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US Is 19th in List of Countries Ranked by Retirement Security

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The United States has ranked 19th among 150 countries listed by retirement security, behind many Eastern and Western European countries, according to Natixis Global Asset Management firm.

The firm, headquartered both in Boston and Paris, released its first Global Retirement Index on Thursday, measuring how well retired people live based on health measures, income levels, a country's financial state and quality of life. The analysis used data from the World Bank and United Nations.

Tracy Flaherty, senior vice president with Natixis, said she hoped the analysis will spark a conversation between individuals, employers, pension plans, and policy makers about the need to reform or re-think retirement.

"At the end of the day, there is a movement worldwide for people to take more personal responsibility for their retirement," Flaherty said.

The U.S. finished with a final score of 74 percent. The top ranking went to Norway, which had an 87 percent score, according to Natixis. The company said the U.S. ranks 23rd by health measurements, with the world's highest per-capita health spending, but lags behind other nations in its access to care and life expectancy.

In terms of income levels, or what Natixis calls material well-being, the U.S. ranks 38th. Its per-capita income is among the highest in the world but that is coupled with a higher degree of income inequality than many developed nations. The U.S. is behind such nations as Poland, Slovakia and Singapore in material well-being, according to Natixis.

The U.S. ranks 28th in terms of its financial state or "finances," as the company calls it, trailing Canada, Brazil, Mexico and other countries.

"The U.S. has strong and independent financial institutions, but its aging population raises questions about the long-term durability of programs such as Social Security," a summary of Natixis' analysis stated.

In the category of quality of life, the U.S. came in 26th, behind Costa Rica, Italy and Belize. Though Americans "express a high level of satisfaction with life," they were dinged on "environmental measures."

Here are the top 20 countries in Natixis' list of nations ranked by retirement security:

  1. Norway
  2. Switzerland
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Sweden
  5. Austria
  6. Finland
  7. Netherlands
  8. Denmark
  9. Germany
  10. France
  11. Australia
  12. Israel
  13. Canada
  14. Belgium
  15. Japan
  16. Slovenia
  17. Czech Republic
  18. Slovakia
  19. United States
  20. United Kingdom

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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