According to a new study by an NGO Agewell Foundation, elders with a good net worth are in search of financial planning services to earn decent income from their retirement kitty.
With the popularity of the nuclear family system, many elders live alone and therefore they want to utilize their retirement corpus to the maximum throughout their life.
According to the survey, only one-third of the elderly population in India feels ‘financially secure’. The survey shows that a majority (41.43%) of retirees have pension or family pension as their main source of income, followed by interest on savings or rent from property.
The study shows that attachment of elders towards their financial resources and properties has increased over the years due to comparatively longer life span. Ever increasing role of money in modern lifestyle is also seen as major factor responsible for their attachment towards financial resources.
The net worth of about fifty million elders has increased dramatically over the years. Despite being well off, they suffer from a lot of medical, social and financial problems because there are hardly any dedicated and elderly sensitive schemes for senior citizens.
The study observed that elders in the age group of 60-70 years are looked after well by their children, but with further advancement in their age, children find it difficult or they are unable to look after them because of their own growing age and ever-increasing responsibilities towards their own children, etc. Therefore, senior citizens (70+) are isolated to a large extent. Despite having a good net-worth, majority of elderly (70+) lead lonely or neglected lives.
In urban areas, the net-worth of elders is comparatively much higher than their counterparts living in rural areas, but there seems to be no direct relation between high net worth and financial problems, shows the study.
What aged India needs
Concerns of the elderly have also changed with the change in their financial position and longer life span. In a nut shell, here are the imperative needs of the elderly in India:
- Life insurance for more years for financial security in old age
- Medical insurance to meet increasing medical expenses of a longer lifespan
- Covering of properties, movable/immovable under general insurance schemes
- Financial planning so that they can earn good income in old age
- Dedicated healthcare facilities, particularly in rural and semi-urban areas
The report also says that a majority of elders, particularly in rural areas, are still suffering from financial problems and poor financial status is a major factor responsible for their miserable situation in old age.
But unlike financially weaker sections of elderly, those with sound financial position don't want to depend on government medical facilities for their medical care related requirements in old age. Instead, they prefer to visit private institutions for better services. They also expect elderly friendly measures, for example, life insurance and medical insurance in old age, elderly friendly investment plans, pension plans, etc.
Methodology: The respondents were above sixty years of age from all over the country. Out of 15000 interviewed, 7782 respondents (51.9%) were in the age group of 60-70 years, 4694 respondents (31.3%) were between 71-80 years and the remaining 2524 (16.8%) respondents comprised the oldest old group (81+ years).
Elderly respondents were divided into four categories on the basis of gender and community of the respondents. Each of the category, rural older men (24.85%), rural older women (25.15%), urban older men (24.55%) and urban older women (25.45%) consisted of nearly one fourth of the total subjects.