Incomes for older people are unpredictable and varied, and a variety of financial services could support the strategies older people employ to make ends meet. Financial services providers, however, are cautious about their engagement with older people because of concerns about financial capability, income instability, and physiological issues. At the same time, social pensions, while quickly growing in reach, are currently inadequate to meet the needs of older people. These realities are challenging, but they also signal market opportunities that the financial sector has the potential to address. Effective solutions will be found in cooperation between the public and private sector, in creative design of financial services, in early interventions to encourage participation in long-term saving and contributory pensions, and in a continued commitment to knowledge-sharing between the financial services sector, older persons’ associations, and support organizations.
This report presents the findings of the joint project on aging and financial inclusion from the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) and HelpAge International with support from the MetLife Foundation. The project was prompted by the demographic review carried out as part of CFI’s Financial Inclusion 2020 project, which drew attention to the rapidly aging global population and to the immediate challenges aging poses, particularly in middle income countries. CFI joined forces with HelpAge because of HelpAge’s deep knowledge about global aging issues. We intend for this project to be useful for those who work on the issue of aging, for financial services providers, for policymakers and other government stakeholders, and for support organizations.