Preparing for aging and longevity trends in the fintech age

New Financial Longevity Leadership Program aims to foster understanding of the effects of aging and the future of longevity on the economy.

As life expectancy rises in the developed world, the way people live, save, spend, retire and pass their wealth to the next generations is changing. This change means the financial sector has to change its approach to aging and longevity across multiple dimensions, including revisiting how it deals with longevity financing, retirement, end-of-life planning and late-life employment, as well as other aspects of an aging society.

Longevity.Technology: Fintech for Longevity is a platform that bridges financial technology and financial inclusion. Its new programme is demonstrating how the future of longevity affects today’s financial sector, overviewing both the opportunities that abound with healthy aging and considering the risks, such as longer wealth de-accumulation period and, potentially, longer periods of economic dependence.

The course provides participants with the tools for better decision-making by combining insights from academic research, best practices as they are deployed in the field and the innovation of entrepreneurs who are active in finding novel solutions to the challenges of an aging world. The course was launched by Professor Yigal Newman, a fintech expert both in academia and in practice, and F4L founder and CEO Dr Ira Sobel, and we sat down with Dr Sobel to find out more.

The importance of this course, explains Dr Sobel, stems from its uniqueness as it is the only programme that provides an opportunity to learn about the financial challenges of aging and longevity and how fintech-based solutions can help address them.

“The course has an added value of putting executives in banks and insurance companies, investors, VCs and entrepreneurs in the same setting, allowing them to better understand the actions they should take to serve an aging world,” she says. “Our Financial Longevity Leadership program combines insights from academic research, experience from observing best practices as they are deployed in the field, and the innovation of entrepreneurs who are active in finding novel solutions to the challenges of an aging world.”

The market need that F4L identified for creating the course was two-fold. Firstly, the team felt there was a lack of quality education on the intersection of longevity and fintech.

“The knowledge obtained would help market participants better address the needs of mid-life and older adults,” explains Sobel. “But, there was also a need for a platform that would allow individuals who are interested in that space to interact with like-minded people and discuss business ideas.”

As with all things, the devil is in detail; longevity is a broad field, and examining its intersection with fintech needs an approach that sets everything in context. The course starts with a comparative perspective on the demographic trend of aging around the world and then proceeds to discuss the various effects of aging on the asset management world and how longevity affects the financial risks facing financial institutions and households.

“The core of the course is our discussion of the role of financial innovation for aging and longevity,” Sobel explains. “For example, how Fintech ideas can assist in serving aging adults and their caregivers and how data can be used in the retirement planning process.

“In the last part of the course, we share with participants our findings on how banks around the world cater to older adults, and what social role banks can take to help older adults stay safe and independent.”

In addition, the course recognises the importance of learning from practitioners and entrepreneurs who are active in the fintech for aging and longevity domain.

“We invite such a guest lecturer to the last meeting of each cohort of the course, and past participants are also invited to attend this lecture,” says Sobel. “For example, for the next cohort we invited a biotechnology entrepreneur to better understand how aging bio-markers can be utilized by asset management and insurance companies in serving their aging clients.”

This course is primarily aimed at the wider financial sector, including VC investors, fintech entrepreneurs, corporate executives, financial advisors, researchers, executives in innovation centres and financial regulators.

Participants by type of employment

Different countries have different financial infrastructures, so what is useful for one person might not be so relevant for another; this is something the course has factored in.

“The program is international in scope, and we strive to focus on the countries where the participants come from,” explains Sobel. “As it was important for us to learn from Japan, which is a “super-aging” society, many of the examples we give are from there. Naturally, the richness of data in the US and the UK allows us to use this data more often, while our participants from Papua-New Guinea have taught us a lot about their unique economy.”

The course awards a certificate for participants that they can choose to receive electronically, by mail, or as an NFT, and applications are made on the FinTech for Longevity website or by sending an email to [email protected]

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