Financial Well-being: A conceptualization and research agenda

With savings rates at record lows and inadequate long-term financial planning for retirement, financial well-being has become an important topic for individuals and households as well as for societies and countries. Research on the topic, however, remains scarce and scattered across disciplines. The present paper aims to consolidate and extend knowledge on financial well-being and makes a three-fold contribution to the discussion. First, we propose a new definition based on a perceptual perspective of financial well-being and link it to an individual’s current and anticipated desired living standard and financial freedom. We then develop a framework that distinguishes key elements of financial well-being; namely, interventions and financial behaviors, consequences, contextual factors, and personal factors. We then present a research agenda to guide future research on financial well-being. This work is designed to inspire researchers to continue expanding the knowledge so that financial institutions can take measures to increase financial well-being.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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