Insurance agents regularly approach new moms and dads about buying term life insurance to make sure their children will be cared for until adulthood.
But people’s insurance needs shift depending on their stage in life, and their reasons for getting life insurance can vary, as well. Not keeping their policies in sync with their life stage can mean they risk leaving loved ones in the lurch.
“Every five years, you should revisit your life insurance profile—where you are, where your kids are, where your business is,” said Elizabeth Scheiderer, a financial advisor with NCA Financial Planners. “Sadly, too many families are underinsured.”
When we’re thinking logically, we know we should buy life insurance. And yet so many of us don’t.
When asked about it, people say it costs too much, or they don’t have time to sort through its complexities. But those may just be excuses cooked up by the subconscious, according to a new study.
The decline of life insurance
Over the past half-century, the share of Americans who own life insurance has dropped from 70% to an all-time low of 59%, according to Jennifer Douglas, associate research director at LIMRA, an insurance and financial services industry research group. “We’ve been looking at that decline for decades now.”
We all know that Americans are living longer than in generations past and that this impacts retirement planning. An ongoing debate rages about how much money is needed for retirement, at what age we should start taking social security benefits, and when or if we should retire at all.
How long we will live is, of course, a great unknown. Many clients don’t like thinking about it, but it has a tremendous impact on how we should plan and how much needs to be saved. Yet even though we likely haven’t considered exactly how long we will live, companies that manage retirement dollars have and so has the government which oversees our social security payouts. And guess what, they may have it all wrong.
First, some statistics on longevity in America which may surprise you.
- Since 1900, the average life expectancy has increased by 31 years, so the average American can now expect to live past age 78.
- The number of Americans 100 or older has risen by an astounding 2,200% since 1950. More than 53,000 centenarians call the United States home.
- 47% of baby boomers are at risk of outliving their retirement savings.
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