In a challenging environment, Economic Financial Literacy (EFL) is a key skill to achieve an active citizenship and to improve financial wellbeing. Financially literate people budget, save, and spend better, handle mortgages, and participate in financial markets, moving from basic financial skills to a more complex wealth management know-how. The latter is thus vital for low-income groups to prevent them from crossing the poverty line and to achieve a better standard of living. Research highlights how:
- Financial illiteracy is widespread in almost all countries, including FinKit’s (France, Italy, Portugal and Spain);
- Financial knowledge is highest among the 45‐to-55-year olds;
- Gender differences are still significant, due to persistent cultural and social causes.
In addition to this, low-income households are often overlooked by financial institutions (in terms of access to information, counseling and products). The result is a vicious circle of financial exclusion.
Finkit countries and target groups
FinKit will focus its action on a specific segment of poor elderly (people aged 65+) and women aged 55+ in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain.
The first subgroup is made by “house rich, cash poor” elderly (home ownership in Southern European countries accounts for around 80% of personal wealth), whose assets are mainly tied to housing and who live in “self-inflicted poverty”.
The second subgroup (women aged 55+) needs wealth management skills for a combination of labour- and demography-related reasons (shorter working life, lower average incomes, higher life expectancy than men, primary caregivers for children). Evidence shows how women are a hard-to-reach group, due to work/social obligations, financial attitudes and a still surviving social segregation.
FinKit will provide:
A. Preparatory works:
• Panorama of Fin. education programs currently in place;
• Insight of end users’ needs and behaviours;
• Insight of practitioners’ EFL, training competencies and needs.
B. Core outputs:
• Tools to convey specific skills to practitioners, increasing their capacity to transfer EFL
• Test of new delivery means
• Promote learner-centred and group-specific pedagogical tools: main target women 55+ and «wealth rich-cash poor elderly» in Mediterranean countries