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The ageing population not only warrants retirement protection, housing needs and an age-friendly environment, but also financial planning knowledge and capability.

According to our research Financial Knowledge and Capability in Hong Kong: A Foundation Study published in June 2013, the mature age (aged 50-64) consistently demonstrate a lower understanding of financial matters, especially on investment risks and financial planning.

“Amongst other things, the elderly find it difficult to understand complex information in the market and choose the right financial advisers or planners addressing their questions and problems. They also face problems in handling frequent changes in financial regulations.” said Dr Iris Chui Ping Kam, the Team Leader of Community Learning Programme Team, Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education, The Open University of Hong Kong.

 

Engage elderly with financial planning concepts

Dr. Iris Chui Ping Kam,
Team Leader of Community Learning Programme Team,
Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education, OUHK

In light of the growing needs, the IEC has jointly collaborated with the Elder Academy in organising a financial education workshop for the elderly in December 2013. The workshop aimed at offering a holistic view of financial planning to assist the seniors in evaluating their financial situation, managing cash flows and taking good care of their own assets. It covered the basics of risks, role and responsibilities as an investor as well as tips of avoiding scams and tricks.

After attending the workshop, Mr Lee Kwok Tim, a government engineer who retired three years ago, said: “Longer life expectancy and higher inflation rate have alerted me if my present plan for retirement could sustain. There are pressing needs for retirees like me to have such financial information for better planning.”

Dr Kam believed that the elderly should have clear pictures of and active engagement in managing their retirement fund especially in their daily spending, insurance planning and estate planning.

“We would like to empower the elderly with the ability to manage their finance issues and plan their investment independently. The courses such as “Basics of money management” (理財基本法) and “Fun of living the retirement ” (實踐退休之樂) from our Active Elderly Learning Programme under the Elderly Academy, The Hong Kong Open University, were developed to serve this purpose. And many of those who participated in the workshop find it very useful and expect the IEC to organise more similar workshops and seminars and get into the depth and breadth of knowledge,” added Dr Kam.