The financial capability of older people

A report prepared for Financial Literacy Australia
Ageing Older people Financial literacy Australia

This research project, funded by Financial Literacy Australia, explores the gap between the demands on people aged over 65 to make financial decisions and their actual financial capability.

In particular, the research asks the question: is there a gap between the actual financial capability of older people and the capability required by them to make important financial decisions, to avoid any negative consequences and lead to their financial wellbeing?

To explore whether such a gap exists, the research focuses on two commonly faced, high-risk, complex decision-making scenarios, firstly, the selection and day-to-day financial management of Home Care Packages and how older people weigh up the associated costs and benefits in their particular circumstances. Secondly, the financial capability of older people to evaluate the range of financial products, services and advice on the market as to what is most appropriate for their needs and goals. A lack of understanding of concepts such as managing money and financial risks may present barriers to the future wellbeing of older people. As the potential for negative consequences from a poor decision could be significant, it is therefore timely to examine older people’s financial capabilities.


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