Those already looking forward to their retirement may also well plan ahead for their golden age years. According to a Global AgeWatch Index report released by the UN Population Fund and advocacy group HelpAge International, the best country to grow old into is Sweden because of its superb social support, education and health coverage. Now even if you're poor, you may want to reconsider retiring and getting stumped in Pakistan and Afghanistan in your old age, otherwise you may die earlier than expected.
"The health care system, for me, has worked extraordinarily well," Marianne Blomberg, an 80-year-old Stockholm resident, praised Sweden's health system to the Associated Press. "I suffer from atrial fibrillation and from the minute I call emergency until I am discharged, it is absolutely amazing. I can't complain about anything - even the food is good."
The report noted that it doesn't actually come as a surprise that wealthy nations are better prepared for aging than poorer ones.
"European and North American countries dominate the top of the list as a result of their histories of progressive social policies," HelpAge said in a press release.
Seconding Sweden was Norway while Germany was at third. Netherlands and Canada ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
However, no matter how wealthy a nation is, prosperity, by its meaning, is not an assurance the elderly populace is well taken cared of. Such as in the case of the countries in the BRICS group which rank lower in the index than some poorer countries such as Uruguay and Panama. The BRICS group are composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
"Older people do not necessarily prosper in fast-growing economies, unless resources are targeted at them," the report said.
Using 13 different indicators which included income and employment, health provision, education, and environment, researchers said the Global AgeWatch Index report was the first of its kind conducted on a global scale.
"The continual exclusion of ageing from national and global agendas is one of the biggest obstacles to meeting the needs of the world's ageing population," Silvia Stefanoni, interim chief executive of HelpAge International, said.
"By giving us a better understanding of the quality of life of women and men as they age, this new index can help us focus our attention on where things are going well and where we have to make improvements."
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