Which country has the longest period of retirement?

Work/retirement crossroads sign.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: For months we've been talking about how countries are tackling debt problems. A common remedy has been raising the retirement age. And this morning, retirement is the topic of the Marketplace Globalist Quiz.

Stephan Richter is publisher and editor-in-chief of theglobalist.com and he's with us now. Good morning Stephan.

Stephan Richter: Good morning, how are you?

CHIOTAKIS: I'm doing well.

RICHTER: So my question today is about something you must spend a lot of time thinking about: how much time you get to spend in retirement, compared to people of other countries.

CHIOTAKIS: OK

RICHTER: Which country, of the following ones, has the longest period of retirement? Is it: Japan, the United States (that would be you), Germany, or France?

CHIOTAKIS: The most time in retirement? So that would mean, what the earliest retirement age, as opposed to life expectancy?

RICHTER: Well that's part of it. The effect of retirement age is one factor, and longevity, at which life expectancy, is another.

CHIOTAKIS: Something tells me it's not the United States.

RICHTER: Yeah, we're tough.

CHIOTAKIS: I know, I know. So I'm going to guess Germany.

RICHTER: If you are in Germany, you almost spend 20 years in retirement, while in the United States, it's 17.6. But I'd like to remind you of current headlines; you know, there's a lot of cozy strike action in some country.

CHIOTAKIS: And Greece was not one of the answers, Stephan.

RICHTER: No, no. Greece is not the leader here, even though they have a pretty charmed life except for cutting on their budget.

CHIOTAKIS: All right, so I would say then the next guess I have is France.

RICHTER: The French people almost get to spend a quarter-century in retirement.

CHIOTAKIS: Oh wow.

RICHTER: Officially -- you know Sarkozy is fighting about this -- they retire at 60. Sarkozy wants to make it 62. But the effective rate right now is that you get to retire at 58.7 years on average. And since the French people in their beautiful country get to live a long time, that's almost a quarter-century. It's almost double the Japanese, so let's move to France, man, and retire there.

CHIOTAKIS: And drink some Champagne, absolutely. I'm ready to go, whenever you are, Stephan.

RICHTER: Belle recad.

CHIOTAKIS: Well thank you very much. Merci beaucoup.

RICHTER: Ciao!

About the author

Stephan Richter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Globalist, a daily online magazine on the global economy, politics and culture.

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