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Grants will support innovative digital tools to help older adults stay financially secure

Arlington, VA (September 8, 2020) – The National Council on Aging (NCOA), a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well, has been awarded over $1 million from two leading foundations to support the organization’s innovative digital tools that improve older adults’ financial security.

The two new grants will be used to enhance NCOA’s online solutions that enable older adults to assess their financial situation, connect to benefits programs, and explore creative ways to make their money last.

Even before the pandemic, Americans were facing a retirement crisis. A recent analysis by NCOA and the LeadingAge LTSS Center @ UMass Boston found that 80% of households with older adults—or 32 million—are financially struggling today or are at risk of falling into economic insecurity as they age. The COVID-19 crisis has greatly exacerbated this situation, especially for older adults of color.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation awarded $750,000 to NCOA to modernize the organization’s respected BenefitsCheckUp®, a free and confidential online tool where older adults can see if they’re eligible for thousands of federal, state, and private benefits programs to help pay for food, medicine, utilities, and more.

The grant also will be used to build and harness artificial intelligence capabilities for NCOA’s soon-to-be-released Age Well Planner tool. Scheduled to launch this Fall, the platform will offer simple online assessments and personalized results for older adults to maximize their health insurance coverage, manage debt and credit, and maintain their income and savings as they age.

The RRF Foundation for Aging also awarded NCOA $300,000 to support the infrastructure and design of Age Well Planner, as well as essential user testing to make sure the tool delivers real value to older adults.

“Now more than ever, older adults need trusted, unbiased information on how to make the most of their financial resources,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO. “We’re grateful that these leading foundations share our vision for using technology to simplify these complex decisions and reach the rapidly growing population of older adults.”

Earl Millett, Weinberg Foundation Program Officer, commented, “NCOA’s ability to deliver vital services through technology designed from the ground up with older adults’ needs in mind is evident once again in the Age Well Planner. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is proud to support this important effort.”

“Empowering older people to make choices that improve their financial security in retirement is embedded in NCOA’s DNA,” said Mary O’Donnell, President of the RRF Foundation for Aging. “RRF’s investment in NCOA’s promising technology approaches align so well with our foundation’s strategic priority area of Economic Security in Later Life and our commitment to collaborate with other funders and organizations that are leaders in innovation.”

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.