Norway Best Place For Elderly To Live

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The Global AgeWatch Index, which rates the quality of life provided to elderly people by every country, was released yesterday. The country that offers the best quality of life to people over 60: Norway.

Pension coverage played a big role in the index’s ratings. From the Associated Press:

The Global AgeWatch Index, released on Tuesday, was compiled by HelpAge International, a London-based nonprofit with affiliates in 65 countries. Its mission is to help older people challenge discrimination, overcome poverty and lead secure, active lives.

The 13 indicators measured in the index include life expectancy, coverage by pension plans, access to public transit, and the poverty rate for people over 60. Scores of countries were not ranked due to lack of data for some of the criteria, but HelpAge said the countries included in the index are home to about 90 percent of the world’s 60-plus population.

Switzerland, Canada and Germany joined Norway and Sweden in the top five. The United States was eighth, Japan ninth, China 48th, Russia 65th and India 69th.


The new report devotes special attention to the issue of pensions and their role in helping older people remain active and self-sufficient. It praised several Latin American nations, including Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, for steps to extend pension coverage even to older people who did not contribute to pension plans when they were younger. Peru’s government established a means-tested pension program in 2011 that gives the equivalent of about $90 every two months to older people living in extreme poverty.

According to HelpAge, only half the world’s population can expect to receive even a basic pension in old age. It urged governments to move faster to extend pension coverage as their elderly populations swell.

Afghanistan ranked last.

U.S. Anticipates Influx of Latin American Pension Investments


Latin America’s pension funds are looking to invest beyond their borders, and that means billions of dollars of pension investments flowing into the U.S., according to new projections from research firm Cerulli Associates.

Latin American countries have seen major growth in retirement assets in recent years as more workers are subject to mandatory retirement contributions. Such countries – Brazil, Peru, Chile, Columbia and others – are now looking to invest those assets abroad.

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Latin American pension funds are expected to double their allocation to international and U.S.-based funds over the next five years, according to an analysis from Cerulli Associates.

So-called cross-border allocations from Latin American pension and mutual funds will exceed $350 billion by 2018, the Boston-based research firm projected.

That should be welcome news to U.S.-based fund companies that have been seeking to expand their business in Latin American markets, which tend to be restrictive when it comes to giving their plan participants access to U.S. equities.

Most mutual fund markets in Latin America invest less than 5 percent of total assets abroad. Cerulli attributes this in part to investors’ bias to their home markets.

Regulations also stand in the way, though they differ by country, with some Latin American governments allowing greater access to foreign markets than others.

U.S. fund managers have hoped for greater penetration into Latin America, but progress in developing key markets has been slow, according to Cerulli.

That said, opportunities exist, and may be opening up. Mandatory worker contributions into private pension systems in Chile, Mexico, Columbia and Peru continue to support growth of retirement assets in those countries, and Cerulli notes that pension regulators are showing a greater intent to open their borders to foreign investments.

Some countries are more willing than others to invest outside their borders.

Chile, for example, has already shown enthusiasm for such a strategy; as of 2013, 42.4 percent of its pension assets were invested in foreign countries.