In January 2014, Allianz commissioned the "LoveFamilyMoney" study in which more than 4,500 participants joined an online panel to weigh in on a variety of questions. The conclusions are pretty interesting, especially for those of us in the field of insurance sales.
Participants’ ages ranged from 35 to 65, with an annual household income of $50K or more. LoveFamilyMoney identified seven distinct family structures among the group. First off, there’s the “traditional” family which is made up of two adults of the opposite sex, who are married, with at least one child under 21 living at home.
The other six groups are considered “modern” families:
- The multi-generational family. Three or more generations living in the same household.
- The single-parent family. One unmarried adult with at least one child under 18.
- The same-sex couple family. Married or unmarried couples of the same sex who are living together.
- The blended family. Parents who are married or living together with child from a previous relationship.
- The family with older parents and young children. Parents aged 40 or older, with at least one child under age five living with them.
- The boomerang family. Parents with an adult child, aged 21 to 35, who moved out, then later moved back in.
Now for the highlights.
One interesting note is how much modern families tend to differ, financially, from the “traditional.”
“New family structures have a direct impact on a family's relationship with money and finances – and we found that, while modern families have similar strong emotional ties, they often feel financially less secure than their traditional counterparts,” said Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of Consumer Insights (source).
A higher percentage of modern families:
- Live paycheck-to-paycheck
- Have unexpectedly lost a major source of income
- Have collected unemployment
- Have declared bankruptcy
Due to their limited means, many modern families have difficulty planning for the future, because they’re busy juggling short-term expenses. They don’t consider themselves especially knowledgeable about financial planning; still they can’t afford to spend on professional services.
That said, they’re financially strategic. It’s significantly more common for “modern family” parents to talk to their children about money, and encourage them to save.
And the insurance sales conclusions?
The six “modern family” types are definitely feeling the pinch. That said, they do understand the importance of making good financial decisions, and will do what they can to put that into practice.
As you market asset protection products such disability insurance and long-term care insurance to your clients, keep these findings in mind. Be sensitive to how modern families’ needs may differ and find ways to affordably provide some protection rather than none at all using methods such as the high-low sales approach.