The UK’s ageing population is a key focus in financial services and in the media as the baby boom generation enters retirement. This is putting pressure on the older people in the community and is also putting pressure on stretched care provisions. Winter is particularly hard on this generation so one caring financial support company is speaking out to show there is a way to maximise cash for later life.

By 2020, the FCA write that “the number of consumers aged over 65 in the UK is expected to increase by 1.1 million” and by the time we reach 2040, it is forecast that one in seven of us will be aged over 75. Dr Emma Black, the managing director of Cascade Cash Management explains further:

“Older consumers possess a higher likelihood of experiencing either temporary or permanent vulnerability. This is driven by a higher probability of experiencing greater health issues (either physically or mentally) and the prospect of the occurrence of significant life events (including for example bereavement, relationship breakdowns or loss of income). The older we get, the less we are able to recover from a financial shock, and those with low financial knowledge or confidence may also be at risk. Moreover, it is estimated that 7% of the UK population aged 65 or over is living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, with one in six people aged 80 or over suffering from cognitive decline.

“Over 2.6 million people have registered a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in England and Wales. At end of June 2016, there were 1,779,268 LPA donors aged 50 and above. There were also 42,337 Court of Protection orders registered during 2015/16. Despite this, many providers fail to provide sufficient support and access for third party attorneys and deputies who are responsible for the finances of this category of person.”

The FCA states that consumers should be supported for as long as possible to manage their own money autonomously and that at the point at which they need the support of an attorney or deputy, providers should make sufficient provision so as to prevent and reduce financial exclusion.

Commissioning the Coping Mechanisms and Third-Party Access Report, the FCA found evidence that older people and their carers find it difficult to use retail banking services effectively. While an LPA was found to offer peace of mind for consumers in need, a general lack of awareness and confusion over formal third-party access often reduces its effectiveness.

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