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13 Sep 2023

Econ Digest

KResearch views that the financial sector can help the silver age prepare for a more stable life


        The elderly or silver age population worldwide is growing at a steady and rapid rate. Silver age consumers, therefore, will become an economically important segment as the amount of their spending is higher than that of other age groups. Deloitte has projected that spending by Thai silver age consumers will reach US331 billion by 2030, surpassing that of Singapore, and Thailand will be the first developing country in the world to become a super-aged society by 2029. However, the transition to an aging society has posed challenges for Thailand due to the relatively fragile financial position of the majority of senior citizens and insufficient state welfare benefits, or sometimes referred to as “elderly poverty”. KResearch sees that the financial sector can act as another catalyst for nurturing a quality lifestyle among silver age consumers.
        The majority of Thai senior citizens are unprepared for retirement because of their relatively low income and savings and limited state welfare benefits. With such an economic status, they are still working or relying on their children for support. Presently, approximately 34% of the elderly population earn less than THB30,000 per year, which is below the poverty line. As a result, only 5% of all the elderly in Thailand have savings, and 40% of them have savings less than THB50,000 per person, suggesting that their financial position remains fragile, and their retirement is susceptible to financial risks. Additionally, state welfare benefits, including a monthly allowance of THB600-1,000 on average for all Thai senior citizens, remain inadequate.  
        Thailand will likely become the first country in the world to experience “elderly poverty”. This issue poses challenges for the country in terms of the demographic structure, workforce, economic growth and fiscal position of the government. Notwithstanding this, KResearch believes that the financial sector can play a catalyst role in fostering a high-quality, stable lifestyle for aging consumers by enabling both immediate income generation and ensuring long-term savings stability. Thailand’s financial products can be improved if both private and public agencies support them, and if there is cooperation between the two groups.  

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