Most business owners, CEOs and executives are laser focused on driving their business or enterprise towards success. They are responsible for preserving and expanding sales and revenue. They are responsible for hiring and firing. They are responsible to investors and stakeholders to manage risk and ensure success. They handle client relationships, research and development, marketing and IT… As leaders they wear many hats and carry a lot of weight on their shoulders.
The purpose of life insurance is to manage risk. Individuals and families need protection in the event a primary bread winner passes away.
Several factors drive what life insurance costs for an individual. Women tend to live longer, so their cost for life insurance is lower than it is for men. The healthier a person is, the less expensive it is for them to obtain life insurance. People who smoke pay significantly more for life insurance.
I have had four clients experience the passing of a beloved family member in the past 6 months. All ages, all walks of life. To a person they struggle with the desire to have their father or spouse or daughter back with them again, and how to move forward without them.
I have lost both of my parents; my mother passed away at 42 from lung cancer. I know the pain they suffer. Looking back, her illness and death really hurt my father and younger brother financially. She didn’t have life insurance. Due to the illness many of the family’s assets were exhausted. My father and brother did the best that they could do, but it was a difficult journey.
A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute examined how robotics will affect labor and the economy. The study estimated that 800 million jobs (1/5 of all jobs) will be impacted by advances in robotics.
Among the jobs most impacted include brokers, accountants, office staff, machine operators, and food service. Lower skilled, repetitive tasks are most likely to be replaced.
What does this mean for family finances in the years to come?
In the United States, there is a huge number of households which are unprotected or under protected by Life Insurance. In a recent LIMRA study 7 in 10 households believe would be in serious financial distress if an adult in the household passed away.
37 million households have no life insurance.
Another 33 million households do not have sufficient life insurance to count themselves as protected.
Loss of a parent shatters the life of a child. Period.
Loss of a parent’s love.
Loss of a guide through life’s challenges.
Loss of protection and security.
These are losses that are beyond measure and replacement. But the truth is these losses can be worsened by the financial impact that comes from a lack of planning and losing a parent.
7 in 10 of all households said they would have trouble covering everyday living expenses after several months if the primary wage earner died.
My son was born when I was 30 years old. Honestly, I didn’t get life insurance until I was 36. I had never been taught the importance of using Life Insurance to manage risk and protect your family. Recent studies show that I’m not alone. There is a huge gap in the level of financial literacy in the United States.
According to a recent study by LIMRA;
- Among households with children under 18, 4 in 10 say they would suffer immediate financial trouble if a primary wage earner died today.
- Another 3 in 10 would have trouble keeping up with basic living expenses after several months.
- Overall, 7 in 10 of all households said they would have trouble covering everyday living expenses after several months if the primary wage earner died.
To be clear 37 million households have no life insurance… none…
In March of 2017 a landmark study was released connecting financial security and death rates in the United States. The information is sobering and should be the focus of policy changes at all levels of government.
A recent study by Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton titled, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century,” shows the connection between the rising mortality rates of the middle class in the US and “a measurable deterioration in economic and social wellbeing”.
This deterioration has not suddenly developed. Rather, “Case and Deaton document an accumulation of pain, distress, and social dysfunction in the lives of working class whites that took hold as the blue-collar economic heyday of the early 1970s ended, and continued through the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery.”
Every day millions are helped to improve their lives due to the generosity of others. As a community we each have a stake in the success of every individual, every family. Many organizations that make massive positive contributions are struggling due to cutbacks in government supports.
We as stakeholders in American society have a responsibility to give back and help those less fortunate. A recent example of this ethos:
“The $219 million gift from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, announced Wednesday, shatters the previous record for a single donation to U-Md. — $31 million — set three years ago. It is also among the most significant gifts to any public university in the country, coming at a time when many schools have ramped up fundraising to offset declines in state support.”
In the past few months I have seen several friends pass away…
I have seen several people in my circle struggle with illness, addiction and disability…
All are under the age of 50. None of them planned on what happened to them.
None of them planned on the impact it would have on those around them.
Life is not a straight line.
We all are forced to deal with situations that are beyond our control.