Financial illiteracy is widespread amongst the elderly. Financially illiterate people are more likely to experience asset loss and outlive their savings after retirement. This paper measures financial literacy of elderly Australians using Item Responses Theory. Using a Lasso regression, we find that younger, married males with higher income and greater net wealth are more likely to be financially literate. Better financial literacy is also associated with good health, higher educational attainment, better occupation and outright home ownership. Our findings suggest policy‐makers take action and we make informed and practicable policy recommendations.