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Being Someone Else’s (and your own) Financial Expert

Partake in networking with others to offer your skills to the young and old.

Photo of Anum Moon
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

The research phase shed light on some of the issues or complaints elders had when it came to learning about financial services and relevant technology available. One of them referred to the impersonality that comes with today’s financial services. People 50 and over never grew up with online banking or online education. They were and are more accustomed to meeting with a banker and discussing their financial services and opportunities. In today’s day and age, it is vital for individuals to be up

Our purpose is to create an environment where elders as comfortable learning about financial opportunities and advancements in services or technology that comes with them. One prospective way to do that is to create a community that allows high schoolers, college students, and working adults to lend their time to impart some knowledge on the older population. This is a great way for both parties involved to benefit from participating. The idea is similar to the buddy system where each elder will be paired with a buddy (younger person) to help them with anything ranging from technical skills to financial services. Those who are interested in doing this will go through some light training, but are not meant to be experts in all things finance. Instead they are able to hone in on the skills they are most comfortable sharing. Additionally, the hope is to have a big enough community where the resources and knowledge network are able to withstand any questions that the beneficiaries may have.

This community is designed to be coherent across many regions and can even be scalable to have an international reach. The most attractive factor of this proposition is the is the inclusion of all reasonable ages. High schoolers can be trained by college students or adults and vice versa on numerous skill sets that can allow them to help the elder community. By including students, we can bring this initiative to campuses. This community is also able to partner with other organizations in order to gain recognition and attract more individuals who may be interested in providing their skill sets.

It may be difficult to understand why people may give up their time and efforts. However, like all other volunteering orgs, the motivation is intrinsic. People will naturally be inclined to help if they see the that their efforts are making a change. By buddying up with an elder, volunteers will be able to see the transition before their eyes.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The best way to initialize this idea would be to start at a local campus or school in order to see if there is interest in this sort of organization. Building a network with other volunteering orgs can allow there to be talk of hosting events together or sharing resources to aid the elders. Additionally, it would be great to see if credit unions would be interested in associating with this type of organization. We will then be able to see the response from both the volunteers and the elders.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

OpenIDEO participants can help by providing insight on their experiences relevant to the one proposed here or any other suggestions that can help refine/maintain this idea.

Tell us about your work experience:

We are students are the University of Texas at Austin studying Management Information Systems.

Please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration


Join the conversation:

Photo of Imran Williams

Hello Anum and team. I like the idea of creating a community that shares and brings forth knowledge and support. 

The question I have for you and your team is, What benefits do the people who give up their time get?
This is due to in places people have no time to even sit down or play with their children. So how could you show this to be a benefit for them sparing the time they have left in the day to help out?

Another question is how does this idea help these individuals achieve their dreams? Is there a system where the buddy helps them financially then also to accomplish their life ling dream of buying a yacht? Or is it a system where its more about finances and dreams are no longer accessible?   

Photo of Anum Moon

Hi Imran, 

Firstly thank you for your questions! 

To answer the first, my team and I are all college students so we really tried to think in the perspective of students. In an ideal world, the members of this organization would help purely out of intrinsic motivations. However, realistically we know that is not always the case. As students, we have to log in hours for volunteering services completed. This is where students try to find organizations that they can be a part of and put forth their personal time. We hope that this would provide incentive for people to join. Also there is a win win situation in place here;  not only are you educating the elder, but you are educating yourself in topics you may not have dabbled in before. Like any philanthropic organization, you have to rely on the willingness of others to contribute.

As for the second question, this organization is meant to educate elderly and those who are entering that age on financial topics that they are not familiar with. The indirect purpose is to utilize that knowledge to better handle their finances in order to accomplish dreams.  Every partnership (buddy and elder) will be subjective based on the situation at hand. If the elder wants to focus on strictly gaining knowledge for themselves or to base their sessions on a more personal level, they they can do so. 

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