Written by Carol Trehearn
As we get older, we start to think about retirement. Not just when we will retire, but how we will, what we will do with ourselves and where we will end up. Around the world, retirement ages are very different, however. Some of us may have to stay working a lot longer before we can get to take some much-deserved time off.
Looking after yourself once you’re retired
While ages may vary across countries in terms of retiring age, we all still have the same concerns when it comes to where we’re going to live and thrive. For some, with lower retirement ages, it’s possible to continue living in our own homes, enjoying our new-found free time and going on holidays, taking up new hobbies or hanging out with friends.
Countries with older retirement ages may not be so lucky. by the time you’re able to retire, you may not want to be fending for yourself or living alone. Places like Brandywine Senior Living make retirement a much more pleasurable option as it provides full care to retirees. With options like this available, retiring can be a hugely enjoyable, and social life experience!
Many actively retired people opt to move home to a different region or even a different country once they have retired. In America, Florida is often seen as the retirement state. Many people move here from other states as retirement income is not subject to taxation. There is no state income tax here either, meaning that retirees who want to take on a part time job to keep them occupied take home more of their money too.
For Brits, Spain is viewed as an excellent place to retire to. Living costs are cheaper, meaning that British retirees find that their money will go further. There is a good healthcare system in place and the UK is only two hours away by plane, which makes visiting friends and family a lot easier. The weather is also a contributing factor, with Spain enjoying a much warmer climate than the UK.
Retirement across the world
When it comes to the differing ages for retirement around the world, a lot of it is actually linked to life expectancy. For instance, with an increased life expectancy in a particular country, by default, the retirement age will also rise, meaning you’re going to have to work that little bit longer until you hit it. Across Europe, retirement is generally 65 years.
Traditionally, state retirement has been seen as a ‘golden goodbye.’ In the UK, retirement for men was set at 65 in the late 1940s as men lived until the age of 68 on average. This meant that they could enjoy their retirement for three years before they died. However, with people increasingly living longer, the state retirement age has been increasing across Europe to keep in line with this to some extent and to save the governments money.
France, Spain, and Germany are all about to raise their retirement age up to 65-67 with the UK already beating out all of them with an average retirement age of 68. But if you want to see the oldest retirement can go, take a look at Norway that has a retirement age of up to 75 for men!
Some of the youngest retirement ages can be seen in the Asian continent. For example, in Bangladesh, the retirement age is 59 and in Sri Lanka, people retire at the age of 55.
What about the US?
Currently, the United States is one of the countries that does not split the genders when it comes to retirement. Despite being a rather large country, the retirement age is the same across all states, sitting at 66 years. Unlike some of the other countries that are seeing big jumps, it’s projected the US retirement age will rise to just 67.
Gender dependent retirement age
It’s also interesting to note that the retirement age will also differ depending on gender. For years, women retired at a much younger age than men. However, with the increasing rise in the retirement age, likely, women will soon be retiring at the same age as men. Yet, currently, most countries have a three to five-year age difference in retirement.
For example, Austria’s women can retire at a mere 60 years old, whereas their men have to stick it out until 65! Interestingly, some countries have flipped this around. Australia, for instance, has a retirement age of 58 for men, but 66 for women! However, most countries are planning on phasing this difference out over the years, offering equal retirement across the board.
In the past, a woman’s retirement age was not seen in the same way as a man’s because historically they were less likely to work and more likely to retire when their husbands did. As traditionally women married men who were a few years older than them, this meant that giving them a lower retirement age made sense from this perspective. However, biologically, women have always lived a few years longer than men, which meant that they received a pension for longer than men. From this perspective, it was more expensive for governments to administer.
In the modern age, governments are reviewing retirement ages in line with gender equality rather than longevity or social factors.
Chosen retirement age
It is not compulsory in most countries to adhere to state retirement age. People will receive a state pension at a government set age, but many are choosing their own ways of funding retirements through pensions or investments. This means that they are more able to make their own decisions about what age they retire at, because they are not as dependent on receiving a state income and they can retire early if they want to. It is also common for people to carry on working in retirement. Some people do this as they do not feel physically ready to retire, whereas others want the additional financial security that working in retirement can offer them.