According to a survey, 65 per cent of the elderly in India are dependent on others for their financial requirements and undergo financial crisis.
The nation-wide survey conducted by Agewell Foundation involved a random sample of 15,000 people across India aged 60 or above.
The study found that pension was the main source of income for 38 per cent of the respondents.
Further, 46.4 per cent of the elderly claimed that their net-worth value had increased remarkably in their old age, primarily due to a sharp increase in real estate prices over the last two decades.
“With high net-worth value, older persons have higher purchasing power, but they hardly use their discretion while exercising such powers. Younger family members often manipulate their decisions,” says the report.
More than four-fifths of the respondents said that their major problems were related to healthcare issues, where financial status plays a key role.
The report finds that senior citizens aged over 70 are marginalised and isolated to a large extent.
“Older persons in the category of 60-70 years are looked after well by their children, but with further advancement in their age, children find it difficult or they are unable to look after them because of their own growing age and ever-increasing responsibilities towards their own children,” the study notes.
According to the report, the financially well-off older people do not wish to be dependent on government facilities for healthcare needs, as they prefer private institutions for better services.
“Financially insecure old people expect social security, free health care and subsidies so that they can lead a comfortable and respectable life in old age. At the same time, older people with sound financial health look forward to risk-free investment schemes, so that they can earn good returns to meet financial needs in old age,” said Himanshu Rathi, the founder chairman of Agewell foundation.