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Within 10 years, there will be one billion older people worldwide. Advances in healthcare, nutrition, economic security and overall better living conditions are all contributing to us living longer lives, which is certainly cause for celebration. However, nations must take notice and take care of their ageing population – it is great to live longer – but of greater importance is to live better in those later years.

A new Global AgeWatch Index, ranked the quality of life for the elderly in 96 countries around the world. It is the first ever index measuring the well being of our older population with the aim to help them live full and secure lives.

The index ranks the 96 countries according to its social and economic well being of its population over the age of 60. The index considered four main domains:

  • Enabling environments
  • Income security
  • Health status
  • Capability

With a drop down menu, you can choose a country and look at how that country makes the grade in each of the categories. The results include the number of people over the age of 60 in each country and further information is broken down with a percentage as follows;

Life expectancy at 60

How many more years can a 60-year-old expect to live

Healthy life expectancy aged 60

The average number of years a person can expect to live in good health

Pension coverage

% people over 65 receiving a pension

National policy on ageing

Norway ranks number one on the index, while Afghanistan ranks as the worst country in which to grow old. Apart from Japan, the top ten countries are from Western Europe, North America and Australasia. Under data visualizations, you can view global rankings, compare countries, look at a profile map, explore social pensions and more.

From the website, ‘Canada ranks at 4 on the index and in the top 10 for all four domains.’ There are 7.7 million people in Canada over the age of 60, which translates into 30.7% of the total population.

According to CTV News,

  • Canada ranked 7th in income security on the strength of its public pension program, which most residents over age 65 can access. The prevalence of both employer-sponsored pension plans and individual registered retirement plans also contribute to the strong income security score
  • Canada ranked 8th in capability due to high rates of post-secondary education. Nearly 84 per cent of older Canadians have higher education, which is a whopping 23 percentage points above the average for the region. Higher education “impacts positively on [Canadians’] working life, as well as on their life expectancy,” the report says. A growing number of Canadians have also continued working into their sixties, the report notes. While some have done so for economic reasons, others have delayed retirement “to stay socially connected and active,” the report notes.
  • Canada ranked 9th in the “enabling environment” category, with above-average scores for safety, civic freedom and social connectedness. However, it scored below average on satisfaction with public transport. While larger cities have comprehensive public transport systems and offer seniors discounted rates, “most seniors live in areas where the car is the primary form of transportation,” the report says. Seniors with a valid driver’s licence and access to a car are more likely to participate in social and family activities.If you are growing old (aren’t we all), we can help. Growing old is great for discounts on home and car insurance. If you have money and you are growing old you can talk to us about wealth transfer strategies for your kids. If you are not sure if you have enough money, you can talk to one of our financial planners. If you are young, but think you might grow old someday, talk to us about everything!

Call McDougall Insurance & Financial 1-800-361-0941 to start planning for your future.

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