Financial Wellness for Longer Lives: New Approaches to Working and Saving

The New York Academy of Medicine, Global Coalition on Aging, AARP New York, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Release Symposium Insights and Action Items, Launch Financial Wellness Resource Guide

New York (June 15, 2018) – A new report released today by The New York Academy of Medicine and the Global Coalition on Aging focuses on financial wellness and aging, including the prevention of financial fraud and abuse targeting older adults. The publication coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which aims to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older adults.

The report features insights and action items from the January 18, 2018 symposium “Financial Wellness for Longer Lives: New Approaches to Working and Saving,” which was co-hosted by the Academy, the Global Coalition on Aging, AARP New York, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch at the Bank of America Conference Center. The symposium gathered a distinguished group of 200 leaders to discuss the complex issues of financial wellness and new approaches to retirement. With business, government, and non-profit voices all included, the discussion made progress toward advancing solutions for the United States’ growing aging population.

“There is a complex, multi-directional relationship between financial, physical and mental health throughout the life course,” said Academy President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS. “We must work to maximize the social, physical, and economic participation of older people to improve their health and well-being and to strengthen communities.”

The launch of the report is accompanied by a new Financial Wellness resource page on the Age-friendly NYC website providing data, information, tools, and advice on achieving financial wellness in our current era of increasing longevity. The resources are gathered from business, academic, non-profit, and government expertise and provide insights for individuals as well as employers.

“It is clear that 21st-century longevity brings about new challenges and opportunities that government, non-profits, and businesses alike must address together to ensure that today’s seniors—as well as tomorrow’s—can live their most productive, fulfilling, and happiest lives possible,” said Michael W. Hodin, PhD, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging. “Financial wellness is a critical component toward achieving this goal, and it can only be realized by shattering outdated assumptions about retirement and adopting new models for working and saving aligned to the realities of healthy and active aging.”

The goals of the forum were to understand the demographic and financial trends associated with a growing population over 65, to examine strategies for age-friendly business practices and promoting retirement savings and management, and to learn how to manage the risks of cognitive decline and fraud. The report includes key insights and actions that the financial services sector, employers of all sizes, and the government can take to improve the financial wellness of millions of aging Americans now and in the future. Key insights include:

  • Increased longevity demands new approaches to health, working, and saving
  • Preparing for the “new retirement” is a lifelong process
  • Innovative financial planning tools are needed to promote lifelong financial wellness
  • Cognitive decline is now a must-address issue for financial insitutions

Symposium speakers included Kevin F. Crain of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on “Financial Wellness: Why Longevity Should Be a Priority for the Financial Services Industry”; Jason Karlawish, MD, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania on “Health and Wealth as We Age: Addressing Financial Planning and Cognitive Decline”; and Teresa Ghilarducci, PhD, of The New School for Social Research on “Averting a Potential Financial Crisis through the Promotion of Financial Security for Older Adults.” The symposium also included panel discussions on workplace change and financial health in the new retirement landscape, and on preventing financial fraud and abuse targeting older adults.

“As the 65+ population grows rapidly, the unique financial challenges of older adults will only become more pervasive, including struggle to afford retirement and vulnerability to fraud,” said Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP NY. “We are thrilled to be a part of this conversation around financial wellness and aging, as it is critical to raise the profile of these issues and work together to identify solutions.”

“Discussions at our Financial Wellness symposium underscored how the financial industry plays a leadership role in protecting seniors’ net worth, self-worth, and lives,” said Philip C. Marshall, founder of and member of the symposium planning committee. “We were pleased to learn about so many new innovations geared toward meeting the needs of our aging society but also recognize that as our senior population continues to grow at record pace, financial wellness must become a core tenet within our government, our workplaces, and our communities.”

About The New York Academy of Medicine

Established in 1847, The New York Academy of Medicine is dedicated to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life. Through our original research and policy and program initiatives we provide the evidence base to address the structural and cultural barriers to good health and drive progress toward health equity. This work and our one-of-a-kind public programming is supported by our world class historical medical library and our Fellows program, a unique network of more than 2,000 experts elected by their peers from across the professions affecting health.

About the Global Coalition on Aging

The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population ageing. GCOA uniquely brings together leading global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and communication, GCOA shapes the dialogue and advances solutions to ensure aging is a path to health, productivity, and economic growth.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses, and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,400 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 36 million active users, including approximately 25 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


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