In the UK, we are facing a cliff edge for our next generation. We have a generation that is unable to secure their financial futures because the constructs we have put in place to generate wealth and provide financial security for earlier generations, are irrelevant for the majority of them.
Our newspapers are littered with the headlines. The next generation is spending more on coffee than on their pensions. They need to trade in avocados for mortgages. They don’t stay in jobs for long enough. Their attitude to money is irresponsible. Their wanderlust lifestyles mean that they’ll never enjoy financial security. Headlines that lead us to believe that if only they did something differently, they’d be able to live the lives and enjoy the financial security that we do.
Would they? Because I don’t believe we do.
It’s time to be honest.
In a world that spins on money, how many of you believe you are financially secure because, like me, you did all the right things – went to university, climbed the career ladder, worked to earn a decent salary, now own a home and a car, have no bill that really keeps you up at night.
By the way, if the above sounds familiar, we’re the lucky ones. But honestly, how secure is that really?
The pension you keep paying into, are you truly confident it will pay out enough to fund your retirement? Is it a mortgage or a home that you own? Could you really afford to replace that car without wincing? How many paycheques are you away from default – a mortgage default, a pension that won’t pay out enough, a savings account that won’t keep the wolves from the door?
Not completely secure. But with the wealth of financial services on offer and the small changes to policies we keep seeing, we can just about afford to tolerate this.
Next generations cannot.
We cannot keep designing pension policies for a generation that may not see a retirement age. We should not still be developing mortgage products for the generation that may never own a home. We need to rethink how we enable a generation to save, when they are experiencing a cost of living that is the highest it has ever been. And guess what. It will never be this cheap again.
So many financial products currently available now are not relevant to them today and we can’t keep expecting to just iterate and tweak these to make them fit.
We have to wake up.
We have to be honest.
We have to realise that if we really care about future generations being financially secure, we need to fundamentally rethink how we will deliver financial services and products that will serve them.
Some people already are.
The Chartered Insurance Institute, Dame Inga Beale, Jude Kelly CBE, and Jane Portas amongst others are on a relentless mission to insure financial future of women amongst sobering research.
Roi Tavor left Julius Baer to build nummo.com that aims to “help those who need it the most. With less than 1% of the population owning 46% of global wealth, financial wellness will become one of the most pressing issues of this century.”
And I have no doubt that Sophie Howe, the world’s first – and only – future generations commissioner, is about to hit the ground running applying a focus on future issues that hasn’t been seen before.
But it is not enough. There is so much more we have to do. And we at Rainmaker are going to drive this change.
We are identifying and working with the financial institutions and the government bodies that care, and the exceptional thinkers within them who understand that this stuff matters.
The ones who recognise that not only will designing services that solve for it secure a better future for the next generations, but a better future for them too. Because they know that the institutions that do not change, the ones that actively decide to keep sustaining mediocrity rather than anticipating the needs of their future customers and designing for them, will sunset. And rightfully deserve to.
And with those people, the ones ready to win, we’re going to reimagine this industry and start creating a market that doesn’t yet exist.
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