American retirees flock to warm-weather states such as Florida, Arizona and Texas. But globally, the best place to spend your old age is just a little bit cooler.
In fact, the top five countries for older people are all in temperate climates, at least according to the new Global AgeWatch Index, a division of HealthAge International, a nonprofit network devoted to healthy aging around the world.
The ranking is based on four key well-being categories: income, health, employment and education and an enabling environment. Countries with high marks are likely to have social policies that benefit an aging population, such as universal pension or health coverage for all seniors.
The United States received mixed reviews, though it did manage to snag a spot in the top 10. While more than 80 percent of senior citizens in the U.S. are covered by a pension, almost a quarter live in relative poverty, which knocked down the U.S.’s overall rank.
On the plus side, Americans are educated and likely to be employed between the ages of 55 to 64. Ninety percent of people more than 50 said they have relatives or friends they can count on when they need help. This could be a huge health boost for American seniors: Social support and activity is strongly associated with a lower risk for physical and mental disease, disability and early death, according to numerous studies and a review from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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