Estate planning is a crucial component to establishing a financial framework that's built to last. In fact, life insurance – in and of itself – is something that everyone should have, whether raising a family or living independently. But you wouldn't know it based on many Americans' flawed assumptions about who ought to have coverage and who can afford going without it.
According to a recent survey conducted by Life Happens, a non-profit organization, a large percentage of Americans believe that people with high-risk job professions are more in need of life insurance than people whose careers are sedentary.
Over 33 percent say Agent 007 needs life insurance more than Homer Simpson
This mistaken belief even applies in the fictional world of television and the silver screen. For instance, more than one-third of respondents said that secret agent James Bond needs life insurance more than other household name characters, be it in novels, TV dramas or comedy series. This compares to only 18 percent of people who selected Homer Simpson – who has held several different jobs in his 20 years on television – as someone who should have life insurance and just 6 percent citing Phil Dunphy of "Modern Family" fame. Dunphy plays a real estate agent in the popular, Emmy-award winning ABC comedy.
Marvin Feldman, president and CEO of Life Happens, pointed out that while Bond may risk life and limb in his pursuit for justice, he really doesn't have anyone relying on him, like children.
"Parents and breadwinners like Homer Simpson and Phil Dunphy are the ones most in need of life insurance, which would allow their families to be OK financially if they were to die," explained Feldman. "The data supports the fact that Americans need to better understand the important role that life insurance plays for people just like them."
Feldman added that it isn't just parents who need to have life insurance. So long as people have loved ones in their lives, life insurance is essential.
"Life insurance serves as a source of financial stability and security."
"Whether you are married, single, retired, or a stay-at-home parent, life insurance can provide essential assistance to your loved ones when you are no longer able to provide for them," Feldman said. "If you love someone, someone loves you, or you owe someone money, you need life insurance."
1 in 3 say they need more life insurance
Even among those who do have life insurance – nearly 130 million Americans rely on it for financial security, according to worldwide research organization LIMRA – many don't have enough of it. It's estimated that nearly one-third of life insurance policyholders know they need more coverage to effectively protect their financial interests.
Leveraged planning is one of the most effective ways to make the most of life insurance because it pays the premiums on a high value policy. For more information on how it can work for your clients, speak with a Global Financial Distributors advisor.