The Retirement Olympics

Wed, 2014-04-09

Along with millions of Canadians I followed the Winter Olympics with great interest. 

In terms of medal count, Russia was tops.  This is part of their legacy along with the unfathomable $51 plus billion they spent for the right to have games in the mother land.  Canada managed third as the Own the Podium campaign and new events attracted 25 total medals.

How would we fare if they held a Retirement Olympics?  Interestingly, Natixis Global Asset Management released a report in February to that effect.  Naturally, there is subjectivity to their analysis. 

Quality of Life Index- Overall we rank #14.  We take top spots in well-being and air pollution but trail in biodiversity, habitat and climate change.  The biggest change was in water quality falling from top spot to 27th.

Health Index-Unchanged and in spot # 28.  We rank #7 in Health Expenditures per capita and #14 for life expectancy.  However, best to stay healthy as we are well back at #55 and #57 in hospital beds per capita and Physicians per capita. 

Material Well-Being-Ranking #25.  I guess it depends who you talk to?  Our income per capita ranks #13 while our Unemployment sits at #64.  The trade-off of living in such a vast land is regional disparity when it comes to work and pay.

Finances in Retirement # 8.  We've moved up from #17 but this is largely due to a new methodology to take government indebtedness into account.  The rationale is that future funding is highly dependent upon not emptying the cupboards today.

Overall, I'm inclined to think that Canada would receive a Silver Medal.  Good in most areas but room for improvement.  Who fared better?   Eight of the ten are from Europe including Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Demark, Germany, Finland and Luxembourg.  Yes, we are ahead of the U.S..

Ultimately, your medal is dependent upon your own circumstances and actions.  If you are not sure how to achieve your personal best here's the advice from the study.   "It is becoming increasingly apparent that to ensure financial security in retirement, individuals need to take personal ownership of their destiny and view planning and saving for retirement as a serious, conscious and strategic pursuit."

Don't wait 4 more years.