Financial wellbeing in later life. Evidence and policy

Publication type



Publication date

March 15, 2014


A report from the PFRC/ILC-UK joint project.

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

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 2066.1 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

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

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





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