The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI), HelpAge USA, and MetLife Foundation are partnering in a research and thought-leadership project that aims to identify opportunities to better meet the requirements of aging populations as access to financial services expands in the developing world.
The financial needs of growing older populations are becoming harder to ignore. Demographic analysis, as laid out in CFI’s paper, Looking through the Demographic Window and HelpAge International’s Global AgeWatch Index Insight Report, reveals the rapid aging of the population in low and middle income countries. In many countries, over-65 is the fastest growing population age bracket. Life expectancy is rising in almost every country in the world, so most people will need to face the unique financial needs and responsibilities that accompany later life. To date, very few resources have been allocated toward understanding financial inclusion in older age. The mismatch between the scale of the need and the attention devoted to it is staggering. The project raises awareness, increases knowledge and promotes action among financial service providers (banks, insurance companies, microfinance institutions, etc.), financial sector regulators, government policymakers, consumer organizations, international development organizations, and thought leaders who work on aging and/or financial inclusion.
CFI and HelpAge is conducting research to better understand the income streams and expenses of older adults, and the obstacles to older adults accessing and using the financial services that could help to improve their lives. The research focuses on Latin America and includes interviews with industry leaders and older adults in Colombia to get a first-hand look at the issues.
The project includes:
- Aging and Financial Inclusion: An Opportunity, a report on aging and financial services with action recommendations.
- A roundtable discussion in Colombia on November 11, 2014 with a selected Latin American audience of policymakers and financial service providers, based on the draft issue paper.
- A roundtable discussion in New York in February 2015 with a more global audience, based on the final issue paper and taking into account messages from the Colombia roundtable.
This report is also available in Spanish.