Exploring the living benefits of life insurance during Life Insurance Awareness Month can help address rising concerns around inflation and market volatility, preparing for taxes in retirement and business planning

08 September 2022

Cancer was the last thing on my mind as a healthy 32-year-old – I was too busy chasing after my infant daughter and keeping up with a bustling career. But then, after a sudden loss of weight, night sweats, and ultimately, a lump in my neck, the diagnosis came: Cancer. 

That was more than a decade ago. I’m incredibly thankful that with the help of excellent medical care and a supportive wife, I can call myself a survivor today. But I can still vividly remember the sudden fear that set in within moments of receiving the diagnosis, and then the dawning realization that I had not done everything I could to ensure that my young family would be financially prepared in the worst-case scenario. I was underinsured, and with an active cancer diagnosis, it was too late for me to do anything about it.

My family faced the unfortunate but all too-common truth when it comes to financial preparedness: You don’t really think about it until something happens that makes you question the future. In my case, I was uninsurable for several years after my recovery, and when I was ultimately eligible for life insurance again, I acted quickly to protect my family’s future.

My career path – and personal experiences – enabled me to understand the value of life insurance early. The death benefit protection provided by life insurance is so important in taking care of your loved ones after you’re gone, and just knowing you have a policy in place can create incredible peace of mind. But there’s more to life insurance than just the death benefit – and most U.S. adults have only a limited understanding of the total value of life insurance beyond the death benefit.

As consumers grapple with today’s uncertain economic climate, Lincoln recently released new research that underscores the value of life insurance. While more than half of respondents are aware of and understand how life insurance can financially support their family if they pass away, just 20% reported understanding other benefits associated with life insurance – access to cash value and supplemental retirement income, tax-advantaged wealth transfers and investment growth and small business succession planning.

 

Current economic climate fuels opportunity for education

Despite more than 80% of consumers wanting to better understand how they can protect against inflation and market volatility, only about 1 in 5 have reviewed or made changes to investments or financial plans to address either.1

According to LIMRA, nearly half of Gen X (49%) reports feeling financially insecure, followed by Millennials (44%), Gen Z (42%) and Baby Boomers (33%). Yet LIMRA also reports that two-thirds of people who own life insurance report feeling financially secure – with those who feel most secure owning life insurance through both their workplace and individual coverage.2

Insuring against uncertainty

Life Insurance Awareness Month is an opportune time to adopt an “if not now, when?” financial planning mindset. Throughout September, several experts from Lincoln Financial will shine a light on the often unknown or misunderstood living benefits of life insurance – protecting against inflation and market volatility, preparing for taxes in retirement and strengthening your business – that you can consider today to set you and your families up for financially sound tomorrows.

 

About the Author: Matt Grove

Executive Vice President Matt Grove is Head of Individual Life & Annuities and Lincoln Financial Network, providing executive leadership over these areas in alignment with Lincoln’s enterprise strategic direction.

For the Individual Life and Annuities businesses, this includes oversight of the continued design and manufacturing of Lincoln’s individual products, in-force management optimization and ensuring best-in-class service. Grove also oversees Lincoln Financial Network, the company’s retail broker-dealer network of independent financial professionals, where he is responsible for growing Lincoln’s advisor channels and expanding its managed accounts business.

Prior to joining Lincoln, Matt served as CEO and President of Resolution Life USA. Before joining Resolution Life USA in 2021, Matt was with New York Life Insurance Company for 11 years where he served as Co-Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, responsible for leading the company’s core business and serving on the company’s Executive Management Committee. During his 11-year career at New York Life, Matt led successively larger P&Ls, including its life insurance, annuity and wealth management businesses.

Before New York Life, Matt held senior positions at Jefferson National Life Insurance Company from 2003 to 2009, and prior to that Co-Founded Diginexus Corporation. He started his career as an investment banking analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.

 

Sources:

  1. Lincoln Financial Group, Consumer Sentiment Tracker, 1Q-2Q 2022
  2. LIMRA, 2022 Insurance Barometer Study, April 2022
 
 

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