Increased individual responsibility
The number of financial decisions that individuals have to make is increasing as a consequence of changes in the market and the economy. For instance, longer life expectancy means individuals need to ensure that they accumulate savings to cover much longer periods of retirement. People also need to assume more responsibility for funding personal or family healthcare needs. Moreover, increasing education costs make it important for parents to plan and invest adequately for their children’s education. Even when individuals use the services of financial intermediaries and advisors, they need to understand what is being offered or advised. The individual is responsible for the financial product he or she decides to purchase, and the individual will face all the consequences of the choice. In addition, the current economic and financial environment can make it even more difficult for individuals to find and remain in a stable and salaried occupation.
All of these trends have transferred the responsibility of major financial decisions to individuals. At the same time, they have both enlarged the options for the majority of the population (including new financial consumers) and increased the level of complexity they face. Against this backdrop, individuals are expected to be sufficiently financially literate and entrepreneurial to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their relatives and ensure their financial well-being including by coping with unexpected events and/or developing their own source of income.