Financial Wellbeing In Later Life: Evidence And Policy

Collard, Sharon and Hayes, David (2014). Financial Wellbeing In Later Life: Evidence And Policy. ILC-UK, London.



In 2012, the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) and the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) were awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through its Secondary Data Analysis Initiative to explore financial dimensions of wellbeing in older age. Over 15 months, we worked together to generate and disseminate knowledge on this important issue. This report brings together that knowledge and considers its relevance for policy and practice.

The financial realities of an ageing population are the focus of intense policy concern, in the UK and across the globe. One in six of us in England and Wales are now aged 65 and over; and the over-85s are the fastest growing sector of the population. In 2010, there were 12,640 centenarians in the UK, and this is projected to rise to 160,000 by 2040 and over 0.5 million by 2066. As a growing population, older people are increasingly important to the UK economy. At the same time, their finances are coming under increasing pressure, not least from high inflation, high care costs, the global recession and public spending cuts.

The research highlights three main themes that are relevant for policy and practice:

1. Understanding the older consumer;
2. Understanding older households’ balance sheets; and
3. Understanding the financial aspects of wellbeing in later life.

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