmark climbs one spot higher on the list. That’s mostly due to gains in finance and material well-being scores.
But the country also boasts the highest score on the quality of life index.
It also boasts high scores for air quality and the environment. Areas where it improved include employment, interest rates and government indebtedness.
Sweden drops two spots this year as its scores for health, finances and quality of life came in lower. Other areas where it saw declines: environment and happiness.
But it did improve in one spot — material well-being — to help boost its overall ranking. Other criteria where its scores also climbed: health expenditures and employment.
5. New Zealand
New Zealand holds onto its spot at number five for the third year in a row.
It gets high marks for finances and quality of life. It also scores highly for air quality, environment and happiness.
One area where New Zealand is weakest: health expenditures.
This year, Ireland rises three spots on the list. That’s after it first debuted in the top 10 last year.
Better scores in health and finances contributed to its climb. Ireland also got high marks in other areas like government indebtedness, income per capita and air quality.
Areas where it is weaker include happiness and other environmental factors.
Norway stays in the third slot this year. That’s as it improved its health scores, and also set itself apart in categories including the environment, air quality and happiness.
Areas where Norway could improve its standing include income equality, income per capita and employment.
The country slipped one notch from its top spot last year.
Still, it ranks highest when it comes to environmental factors. It also scores highly for life expectancy and health expenditure per capita.
Areas where its scores dropped: old age dependency, tax pressure and governance indicators.
Iceland climbed to number one this year mostly because Switzerland saw a large score decline.
Still, the country boasts high scores related to the environment, happiness and air quality.
It also improved its numbers in finance and health categories.