What people say doesn't always align with what they do. Such is the case with life insurance, a study commissioned by New York Life finds.
According to the study, most Americans don't buy enough life insurance to secure the level of protection they say they would want for their families if they were to die. The average American registered an insurance shortfall of $320,000.
Generation Xers posted the biggest gap of any group. Although average Gen Xers said they would want their life insurance policies to cover $708,996, they purchased only $260,000 in coverage, creating a coverage gap of $448,996. Millenials and baby boomers, in contrast, had gaps of $370,744 and $267,016, respectively.
The gap has widened substantially for Gen Xers since the financial crisis. From 2008 to 2013, the amount of life insurance coverage they have in place fell 35% to $260,000 from $400,000. The gap affects more than half (56%) of Gen Xers, according to the study.
"Gen Xers have been severely impacted by the economic downturn and the gap is a clear indication of what is at risk," says Chris Blunt, president of the insurance group at New York Life. "Gen Xers, who may be focused on financial obligations that have to do with their children, their home, planning for retirement and maybe even taking care of their elderly parents, are lacking a foundation of financial protection that life insurance provides."
The study is based on two separate surveys - one online, one telephone. Both surveys polled 1,000 Americans age 25 and over with dependents and annual household incomes of at least $50,000.
Margarida Correia is Associate Editor for Bank Investment Consultant, a SourceMedia publication.
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