Looking for a great place to retire? Go to Europe. Specifically, the Nordic countries and German-speaking nations. Or maybe Down Under. According to the Natixis CoreData Global Retirement Index, the 10 highest-ranked nations for retirees are Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, New Zealand and Luxembourg. The U.S. ranks 19.

Financial services giant Natixis and the global research consultancy CoreData Research teamed up for their second annual global look at how well countries are meeting the retirement expectations and needs of their citizens.

The retirement index comprises 20 performance indicators grouped into four thematic sub-indexes focused on welfare in retirement: having good health and access to quality health services; having enough material means to live a comfortable life; having access to quality financial services (including preserving the value of savings) and living in a clean and safe environment.

As indicated by the top 10 list, the best countries for retirement are industrialized economies with healthy service sectors and modern infrastructure. The report notes these countries tend to have relatively high tax rates, but their citizens enjoy high income levels per capita and their societies have narrow income gaps.
Folks in these nations also enjoy universal health care systems, and the governments in these countries put a premium on the environment and overall well-being.

Austria scored best in the health index (90%), while Australia had the top score in the finances in retirement index (a not-so-hot 74%). Switzerland was number one in the quality of life index (95%), and Norway took the prize in the material well-being index (97%).

Among the four sub-indexes for the U.S., the best score came in the health index (81%), followed closely by quality of life (80%). Mediocre ratings in the material well-being and finances in retirement indexes (68% and 65%, respectively) weighed it down and left the country with an overall score of 73%. It ranked 19th overall for the second consecutive year.

“Despite its reputation as the land of opportunity, as well as having one of the highest incomes per capita (with a ranking of 6th for this indicator), the United States places relatively low for income equality, at 81st place––although this has improved ten places since last year,” according to the report.