Consumers pulled in two directions

At work they are more and more specialized, but in their personal lives, consumers are expected to be generalists, highly educated and highly motivated, but generalists.

"We're expected to be investment banker for our retirements and college savings. An insurance broker to cover our house and increasingly for our health. We are expected to read lawyerly fine print in practically every nook and cranny of our lives," says Peter Gosselin, author of High Wire. "And if they're not done you're in danger."

In the past, much of this work was done by employers and the government and there were fewer rip offs out there.

Consumers are stressed because they know they are out gunned by professionals, out of time and perhaps out of luck.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.