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Are we saving enough today, for a better tomorrow? (Akshaya Chandra)

Someone wise said, ‘Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional’. The global population is ageing. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) report, population of 60+years in the world increased from 12% to 22% between 2015 to 2020. This increase has occurred rapidly and unequally in the World. AgeUK 2019 report says in the UK, already there are 12 million people over 65 years, 48% of whom are 75+ years. While UK and other countries are already facing this challenge, countries like India and Brazil have 20 years to adapt to this societal phenomenon.

Living longer is a factor of great advancements in healthcare, innovations in medicine, active lifestyle and affordability of food & mobility. Ongoing ageing process in large parts of the World immediately implies less savings. Saving behaviour, generally follows a cyclic pattern – in early years of employment, people tend to borrow; in their employed years, people save and once they retire they hope to draw down on this savings to spend towards a secure life. This pattern is under stress today with vastly ageing population – shrinking working population leading to lower aggregate savings.

According to AgeUK report from 2021, 2.1million (18%) of pensioners live in poverty. These rates have risen since 2013-14 when 1.6million (14%) lived in poverty.

Of all the financial instruments available to fund a longer life, saving into pensions has a very small share in the Marketplace today. Wealth managers and Insurers today, more than ever before have an opportunity to help the young today who are before and at employment and people at retirement to save money using differentiated propositions and using technology.

Right advice at the right time:

Helping people understand the need to save and right instruments available for their savings journey is first piece of this jigsaw. Contextual savings advice is key as all of our individual aspirations of savings are milestone dependent and on our lifestyle choices. Profiling an individuals’ behaviours and risk propensity coupled with deploying artificial intelligence and machine learning will transform the way first level advice would enable people understand how they can formulate their saving goals.

Right advice for the right persona:

Having understood the savings behaviour of individual Customers, Wealth Managers / Advisors are able to hyper personalise how the individual savings journey could be, what savings instruments become relevant for a particular individual. Insurers today are innovating towards creating differentiated offerings based on horizontally collaborating with WealthTech and InsurTechs. For example, we see Protection insurers co-create propositions with Finance lending companies, Annuity providers collaborating with MedTech and CareTech companies. Leveraging eco-systems is key to survival in the future.

There is a lot of opportunity for artificial intelligence, machine learning, behavioural economics to combine forces in helping end Customers understand, find and fund for their savings.

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