Monday, April 29th, 2013 | | |
Have you heard of Generation D? I didn’t think so. But according to a recent report from consulting firm Accenture, Generation D is an emerging and important investor segment of the market.
Cyril Tuohy of InsuranceNewsNet recently published some details of Generation D saying that both the financial crisis of 2008 and the rise of social media as a means to access investment advice have given rise to a different kind of investor, one that is skeptical of financial advisors.
So, who is Generation D? Generation D is not defined by traditional generational divisions but by their behavior. They are 75 million strong representing a cross-section of so-called Millennials (26%), Generation Xers (48%) and the Baby Boomers (25%).
Members of Generation D are less likely to view advisors as a trusted resource for investment advice than previous generations, the Accenture survey found. For example, a total of 59% of Gen D members actively sought advice recently but only 40% looked to their financial advisor for guidance.
Generation D represents 44% of the U.S. population with nearly $27 trillion in assets that will be passed on to heirs in the coming decades, but they are skeptical of the markets. Accenture was surprised at how conservative the Millennials are and how they equate investing in the market to gambling.
Millennials the Most Skeptical
Generation D skepticism toward financial institutions is most prevalent among the Millennials, with this group of 21- to 30-year-olds seeking information across multiple channels to confirm or corroborate investment advice.
While 71% of Generation D Millennials are currently investing, only 22% do so through an advisor, the survey found, and as many as 28% of Millennials would not take a financial advisor’s advice without first consulting another source.
Gen Xers, meanwhile, are as likely to be self-directed investors as they are to use a dedicated advisor, while Boomers still value a personal relationship with their advisors, the survey found.
While the LIFE Foundation does not deal with pure financial products, we do consider ourselves experts in the area of life insurance and related products. Our goal is to make these products easier to understand through digital resources, social media, motivational videos and blogs.
According to Accenture, members of Generation D are often more conservative and risk averse than many advisors give them credit for, and they are going to expect digital, online and mobile channels to be “seamlessly woven into the overall customer experience,” the report said.
The LIFE Foundation has anticipated these needs and provides the financial community a wealth of digital resources for consumers and for agents and advisors to use with these skeptical investors in the new digital world.
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 | | |
Only 24% of moms are satisfied with their current financial situation and one-quarter admitted they are struggling to make ends meet or are worried about their financial future. However, only one-third of moms currently use the services of a financial professional to help them with their investments and/or insurance needs.
These are some startling stats from the moms who were surveyed for “State of the American Mom Study” released by MassMutual and conducted by Forbes Consulting Group, LLC. The study was comprised of 1,014 interviews with American women who are financially responsible for children under the age of 27. Interviews were conducted among mothers aged 25-65 with household incomes greater than $50,000 who contributed at least 40% to decisions regarding financial matters in their household.
When it comes to insurance, the data shows that moms may be putting their families in a vulnerable position: 46% of moms surveyed do not own disability income insurance and an even larger number (68%) do not own long-term care insurance—both key to help ensure financial stability for the long term.
The following are a few key tips from MassMutual to help moms get their finances on track:
- Be prepared. Emergencies aren’t predictable. Set up an emergency account now to help protect yourself and avoid finding yourself in a troubling financial situation.
- Protect your income. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you provide valuable services to your family that may trigger out-of-pocket expenses should something ever happen to you. With the help of a financial professional, you can explore available options to ensure that you’re planning ahead, no matter what the future holds.
- Guard your independence. Long-term care insurance is one option that allows you to have a plan in place to help protect your assets and remain as independent as possible, if you require the need for long-term care.
- Plan now (not later). Don’t procrastinate when it comes to planning for your financial future. No one knows what the future brings, so now is the time to sit down and think about how to pass your assets – but not your taxes – to your heirs.
- Have the talk. Schedule monthly meetings to sit down with your spouse or significant other to discuss your finances. It’s critical for both people to have a full understanding of all debt and assets in order to build a realistic plan.
These are excellent suggestions from Mass Mutual, but an even better one is to sit down with a financial professional or agent to review your current situation, determine the problem areas and put together a plan of action with appropriate solutions. A good place to start for a young family is with the LIFE Foundation’s educational resources here.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 | | |
What would happen if you suffered a catastrophic medical event, such as a stroke or an accident that leaves you unable to communicate. How would you “have a say” about the type of care you receive—or don’t receive. The answer is an advance directive.
Every adult should plan ahead by completing an advance directive that specifies his or her personal preferences regarding what are acceptable and unacceptable medical treatments. There are two types of advance directives:
A living will: This legal document states your preferences regarding the type of medical care or treatment you want to receive (or don’t) in different scenarios if you are incapacitated and cannot communicate.
Medical power of attorney: Also known as a durable power of attorney for health care or a health care proxy, a medical power of attorney names another person, such as your spouse, daughter or son, to make medical decisions for you if you are no longer able to make medical decisions for yourself, or you are unable to communicate your preferences. Note that a medical power of attorney is not the same as a power of attorney, which gives another person the authority to act on your behalf on matters you specify, such as handling your financial affairs.
Here are some important points to remember:
- Each state regulates advance directives differently. As a result, you may wish to involve an attorney in the preparation of your advance directive
- You can modify, update or cancel an advance directive at any time, in accordance with state law.
- If you spend a good deal of time in several states, you may want to have an advance directive for each state.
- Make sure that the person you name to act for you—your health care proxy—has current copies of your advance directive.
- Give a copy of your advance directive to your physician and, if appropriate, your long-term care facility.
Be sure to contact your agent or financial advisor for more information.
Friday, February 15th, 2013 | | |
“Let’s pay down $10 million of debt—together.” That’s the kind idea the LIFE Foundation is excited to get behind. And that’s why we are helping to sponsor the Debt Movement, the brainchild of Jeff Rose of GoodFinancialCents, which is creating a community of people focused on getting rid of their debt.
While the main focus of this blog is to help you better understand how life insurance and related products are an important element in your financial plan, we also know that no financial plan is sound—or can be built on—if it is weighed down with too much debt.
We also understand how hard it is to take that first step, look your debt in the eye and start to make changes. But that’s the beauty of the Debt Movement—you are not doing this alone. More than 2,000 people have joined the movement and have paid down $180,000 so far.
By joining the movement you can:
Take the first step, and just click to learn more.
We at LIFE wish you luck! And let’s us know how you’re doing.
Friday, January 25th, 2013 | | |
It all started to sink in when I was in college.
My dad kept telling me how he was having his house reappraised.
At first I didn’t get it.
And then it finally clicked.
The reason for his reappraisals was so that his home could be valued more and he then could borrow more against it.
The realization left me lost for words and understanding.
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