Volatility is inaccessible
In recent days, the US stock market is down ~10% from its all time high. Bitcoin and Ethereum (and most other cryptos) were down >50% from their November high, and have only slightly recovered from the low.
The majority of people in the world never invest anything because they either
- don't have enough money leftover after covering basic necessities
- don't prioritize investing even if they could
- don't trust that the market will continue to go up over time
The last reason is fueled by media coverage of market crashes. If you're not looking at charts and data, and instead just relying on what you hear from the news, why would you invest?
In the US, company-sponsored pensions used to be the most common way for the average person to provide for their needs in retirement. The main problem with this was a lack of portability. If you stopped working for that company (by choice or otherwise) you were generally not eligible for pension funds.
Now, Social Security is a government-run pension that follows you regardless of where you work. The problem is that there's not enough funding to cover even fairly basic living expenses for most people.
The only real way to provide for yourself in retirement is through your 401(k), IRA, taxable accounts, crypto investments, etc. You have to invest on your own and expose yourself to volatility.
This will always be the most optimized solution and will result in the greatest chance of wealth for the average person. But as I stated, not everyone will do this.
I believe the most viable long-term solution is a decentralized global pension built on blockchain. This would allow for portable, guaranteed income in retirement without volatility and without allowing centralized entities to mismanage the treasury.
P.S. This is the kind of accessible DeFi that's impossible today because of the fees pensioners would have to pay just to use the blockchain.