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Managing money in later life

Age UK believe that all older people, now and in the future, should have sufficient income to live comfortably and participate fully in society – before, in the run up to, and during retirement.

On this page you’ll find our latest research and resources on finances in later life.

Financial resilience during retirement: who's well placed to cope with life events?

Nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK are over State Pension age (65+) and we can expect the average person to spend a quarter of their lifetime retired. We know that when it comes to finances, the main focus for retired people is on managing existing resources rather than accumulating them. They are doing this in an increasingly complex financial world, whilst being more likely to experience changes associated with health, capacity, and bereavement.

MoneyHelper funded Age UK to undertake research that builds a picture of what ‘financial resilience during retirement’ actually looks like. The research sought to understand what makes people ‘well placed’ to cope with the challenges and decisions they face throughout retirement, recognising the diversity of experiences and resources among retired people in terms of social networks, finances and health.

What we asked

  • What outcomes indicate a financially resilient retirement?
  • What personal attributes make an older person well placed in retirement?
  • What are the barriers to having a financially resilient retirement?
  • What are the challenges in measuring financial resilience?

Key messages

  1. We need a fundamental rethink of the language used in financial services to ensure that it resonates with retired people.
  2. It’s never just about the money – older people think of their finances in the context of their life as a whole.
  3. Uncertainty about the future makes it challenging to plan ahead.
  4. When considering future health and care needs, people need a vision of something that is financially possible and positive.
  5. High quality provision of products and information is needed to overcome the lack of awareness, misunderstandings and barriers to accessibility.
  6. Peer to peer support may help older people overcome emotional barriers to sorting out their finances.


Download and read the Summary and Implications report.

Stage 1

Download and read the stage 1 research.

Stage 2

Download and read the stage 2 research.

What works? Testing a paper-based budgeting tool for older people

The What Works Fund programme, funded by MoneyHelper, is helping organisations to pilot new approaches to improving financial capability and evaluate their projects. Age UK took part in the 2017/18 wave of What Works Fund by developing a paper based budgeting tool for older people who would like budgeting support who are not online. The tool was co-designed with input from older people and practitioners, and we tested the results with older people across six workshops in London, Hertford and Bradford.

Five older people who took part in this project agreed to share their thoughts about various aspects of financial life. What they have to say has relevance beyond this project, for any professional working in this area.

What Works Fund report

The ‘Your Money MOT’ Impact Evaluation: how can a paper based budgeting tool help older people, post-retirement, to manage their finances through key life events and to plan ahead for later life?

Our other work

More relevant information that may be of interest.

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Last updated: Jan 04 2022

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