N.W. Mutual poll flags varying motivations for life purchases

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter


By Warren S. Hersch

The motivations underpinning the purchase of life insurance and planning future financial security vary significantly by age and lifestyle, new research reveals.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee arrives at this conclusion in the final of a three-part survey offering insights into financial planning across generations.

The poll found that young Americans between ages 18 and 34 who have life insurance are more likely to have purchased life insurance due to the birth of a child than those age 55-plus (28% versus 16%, respectively)

More than one-third (36%) of Americans over age 55 who have life insurance were prompted to buy life insurance as a result of marriage and 31% were prompted as part of a retirement plan, the report reveals.

Individuals between ages 45 and 54 who have life insurance were prompted by marriage (39%), followed by retirement planning (25%) and homeownership (25%). This group had the highest percentage than any other age group when asked how secure they feel as a result of owning life insurance (69%), the report states.

When asked what provides Americans with the greatest peace of mind, the generations once again stood apart:
  • 18 – 34 years olds (35%) are significantly more likely than those ages 35-54 to have peace of mind as a result of knowing all their debts are paid.

  • Both 35 – 44 (34%) year olds and 45 – 54 (36%) year olds derive the greatest peace of mind knowing that their family will be provided for in the event of their unexpected death.

  • Those aged 18-34 (68%) and 45-54 (58%) who have life insurance were significantly more likely to have been motivated to purchase life insurance in order to provide for their loved ones.

  • Those who are 55-plus (31%) find the most peace of mind in knowing that they will have enough money to live in retirement.
The report further notes that those 18 – 34 (10%) who have life insurance were significantly more likely than age 35-44 (2%) to have purchased life insurance in order to leave an inheritance to heirs or a charity/non-profit.

Among those who own life insurance, when considering expenses in order to determine the amount of life insurance needed:
  • 18 - 34 year olds (27%) were significantly more likely than those 45 and older to indicate that they would have factored in education expenses.

  • 45 - 54 year olds were most likely to have factored in their mortgage (40%) compared to those 18-34 (21%) and 55-plus (24%).
Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com