The free course is hosted on OpenLearn, and spread over four hours. It shows people how to get their personal finances in order for their needs today and in later life. Among the subjects covered include:
- How to painlessly cut spending
- Reorganising debts
- And how to build investments to supplement your pension
- And a ten-point checklist that identifies what areas of your finances are in order and which need attention
The course offers videos, interactive tools and quizzes to make it user friendly and, when it’s completed, learners are awarded a Statement of Participation.
Its content draws on Legal & General’s extensive knowledge on retirement finances and it’s a timely exercise for many as midlifers today face a series of challenges.
The writers of course include: Martin Upton, Senior Lecturer in Finance, who wrote the personal finance section; Dr Jitka Vseteckova, a Senior Lecturer at the OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care who wrote the wellbeing section and Ayesha Peeran, a Careers and Employability Consultant, penned the work segment.
Challenges faced today by midlifers
According to a survey of 4,009 UK adults aged between 40 and 60, and conducted on behalf of Legal & General by Opinium, more than six million people aged 40 to 60 (33%) are currently providing financial support or unpaid care to at least one loved one, on top of their job and other family commitments.
The support required of people in midlife has a significant impact on their lives, affecting their own work, wealth and wellbeing. Two out of five people in this age group (42%) feel overwhelmed by their commitments on at least a weekly basis, while 800,000 people (4%) have left work in the last 18 months due to family commitments.
Many midlifers feel the amount of money (15%) and time (10%) they provide to their loved ones is unsustainable, but at the same time, many know their loved ones would not be able to support themselves without this help (36%).
Personal sacrifices of midlifers mean some are time poor
These pressures result in midlifers making personal sacrifices. One in four people in midlife (25%) gets less than an hour to themselves in a day and one in five (19%) spend no time on improving their financial wellbeing, which could affect their retirement plans.
The impact of Covid, and the cost-of-living crisis has brought these challenges and the need for more support around work, wealth and wellbeing into even sharper focus.
This has been recognised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which has given a £400,000 funding boost for Midlife MOTs, to help people take stock of their health, skills and wealth as part of later-life planning.
“…it is more important than ever to take the time to reflect”
Dr Shraddha Verma, Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance at the OU, said:
“As we live longer, with many juggling lots of different responsibilities, it is more important than ever to take the time to reflect on where we are and where we want to be going.
“The Midlife MOT is a fantastic opportunity for those in midlife to focus on the inter-connected areas of work, wealth and wellbeing. We were delighted to work with Legal & General to empower people to consider what changes they may need to make to benefit themselves and their families for a better future life.”
“…education and knowledge are critical to ensure people have the retirement they want”
Emma Byron, Managing Director, Legal & General Retirement Solutions, said:
“We know that midlife is a time when many people are facing complex challenges, unique to their age group; wondering about the next stage in their career, juggling support for family members young and old and thinking about how to fund retirement.
“Many people underestimate what they will need in later life, so education and knowledge are critical to ensure people have the retirement they want. Regular check ins on your current situation will help lay the foundations for your future, which is why it’s so important that those in midlife have this support.”