Older Women and Financial Literacy Project (2010-12)


This national project aimed to address the high level of poverty and the low level of financial literacy among older women in Canada. Studies have shown that women, and older women especially, display much lower levels of financial literacy than their male counterparts (e.g., Lusardi & Mitchell, 2008; NPWE, 1998; WIRE, 2007). To tackle this issue of the high level of poverty and the low level of financial literacy among older women in Canada, our national project engaged older women in Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto by having them participate in the development and delivery of financial literacy resources using a peer education model.

We believe financial literacy is a fundamental human need, which every Canadian should be versed in. This unique project specifically targeted older women who are the most economically vulnerable – unattached and immigrant older women. At NICE, we want to make a difference through financial empowerment.
This two-year project engaged low-income older unattached and immigrant women working in partnership with agencies in three cities, to develop, evaluate, teach and share eight financial literacy tools. The project’s eight tools provide a comprehensive, accessible information kit for financial literacy that will help older women:

·        to create a personalized financial plan; 
·        to understand retirement and savings options;
·        to understand income tax;
·        to adopt effective banking practices; 
·        to understand credit and debt management;
·        to optimize pensions and public benefits; 
·        to understand the legal dimensions of financial literacy, such as the power of
         attorney; and 
·        to prevent and intervene in situations of financial abuse

The project also partnered with various organizations, service agencies, and prominent financial institutions across Canada to run workshops that were delivered by the project’s participants to raise awareness of the issues surrounding older women poverty and low financial literacy.