These countries top the US when it comes to retirement

  • A new annual ranking compares 43 countries based on the finances, material well-being, health and quality of life they offer in retirement.
  • While the U.S. moved up one spot to number 16, Western European countries still dominate the top 10.

If you're looking for a country that offers a quality retirement, you may want to look outside the U.S.

Natixis Investment Managers has released its annual ranking of countries with the best retirement based on finances, material well-being, health and quality of life.

This year, the U.S. managed to nudge up one spot to number 16 out of 43 countries.

The move was just a modest improvement compared with Ireland, which moved up seven spots to debut in the Top 10 for the first time at number 7. Canada also managed to move up to return to the Top 10 at number 9.

All of the countries that landed in the Top 10 have three things in common, according to Ed Farrington, executive vice president of retirement strategies at Natixis Investment Managers. They have low levels of income inequality, available health care and strong social programs.

The U.S. did not rank higher because of the challenges it faces in those areas, including a widening income gap, high health costs and the challenges of finding a secure retirement.

What did help to bump the U.S. higher included its financial strength, as well as improvements to its job market and certain environmental issues including air quality.

The overall ranking was calculated by combining the category scores. Here is how the Top 10 countries fared.

10. Netherlands

Global Retirement Index score: 76%

Senior Mature Handsome Gray Hair Older Man with his Bicycle in Amsterdam on a Chilly Day
Davids' Adventures Photos | Moment | Getty Images

9. Canada

Global Retirement Index score: 77%

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
David Chapman | Getty Images
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

8. Denmark

Global Retirement Index score: 77%

Copenhagen, Denmark.
Getty Images
Copenhagen, Denmark.

7. Ireland

Global Retirement Index score: 77%

Retirement Travel Trends Ireland
David Soanes Photography | Getty Images

6. Australia

Global Retirement Index score: 78%

Perth, Australia
Brendon Thorne | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Perth, Australia

5. New Zealand

Global Retirement Index score: 78%

Auckland, New Zealand
Getty Images
Auckland, New Zealand

4. Sweden

Global Retirement Index score: 78%

Stockholm, Sweden
Ellen Rooney | Robert Harding World Imagery | Getty Images
Stockholm, Sweden

3. Norway

Global Retirement Index score: 81%

Bergen, Norway
KDG | Getty Images
Bergen, Norway

2. Iceland

Global Retirement Index score: 84%

Reykjavík, Iceland
Getty Images
Reykjavík, Iceland

1. Switzerland

Global Retirement Index score: 84%