Help Boomers with their Money and Earn Mad Cash

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I have the perfect idea for this! Really cool contest that pays you money for coming up with FinTech solutions for baby boomers!

I love FinTech. I love apps that help people save money and apps that help people make it to payday without going broke or taking on massive amounts of debt. In 2015, when I was picking an event to volunteer for at FinCon, I made it a point to hop on the FinTech competition.

Largely, FinTech is aimed at millennials. It makes sense. We were the first generation raised with the internet, so we’re tech savvy. We also tend to be fiercely brand loyal. We’re a generation that makes up a quarter of the population, and we haven’t even reached our peak earning years yet. We’re good for quick wins, but also great for the long-game if we can be secured as customers today while we’re still working on amassing our wealth.

However, nearly a whole other quarter of the population, with less than one million fewer people, controls 70% of this country’s disposable income. They’re older, though, and therefore not seen as the same quick win as millennials in the tech sector.

These people are baby boomers, and despite being the largest generation at their peak, they have ended up largely under-served by the FinTech community. Creating apps and platforms for people who didn’t grow up with technology is more challenging and not perceived to be as sexy. But there are dollars to be made, and solutions to be created.

Baby Boomer Money Problems FinTech Could Address

Serving the under-served baby boomers means coming up with creative and intuitive FinTech that addresses the unique financial situations boomers find themselves in. These include:

  • Retirement. Many don’t have enough money for it. Besides 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions, you’re also looking at things like social security as real means of daily provision.
  • Wills and estates. We should all be taking care of this now, especially if we have kids, but for baby boomers, it’s more pressing of a generational issue.
  • Disability. The longer you live, the more likely this is to be a financial issue. Baby boomers are living longer and retiring later than previous generations, so it is a heightened financial concern.
  • Bucket lists. While it may be trendy for millennials to tick off their bucket lists before they turn 30, boomers took a more traditional approach. They worked their whole life, waiting for retirement to finally do all the grand things they had always dreamed of. Unfortunately, most of them haven’t saved enough money to make these dreams a reality. Are there ways we can change that now, to adjust their finances so they can achieve their dreams?
  • Spending on grandkids. Or anything, really. I only mention grandkids because I know my own children are largely spoiled by their boomer family members. But boomers, despite not having enough money saved, do still have a large portion of this country’s wealth in their control. (Maybe the seeming discrepancy is due to the growing wealth gap.) Are there ways FinTech could help them make those spending decisions in fulfilling,  yet wise, ways?

My list is by no means all-inclusive. There are other issues this generation faces financially. There are additional solutions that need to be created.

Your Creativity Could Earn You Mad Cash

There is a need for creativity to solve these problems, but knowing how to code an app isn’t a requisite for dreaming up creative solutions.

CO-OP Financial Services recognizes that need, and recognizes that this generation remains largely under-served. That’s why they’ve put together The Financial Longevity Challenge. The challenge invites everyone, techy or not, to submit their creative, technology-based solutions to some of the financial hurdles boomers face.

Have an idea? If yours is chosen as one of the best, you’ll get to split a $10,000 prize with other thought leaders. There can be up to five winners, meaning the prize will be $2,000 at least, but that’s only if there are five worthy ideas. You could end up winning more.

If you want to participate, be sure to get your idea in by November 27th.

Ready? Set? GO!

This Year’s Top Ideas

UPDATE! This year’s top ideas have been chosen! There were five of them, and they were pretty phenomenal, addressing a wide range of issues:

Rightsize

Originator: Natalie LeRoy, Chicago, Illinois.

Idea: This initiative seeks to help those over 50 who are looking to relocate or change their living situation to reflect their current life circumstances. Through a web and mobile platform, “Rightsize” will help users develop their ideas about retirement, housing and lifestyle and transition them into reality. Users are able to build a fiscal profile and check in with a self-guided map, get relevant information from the news and other users, as well as connect to resources and services.

The “Not So Retired Life” Podcast

Originator: Rachel Rosenbaum, Detroit Michigan.

Idea: This initiative seeks to empower individuals over 50 years old to re-frame the way they approach retirement so they can live a long, fulfilling life, in a financially-sustainable way. This proposed podcast will share stories of the real experiences of people in their late careers/early retirement. The plan calls for leveraging local journalists, entrepreneurs, credit-unions, and/or communities to find initial sponsors and interviewers.

All Generation Friendly ATM

Originator: Freddy Shimabukuro, Pueblo Libre, (Lima), Peru, in collaboration with the Peru Chapter of the OpenIDEO Community.

Idea: The Friendly ATM will give credit union members more confidence when using ATMs by allowing them to take time when setting up transaction details while they are at home. Once transactions details are confirmed, the transaction will be automatically brought up then next time the user logs-in to an ATM. This will minimize the time that credit union members spend in being vulnerable at physical ATM locations.

Leverage Trust to Create Personal Pensions

Originator: Wingee Sin, South San Francisco, California.

Idea: This initiative seeks to create personal pension products for individuals and distribute them via credit unions. It will support the dreams and obligations of 50-plus consumers by creating a steady income stream from their earlier savings. It will leverage the credit union client relationships and physical distribution network to offer individualized pension plans at scale.

Incubator Club for Credit Union Members

Originator: Lillian J. Warner, New York, New York. Warner is among a team of graduate students from New York University, under the tutelage of Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Management in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation.

Idea: This team proposes an “incubator” for credit union members over 50, where they can pursue their small business dreams and connect with their community. In this way, people in this age group can remain active, develop a project they always wanted to work on and help someone by providing expertise. The club will provide support, resources and networking opportunities to its members.

 

What do you guys think? Have a favorite?

If you’re bummed that you missed it, no worries. This contest has been going on since 2011, so I’m willing to bet it will be around next year, too. Keep an eye out for it in the Fall!

 

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9 thoughts on “Help Boomers with their Money and Earn Mad Cash

  1. Fruclassity (Ruth)

    I was born in 1963, so even though I think of the hippies (and I do remember seeing them downtown when I was a child) as being a good 10-15 years older than I am, I technically fit into that “boomer” category. I’ve been working on my finances for over 4 years now (in an effort to become completely debt-free and have true financial independence), and I have never used an app. I tried one once, but I just find technology so frustrating. Anyone with ideas about this creation for financial apps for boomers should keep high levels of tech-phobia in mind. Here’s my two cents: It’s not all about the app, it’s about the level of support available for users. Make step-by-step instructions available – even for things that you might consider too obvious to mention. Have phone support available (we prefer phoning to online “chatting”) and a video demonstration. My husband and I use an excel spreadsheet for our personal finances. I use pen and paper for my discretionary money. If you need a tech-phobic boomer to test drive an app, I’m available : )

    Reply
  2. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    Boomers (and Silents for that matter) want to be as independent as possible, but as they get older will need more assistance. Only home health care is expensive. Maybe some sort of virtual check in where someone checks in virtually to make sure their needs are met but still allows the person to live independently but notifies a family member if the check in doesn’t happen would be a good safety? Also, medication management apps.

    Reply
      1. RAnn

        When my dad’s health started declining, he and my sister had an arrangment. The first thing he did when he got up in the morning was email her. If she hadn’t heard from him by 10, she called and if she couldn’t get him, the plan was that she’d call out the troops. She lived across the country but this was something she could do as easily as those of us who lived closer.

        Reply
  3. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

    I think the interface is going to be the big winner here. Boomers really aren’t tech savvy and a lot of things we consider “intuitive” to younger generations just aren’t to them. I watch my dad struggle all the time with apps and technology on his phone and for the most part, he just ignores it and continues to do as much of life without computers and tech as he can.

    Reply
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  5. KAYTHEGARDENER

    As a boomer myself & part-time paid caregiver for the elderly & disabled, skip the apps!
    Instead develop publicity about resources of needed items. EG, 1) large print calendars (desk size ones to hang on walls) for medical appointments, grocery/errand days, special events; 2) financial monthly budgets to see where the money is going; 3) researching lists of eligible government programs & following through on signing them up (senior property tax deferrals on owned homes, SNAP, Medicaid etc)… setting up phone or in-person checkups during stormy or hot weather…
    Helping the seniors to have updated wills, power of attorneys over financial/health decisions & a list of 2-3 relatives’ addresses & phone numbers. Also have lists of medical providers & ALL current prescriptions, vitamins & other pills or shots taken daily, lists of any known allergies or medical warning jewelry, or call buttons services, etc. MOST IMPORTANT — have lists of their medical drs, dentists, eye doctors, & medical insurance plans & in-network hospitals & clinics, all posted on the refrigerator door or by the front door, along with any DNR directives. {Those are the 2 best locations where EMTs are trained to look when responding to house calls}.
    My county has specially trained senior volunteer advocates who will visit families to set up all these things, but most seniors have no idea that these services exist…

    Reply

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