An uncertain future: challenges for individuals

When it comes to saving, there can be a number of challenges and barriers. The performance of the economy, housing costs and the labour market all have a significant influence. Earnings growth and inflation can have a direct impact on our ability to save.

At an individual level, our personal circumstances, preferences, motivations and behaviours similarly play a key role. Some of us, for example, don’t engage with the future because we find it hard to think about and plan for later life and death.

To add to these barriers, there are issues of financial inclusion and education. Some, particularly young people, can find it hard to access mainstream financial products because they don’t have the necessary paperwork. Others find financial products, and pensions, complex and confusing. Without the right financial knowledge and understanding, people can feel disempowered and unable to take control of their finances.

There can also be a ‘push and pull’ between short-term and long-term needs. It can, for instance, be very rational to spend money to replace a washing machine, or on a family holiday, rather than saving more for the long term.

In the third Nest Insight 2017 conference video, our panellists explore the individual and household-level challenges and barriers to building adequate savings and talk us through some possible solutions.

Chair: Matthew Blakstad, Nest Insight


  • Claire Turner, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Thomas Post, Maastricht University
  • Sian Williams, Toynbee Hall