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article imageOp-Ed: Middle-aged Americans short on life insurance

By Dusty Wright     Oct 3, 2013 in Business
Due to the shaky U.S. economy, millions of middle-aged Americans are passing over life insurance coverage because of a lack of stability in their personal finances.
Studies show that the average American only has about $3,000 in savings, and economic uncertainty means more individuals are in a risky financial position. A New York Life survey released in Sept. 2013 shows that Generation X (people born from 1965 through 1976) reported life insurance needs almost $449,000 greater than what their current coverage provides. According to the survey, 20 percent of Gen Xers reported zero life insurance coverage. In 2008, just 15 percent of the same age group reported no coverage.
Due to the lack of coverage, the Gen Xers’ risk profile is increasing, leaving them exposed when unexpected death occurs. Given the state of the economy, more Americans in general are taking more risks in order to save cash, such as bypassing health and auto insurance. Families are also underestimating what they need in insurance because they tend to focus on paying immediate bills such as utility and cellphone payments.
“Life insurance ranks at the top of the list of things consumers know they probably should buy, but get no personal enjoyment from whatsoever,” writes Matt Krantz of USA Today. “There's just no happy way to look at life insurance. In the best-case scenario, life insurance is just another bill to pay. And in the worst case, your family collects the benefits, but unfortunately you're dead.”
Because of the unpleasant nature of the topic, many people would rather avoid discussing the financial implications of their death. Many consumers often don’t quantify the economic impact of an untimely death and skip the whole planning process.
Going without life insurance can leave a person’s family, spouse or other dependents facing enormous bills and financial obligations with little or reduced income. Coverage is especially needed when individuals are in their 20s and 30s. During this period of life, consumers have accrued more liabilities than assets.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Economy, Middleaged Americans, US economy, Life insurance
 
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