Let’s Bring Fintech to the Other 111 Million

Theo Lau, AARP & Ryan Falvey, CFSI

One of America’s largest and most rapidly growing population segments is deeply underserved by technology: Americans over the age of 50. This group represents over 111 million Americans. This 50-plus segment is projected to grow by 45% between 2015 and 2050, while the under-50 population expands by just 13%. As a result, the older cohort’s share of the total population will reach 40%.

Many of these Americans also suffer from poor financial health. CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Study surveyed more than 3,000 Americans over age 50 and found a close correlation between age and financial health, with 47% of Americans over 50 struggling financially. To put a finer point on the immense challenges many older Americans face, over 30% of senior households have no money left over at the end of each month, or are in debt after meeting essential expenses.

The Financial Solutions Lab and AARP are working together to raise awareness of financial health challenges faced by Americans over 50, and engaging entrepreneurs and innovators to solve those challenges through the CFSI Network and the Financial Solutions Lab. This year, CFSI is working closely with the AARP team to identify top innovators for the AARP LivePitch at Mountain View, CA on April 12-13. This event will shine a spotlight on the innovation activities going on in the space benefitting people over 50, a generation that has seen less consumer-friendly fintech innovation than it deserves. Register at http://innovation50plus.org with comp code AARP2017 for friends of CFSI.

On a separate note, CFSI and JPMorgan Chase’s FinLab Challenge this year is explicitly seeking companies that address the financial health challenges associated with the unique issues of older Americans. For example, middle-aged Americans are increasingly looking for solutions that help them live independently, have greater financial security, and better options for multi-generational money management. And the challenges older Americans face are more diverse than many may assume. Approximately 90% of seniors plan to continue living in their current homes for the next 5-10 years.

We’re thrilled to see a growing wave of solutions aimed at helping these Americans. Examples include products like EverSafe, which is helping protect seniors against fraud, identity theft, and age-related issues by monitoring and alerting users to unusual activities. The team at Golden has built a “financial caregiving” solution for families to help manage their parents’ financial lives. SilverBills is a bill payment service to ensure bills are paid accurately and on time. Finally, there is United Income, a money management product that helps consumers with the “decumulation” process by managing against a retirement spending curve, a consumer’s tolerance for risk, and their individualized retirement goals.

This is a great start – but there are still huge opportunities for solutions that can fundamentally improve the financial health of aging Americans by rethinking how financial products can improve their daily lives, enabling them to continue pursuing opportunities late into life and giving us all greater resilience. If you’re building for this massive demographic opportunity, we want to hear from you!

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