Understanding resources in later life: views and experiences of older people

This report explores how older people plan, use and value the resources available to them. Increasing life expectancy means that resources in later life have to be planned and managed over longer periods. Resources in this project include health, social contacts, community and neighbourhood resources, housing and transport, as well as money. The research explores access to these resources, their importance in older people’s lives, and how they interact. Different types of planning for retirement and the factors that infl uence plans and outcomes are described. People’s thoughts about, and plans for, the future are also explored. Finally, the implications of the fi ndings for government policy and for future research are refl ected on. A qualitative longitudinal approach was used, to interview a panel of 91 respondents aged 65 to 84 to investigate the consequences of changes in circumstances in later life. This report is based on the fi rst wave of interviews. It is of interest to policymakers, practitioners and academics involved in provision for people in later life.