The Worst Countries You Should Avoid If You Want to Retire Before Age 65

What’s your ideal retirement age? If you’re like the majority of Americans, you’re hoping to leave the workforce before age 65. Forty-two percent of people said they’d prefer to retire somewhere between age 60 and 65, while 16% wanted to retirement before 60, a 2015 Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll found.

Americans might be longing for early retirement, but many might have no choice but to work longer. With Social Security — a major source of retirement income for many people — on somewhat shaky financial footing, there’s a very real chance that today’s youngest workers might end up having to wait until 69 or 70 to get their full Social Security benefit. Today, retirees can start getting their full benefit at age 66.

The U.S. isn’t the only country where early retirement is increasingly looking like a pipe dream. Although workers in countries, such as Bolivia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, can retire with government benefits in their mid-50s, many countries have been raising retirement ages in recent years. The increases are necessary as people live longer and governments struggle to fund benefit programs.

Which countries try to keep their workers on the job the longest? Aperion Care, which operates health care and rehab facilities across the U.S., looked at official retirement ages around the world to find out. In these 15 countries, you won’t be able to start receiving government retirement benefits until after age 65.

15. Finland

Helsinki harbor district with Uspenski cathedral in winter, Finland

Finland’s retirement age is set to rise. | iStock.com/bluejayphoto

Retirement age: 65.25

Finland has a two-pronged retirement system for its citizens. A national pension provides a flat benefit of 20% of average wages to all people over the age of 65. Workers and employers also contribute to a mandatory earnings-related pension fund, which they can begin drawing on between the ages of 63 and 68.

According to Aperion Care, that gives the country a retirement age of 65.25. But that number is set to rise. Increasing life expectancy recently forced the Finnish government to raise the minimum retirement age from 63 to 65 for those born after 1954 and the maximum retirement age to 70 for those born after 1961.

Next: France

14. France

France

France has gradually been increasing its retirement age. | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Retirement age: 65.3

The official retirement age in France is 65.3 years, according to Aperion Care. Over the past several years, the country has been gradually phasing in an increase in the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62. The age at which people are eligible to receive full pension benefits will gradually increase to 67 by 2022.

Next: Germany

13. Germany

Berlin, Germany

It’s trying to raise the retirement age even higher. | iStock.com

Retirement age: 65.4

The official retirement age in Germany is 65 and 5 months, but it is set to rise one or two months every year over the next 12 years. By 2029, the official retirement age for everyone will be 67. But the country’s central bank has suggested delaying retirement even more. It wants an official retirement age of 69, which it argues will ensure a viable national pension system.

Next: Spain

12. Spain

Osuna rooftops, Andalusia, Spain

Spain is another country trying to bump its age up. | iStock.com/gvictoria

Retirement age: 65.4

Spain is in the process of gradually phasing in a later retirement age. In 2016, the earliest a person could retire was age 65, provided they’d made 36 years of payments into the country’s social security system. People who worked less than 36 years can get their full retirement benefits at age 65 and 4 months. By 2027, the minimum retirement age will rise to 67. However, those with at least 38 years and 6 months of contributions to the pension system will still be able to retire at 65.

Next: Australia

11. Australia

view of the great ocean road in Australia

It’s grandfathering in those born before 1957. | iStock.com

Retirement age: 65.5

Australian is in the process of ramping up its retirement age. Currently, people can start getting their age pension at age 65.5. The minimum retirement age will gradually increase over the next several years until it hits age 67, the limit that will apply to everyone born in 1957 or later.

Next: The Netherlands

10. The Netherlands

The retirement age will be linked with life expectancy. | Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

Retirement age: 65.75

Full retirement age in the Netherlands currently stands at 65.75 years, according to Aperion Care. The country is gradually phasing in an increased retirement age, set to reach 66 by 2018 and 67 by 2021. After 2021, retirement age will be linked to life expectancy. Yet the Dutch association for occupational medicine is warning that health problems will prevent many workers from continuing to work after age 65.

Next: Denmark

9. Denmark

Coulourful houses and boats can be seen in the Nyhavn district in Copenhagen

The retirement age depends on birth year. | Johannes Eiselle/AFP/Getty Images

Retirement age: 66

Workers in Denmark start receiving a state pension between ages 65 and 68, depending on when they were born. Those born before 1954 get their pension at 65, while those born after 1967 will have to wait until 68. Recently, the government proposed making those born after 1957 wait an additional six months for benefits, until age 67.5, but that plan has been scrapped.

Next: Ireland

8. Ireland

It’s looking to abolish a mandatory retirement age. | iStock.com

Retirement age: 66

In Ireland, the government starts paying out pension benefits at age 66. That’s set to rise to 67 by 2021 and 68 by 2028, according to the Irish Times. Some employers in the country have a mandatory retirement age of 65, but there have been moves to abolish those rules, which would theoretically allow people to stay in the workforce for longer.

Next: Italy

7. Italy

Cinque Terre

The government is working to equalize men’s and women’s retirement age. | Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Retirement age: 66

Italy is among the handful of Western countries that still has different retirement ages for men and women. Full retirement for men is currently 66 years and 7 months, while women working in the private sector retire at 65 years and 7 months. Women with public-sector jobs have the same retirement age as men. By 2018, men’s and women’s retirement ages should be the same no matter where they work.

Next: United States

6. United States

Times square in New York City

The U.S. is of several countries where retirement age depends on year of birth. | iStock.com/AndreyKrav

Retirement age: 66

In the U.S., full retirement age for people born between 1943 and 1954 is 66, though you can apply earlier and receive a reduced benefit. Retirement ages will gradually rise for those born between 1955 and 1959. For everyone born after 1960, the full retirement age is currently 67. In reality, however, many people leave the workforce before age 66 and roughly a third of people claim benefits early.

Next: Portugal

5. Portugal

Port of Lisbon seen from a vantage point

Certain occupations are able to retire sooner. | iStock.com/Lucianosfer

Retirement age: 66.25

In 2017, the official retirement age in Portugal is 66 years and 3 months for those who’ve worked for at least 15 years. By 2029, the official retirement age will increase to 67 by 2029. Workers in certain occupations, such as miners and fisherman, can retire earlier. People can delay claiming their pension until age 70.

Next: Greece

4. Greece

The country was forced to make many changes. | Gray Mortimore/Getty Images

Retirement age: 67

Greece agreed to raise its official retirement age to 67 as part of a bailout deal that allowed the country to remain part of the European Union. The list of “dangerous” occupations that were eligible for early retirement has also been trimmed. Hairdressers and TV presenters, among others, are no longer eligible.

Next: Iceland

3. Iceland

Iceland Reykjavik

Iceland is the third happiest country in the world. | TTstudio/Shutterstock

Retirement age: 67

Most workers in Iceland can start drawing their pension at age 67. Public-sector workers can retire at 65, and some workers defer receiving benefits until age 70. In general, people in Iceland tend to work longer than those in other Nordic countries, noted a report in the Nordic Labour Journal.

Next: Israel

2. Israel

Dead Sea seashore with palm trees and mountains on background

Israel is one of the few countries with a mandatory retirement age. | iStock.com/vvvita

Retirement age: 67

Israel has a mandatory retirement age of 67. Men are eligible to start receiving their government pension at that age, while women can currently start drawing pension benefits at age 62, though that might increase in the future.

Next: Norway

1. Norway

Northern lights in Norway

The 2017 happiest country in the world also has the highest retirement age. | iStock.com

Retirement age: 67.75

Norwegian workers receive an occupational, income-based pension that they can start drawing on between the ages of 62 and 75. All Norwegian citizens are eligible to receive a guaranteed government pension starting at age 67, though people who receive an income-based pension will have their guaranteed pension reduced.

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