Changes in Life Stages and Financial Needs MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. I, No. 8 October 1994


Every financial product or service meets one or more of the five basic consumer financial needs: transactions, credit, protection, asset accumulation, and information and advice. These five basic financial needs are all present at every stage of a household's life. The degree of importance of each need, however, varies depending on what life stage the household is in. The strength of each need also changes, growing or declining somewhat during the course of a household's specific stage. If a household does not progress smoothly from one stage to the next, but skips a stage or reverts to an earlier stage—such as a married household bypassing the children-rearing stage or a preretired household belatedly having young children—then the commensurate shift in the household's financial needs can be even more extreme.