By: James W. Kerley, LLIF, LIMRA and LOMA Chief Membership Officer
According to LIMRA research, Americans’ top financial concern is having enough money for retirement. This is even more pronounced with Generations X and Y consumers, where 75 percent list saving for retirement as their top priority.
Hats off to the financial services industry for doing such a remarkable job of promoting the importance of saving and planning for retirement.
However, sometimes the plans we make simply don’t turn out as we expected. Sometimes people don’t live to enjoy retirement. Life insurance provides financial security to your loved ones when you are unable to. Our industry needs to balance the message of saving for retirement with the message of protecting against the unexpected.
There are 58 million households underinsured, according to LIMRA research. Seven in ten families with children under 18 – that’s 11 million families – would be in financial jeopardy if the primary wage earner died. We need to do a better job of conveying the value of life insurance as part of a holistic financial strategy.
Why don’t people buy life insurance? The top reason consumers give is cost. But our research from the 2013 Insurance Barometer Study found that Americans generally overestimate the cost of life insurance almost three-fold. Additionally, the majority of consumers procrastinate buying life insurance because they don’t know how much they need or where to turn for information.
We must renew our efforts to communicate the benefits of life insurance in a way that will engage and educate consumers. The dreams of retirement are worth planning for, especially when you know that your family is protected if your retirement dream is cut short because of an untimely death.