The key purpose underlying FinTECH4Life is to explore how we might better serve the large and growing market of consumers over 55. The arc to life from 55 and beyond, culminating in the end of life is, as complex and diverse as we might imagine. Understanding the needs of those consumers requires an analysis of the intersection of the many factors that determine and influence them beyond the simple metric of age.
The creation of better financial products and services should be built on better knowledge of needs. Ultimately, we want to ensure that they are leading to something. What is that something? On our agenda we define that ‘state’ as Financial Wellness and it will be a key theme explored by our community.
The distinction between financial literacy (what you know) vs financial wellness (achieving a level of well-being through the use of that knowledge) can be interesting. Through the many phases of life – education, starting a career, buying a home, having children and so on, there are any number of ‘first-times’ and ongoing financial decisions that will impact the choices and outcomes one has later down the line. An understanding of what is a very complex industry and a complex network of providers is a process of learning and experience.
Life is not a neat and tidy set of stages. Unanticipated shocks can derail the best laid financial planning. Knowledge and financial products can help cushion financial blows and make people more resilient but can’t overcome the limitations of our own decision-making and behaviour. Consumers, for example, consistently underestimate their own longevity (which is increasing) and therefore, the income they will need later in life. When you factor in difficult to digest issues around planning for illness, later in life divorce, diminished capabilities or a need for care, the landscape becomes uncertain.
Research demonstrates, however, that the right mix of knowledge and use of financial products can help ameliorate some of life’s challenges. Money is important. But the best, most personalized financial services sector in the world can only make up for insufficient income to a point.
This is where our community of providers and innovators can really make a difference. Products that are built on an understanding of evolving needs of a society that is living longer, more active lives. Technology is the enabler that can help deliver better outcomes.
The outcome of poor financial health – stress-related illnesses, poor performance at work, stress and discord in families and the impact on the future chances of children – are tangible and have broader societal impacts.
It is the end goal of financial wellness, nicely summed up by Financial Finesse as a state of well-being where an individual has achieved minimal financial stress, established a strong financial foundation, and created an ongoing plan to help reach future financial goals, that we hope better informed and personalized products can support.
FinTECH4Life comes to London on May 15 at Barclays Rise. Register now!