Survey: Couples rarely talk about life insurance
By State Farm® Agent Brent Cooper
A recent State Farm survey shows many people understand the need for life insurance is important but acknowledge the conversation with their spouse might be uncomfortable. Seventy-four percent of couples say they rarely or never discuss the topic. This is particularly true in households with one wage earner.
With women increasingly filling the role of primary breadwinner, financial and emotional stressors weigh heavily on their decision to discuss life insurance at home, and research finds that among couples unlikely to discuss the topic, women are even more likely to remain silent.
The state of the economy influenced the responders. The survey found that more than half of Americans are now focused solely on protecting what they have versus working to achieve their financial goals. Having the income to cover basic household needs (mortgage, rent, utilities and food) must come first.
An earlier study from the research firm LIMRA found that nearly one third of U.S. households currently have no life insurance, the highest level in more than 40 years.
For couples who struggle with discussing finances and life insurance, here are a few suggestions:
- Make A Plan. It can be empowering for couples to agree on goals and steps toward achieving a more secure future. For couples experiencing severe economic setbacks, it can be reassuring to have a strategy in place to get back on their feet financially and to prepare for the unexpected.
- Start Small. Often couples may feel the gap is too great between what they have to work with financially today versus what they would like to have in the future. But starting with small steps - such as getting educated about life insurance basics - can set the stage for follow-up steps later.
- Consult an expert. Bringing in a knowledgeable outside perspective can make the process of discussing life insurance easier and less stressful. These experts have experience guiding the conversation and answering questions. This can help avoid misunderstandings and unneeded stress.
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