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Money Matters - Age Scotland

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

Age Scotland’s Money Matters project aimed to support older people in retirement to plan for the future. Money Matters workshops were delivered to existing groups of older people, where they normally meet, on a choice of subjects: benefit entitlements, care costs, Power of Attorney, wills and funerals, and managing change. Roadshows were delivered throughout Scotland. Attendees were provided with written information, and also had the opportunity to call the free Age Scotland helpline for individual advice. The project involved 1,135 participants. Project resources and activity were focused on encouraging older people to plan ahead for future events and having the income to which they were entitled.

The study

The evaluation involved pre-and post-event paper-based participant questionnaires with follow up calls 6 weeks after Age Scotland-hosted events. The evaluation was carried out from June 2017 to February 2018. 651 participants completed the evaluation. The overall outcome being measured was that ‘older people post-retirement plan ahead for future events, granting Power of Attorney, planning for care and funeral costs and using appropriate options and services.’ In addition, professionals working with older people were asked what older people were saying to them about money matters; what would equip them to respond more effectively and what they saw as the barriers to older people seeking advice.

Key findings

  • The roadshows were effective in increasing knowledge and understanding among attendees of benefit entitlements, care costs and funding, Power of Attorney, wills and funeral costs and planning for change.
  • Participants tended to have peace of mind over their finances but became more knowledgeable about where to access information and advice. They also became more likely to access information and advice following the roadshows.
  • Only a small proportion of respondents went on to make practical changes, often because they were financially comfortable and felt that the advice was not relevant to them at that point. However, a high proportion of respondents read the material provided at the roadshow and talked to other people in their lives about what they had learned.
  • Over 70% of respondents were women and the majority of participants were aged between 65 and 85. Around half of the respondents lived alone, and a further third lived with their spouse or partner. No specific income group was targeted; around half of participants were comfortably well off, a third had some trouble paying bills and / or had low savings, and 2% described themselves as struggling financially.
  • The project demonstrated the ability to engage groups of older adults and to raise their awareness of key issues in planning for the future including Power of Attorney and care and funeral costs.Significant increases were measured for all of the statements (see Appendix 4, Figure 7), with the most significant increases in agreement score and medium effect sizes measured in the statements;·
    • I know exactly what I want to know about my finances (pre average; 3.95/5, post average: 4.35/5, p: <0.01, t stat: -7.31, Cohen’s d: 0.36),·
    • I know where I can access information and advice about money concerns (pre average: 3.97/5, post average: 4.60/5, p: <0.01, t stat: -11.46, Cohen’s d: 0.61) and·
    • I would look for advice and information if I was worried about money (pre average 4.44/5, post average: 4.68/5, p: <0.01, t stat: -4.84, Cohen’s d: 0.28).

Points to consider

Methodological limitations:

  • The response rate to the survey is limited due to:
    • The style of roadshow delivery: as delivery was usually in a restricted time-slot there was not always time for the people attending to fully complete evaluation.
    • The timescale for project delivery: some attendees did not, at the time of the roadshow, need the information provided but may act on this at a later date
    • Nature of the target group: some attendees faced practical difficulties in completing evaluation forms at roadshow events due to sensory or cognitive impairment or frailty
    • The use of follow up forms: we initially offered attendees a choice of postal forms or phone calls for follow-up contact but changed to offering telephone contact after a very low return rate for postal questionnaires.
    • Attendees being very cautious about supplying their data for follow-up despite the assurances of the Money Rights Officers about the use of data purely for evaluation.


  • This study shows that older people can learn from a one-off intervention focused on planning for a life event. Some will take relevant action. Many will share what they learn with friends and families.

Generalisability/ transferability:

  • These findings may be generalisable to older people in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK if the elements necessary for delivery of the project are replicated (see section 8 of report). Since the project did not reach many older people in the ‘struggling’ segmentation it cannot be said that the results would be the same across different income groups.

Full report

Money Matters project report - full report

Key info

Client group
Activities and setting
Age Scotland’s Money Matters project aimed to support older people in retirement to plan for the future.
Programme delivered by
Age Scotland
Year of publication
Contact information

Age Scotland [email protected]