In a good news, the elderly population of India is emerging as a prominent consumer group in the country, thanks to their improved financial status, a new study has noted. According to ‘Changing Patterns of Income & Expenditure of Older People in India: An Assessment’, a national study by Agewell Foundation, the elderly are increasingly disposing of considerable purchasing power and using accumulated savings in old age. The study noted that while one-fifth of the elderly population took up jobs or other gainful engagements as their main source of income, 60.4 per cent said their primary source of income was their monthly pension.
“19.4 per cent claimed that their main source of income is money earned in form of rental from their land/house properties, interest on investments,” the study said. Other sources contributing to their incomes include land properties (65.5 per cent), house property (74.5 per cent), or some kind of investments/savings (41.42 per cent). “50 per cent have jewellery and other valuable ornaments, and 48.5 per cent have other valuable properties,” the study said. Himanshu Rath, Chairman of the Agewell foundation, said with the increasing purchasing power of the older persons, the survey highlighted the need to give them due importance while developing and implementing various marketing and advertising strategies.
“With changing patterns of income-expenditure in old age, role of older persons in today’s market oriented economy is becoming more significant with every passing day. “They are not only growing in numbers and living for longer years, but they are also emerging as influential consumer/buyers section now,” he said. The study also sheds light on the various income categories of the elderly. While the majority (32 per cent) were found earning between Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 20,000 every month, 27 per cent said they earned more than Rs 20,000. Every fifth elderly earned a monthly income between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000.
However, a large portion (31 per cent) of their earnings are spent on medical expenses, with 89 per cent of the respondents terming health care related requirements as their major need. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 10,000 older persons spread across India was formed and elderly respondents were interviewed by Agewell volunteers spread across the country during March-April 2018.