The consumer finance industry has often been on the forefront of change and innovation. The industry embraced technology in a big way—with leading banks providing digital wallets, new mobile banking services, and new models of credit. The rise of new financial technology and experiences comes at a critical time for caregivers, too. Money is a central component of how we care for each other. Care itself is costly and unpredictable, and helping loved ones manage bills, insurance claims, and their assets are all ways families step in to help care for each other. This is a growing need that deserves our attention.
The sandwich generation–those caring for kids and aging parents–is overwhelmed and growing. Their responsibilities as financial caregivers are more overwhelming than ever, too, with nearly 8 in 10 caregivers reporting they have routine out-of-pocket expenses for a loved one and an annual average spend of $7,242. Many of these responsibilities of financial caregiving relate to older parents. Older adults are living longer, and navigating financial lives that are not as straightforward as retiring at 65 and tapping into benefits that ensure their needs are covered. They’re also subject to an overwhelming rise in the amount of predatory behavior, from financial elder abuse to scams, that makes the risks of technology almost seem as great as the benefits.