Bringing Resilience in Retirement Project Educates Older People on Online Resources

In 2018, Advice NI saw the conclusion of the Building Resilience in Retirement project.
This project aimed to improve the financial capability of older people through a digital inclusion training programme. The training comprised of six two-hour modules focusing on developing digital literacy, avoiding scams, online budgeting tools, using comparison websites and accessing online money advice services.

During the course of the year over 100 people took part with the project targeting older people who might not usually have an opportunity to learn how online resources could support their financial capability. Those who were already confident in their financial skills were able to feel more aware of budgeting and managing their money.

Those taking part in the training developed increased confidence in using online financial tools and 80% of participants found they now felt capable of protecting themselves from online frauds and scams. Almost 90% of participants reported a marked improvement of their knowledge of online sources of financial information and advice after completing the training.

As the course continued, participants gained an awareness of their rights and entitlements as well as how to access online information and support.

One retired woman in her 60s and from Northern Ireland’s Indian community who participated in the training said:
“People have worked hard all their lives and have good money in place – they are only one button away from going wrong and losing money and they don’t want to lose what they have worked for. The younger generation coming through will have done internet banking so it won’t be such an issue for them, but it still isn’t the norm for older people.”

Of the 108 people who took part in the training, 96% had not previously used the internet to check whether they were receiving all of the benefits, tax credits or pension they were entitled to. After the course a quarter of participants check their entitlements online while five went on to apply for new or additional benefits, tax credits or pensions.

Building Resilience in Retirement was based on the premise that digital inclusion can act as a pathway to financial capability. Programme Co-ordinator Seamus Donnelly said:
“People don’t exist just to be financially capable. The training has to first link into their wider interests and the things they are already doing, finding ways to get their curiosity going and then building on this. You have to start from where they’re at, dealing with questions and issues unrelated to the course content – such as how to play music online – and then use that to build up the confidence to look at the tools available for budgeting and finance.”

While this particular project was small scale it did help to highlight the need for provision of support and awareness among older people about online financial resources. Advice NI has found that the project has enhanced the understanding of the needs of older people in relation to digital technology and created better awareness of how to promote and market a digital inclusion for financial capability programme.

You can read the full report on Advice NI’s Building Resilience in Retirement Project here.

You can view the videos made by the project team here: