Gen X and Life Insurance: Prime of Life, Peak of Stress

Perhaps more than anyone, members of Generation X (Gen X) — those born between 1965 and1980 — stand to benefit from having life insurance: Employees of that generation could be in their peak earning years but also under tremendous personal and financial pressure.

A life insurance policy could help relieve that pressure.

Weighing Gen Xers’ Finacial Stress

A contributing factor to Gen Xers’ financial stress is debt. Overall, debt is rising and delinquencies are up. In a survey from Schwab, 42% of Gen Xers said they are more focused on eliminating debt than on saving for retirement. Part of that could be because Gen Xers have more credit card debt — as well as more overall debt — than any other generation, according to Forbes. Gen Xers are also saddled with student loans. Experian found that the average Gen Xer’s student debt reached $39,584 in the first quarter of 2019. Much of that debt is their own, but some of it may be loans they took out for their children.

A lack of savings only compounds their financial situation. A PwC survey found that 34% of Gen Xers have less than $1,000 saved to deal with unexpected expenses.

Certain Gen Xers are less financially secure than younger generations and view insurance as a stressful added expense. Looking at the benefits of life insurance could help change that perspective.

Who Needs Life Insurance

Single Gen Xers with no dependents may not benefit as much from a life insurance policy. For all other Gen Xers, it’s worth considering.

Although people often don’t want to think about their mortality, it’s part of practical planning for the future, much like saving for retirement. Life insurance can help support a family after losing a loved one who contributed to their finances or who was the sole earner. That could mean the difference between keeping and selling the family home.

Gen X employees, in particular, could have either young children or kids in college or be responsible for elderly relatives. What qualifies as a “dependent” on a tax form doesn’t necessarily capture the true nature of how families care for one another.

Life insurance may help alleviate stress and offer these families peace of mind.

How Life Insurance Lowers Stress

Some Gen X employees may hesitate to enroll in this particular benefit because they don’t think they can afford it or they think they won’t qualify. It typically doesn’t require a medical exam.

To see for themselves how life insurance could benefit them and help lower stress, Gen X employees need clear information and resources. As you develop ways to communicate enrollment, address with your employees how life insurance can offer a sense of security.

Materials from your insurance broker, benefits consultant, or insurance carrier also can help your employees understand and access options that could help make their future easier.

Stay up to date on the latest health care regulations and trends for your small business: Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

COVID-19 Resources: Managing Your Business During a Crisis