Risks in Life

What are the Risks in Life?

There are 12 top-level financial Risks in Life, sometimes collectively referred to as Perils & Pitfalls. Each risk has been given a name to help us to remember them. Intersectional differences for different groups of people can lead to specific nuances in the Risks in Life and there are subsets – such as the Gender Pay Gap and the Ethnicity Pay Gap, the Girls’ Apprenticeship Gap. Similarly the Economic Abuse Threat is a subset of the Domestic Abuse Danger.

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Financial Capability Imperative

Financial Capability Imperative

Many of us find managing financial matters complicated. At the same time, we all face different combinations of Risks in Life and experience our own unique Financial Life Journey. Life is becoming less linear with more to consider in navigating our financial future.

Living longer, working longer, more flexibly, and changes in relationships means decisions about life and money are ever more complex, with implications for financial security. Being engaged in financial life decisions, seeking out and being afforded access to relevant financial information, guidance and advice empowers people to make informed decisions that reflect their Financial Life Journeys.

What does Risks in Life mean?

Risks in Life relate to our financial experience as a result of our life circumstances (such as our family background or living situation), our life decisions (for example, study, employment, relationship and retirement choices) and life events (such as parenthood, illness, bereavement).

These experiences present opportunities but also create risks to our financial wellbeing. Risks in Life form patterns according to our unique life journeys, left unchecked, they can add up to long-term consequences for our financial security.

Most of us are exposed to a series of Risks in Life, many of us will experience at least a few. However, circumstantial and intersectional differences give rise to different financial outcomes.

Whether young or old, whatever our gender, ethnicity or wider background we can all benefit from thinking about how Risks in Life might affect us, our family and friends, our colleagues, customers and wider society.

Trends in Risks in Life

Our society has changed over the years. For many people and especially for older generations, life has traditionally been lived over three stages – school life, working life and retirement- and many of our legal, social and financial systems are set up in this way.

Nowadays, as we live longer, we are working longer. At the same time, society is becoming increasingly liberal about the relationships and families we form. And, as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, we are also experiencing different health risks.

What all this means is that life is becoming less linear, multi-stage and our ways of living and working more flexible. It also means that we are experiencing Risks in Life more often, Financial Life Journeys are becoming more complex and the 6 Moments That Matter matter more.

How Risks in Life affect different groups of people

Our Risks in Life vary since we all experience our own unique set of life circumstances, life decisions and life events on our Financial Life Journey. Risks in Life can also be more pronounced for certain groups of people reflecting different intersections of society.

Women’s financial lives tend to be less linear than men’s due to their having children, and society’s expectations of women’s roles at work and for primary care. This, coupled with our traditional legal and socio-economic structures, makes women’s financial lives more complex and their Financial Life Journeys more difficult to navigate.

Similarly, as the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted, people of different ethnic backgrounds can experience obstacles to financial progression. Likewise Risks in Life vary for other groups such as people with disabilities, cultures and economic backgrounds.

Interactive Financial Life Journeys

See how the Risks in Life arise and accumulate throughout our lives, and how the 6 Moments That Matter help prompt individuals and organisations to make changes that improve Financial Life Journeys.


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