Planning for the future: the difficulties people face

Karen Rowlingson
25th May 2000

There is a growing emphasis on individuals planning for their own futures, rather than relying on the State.

But, at the same time, social and economic change - such as decreased job security and a rising divorce rate - have made individual planning much more difficult.

This report explores the extent to which people think about and plan for the future in relation to the key economic and social aspects of their lives. How do people see their-lives one year from now? Five years? Ten? How much control do they think they have over their futures and how far ahead do they plan?

Previous research in this area has either focused on specific policy areas, such as pensions, or has taken a broad theoretical approach. Faith, hope and insecurity is based on in-depth interviews with a cross-section of the public. It draws on this empirical research to explore the general nature and extent of people's future planning and to highlight the policy implications of the attitudes revealed.