American Workers Survey

Financial Well-Being Begins With Protection

Regardless of demographics, we all share the same stresses and anxieties

by Caroline Feeney

Ms. Feeney is president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, which includes Prudential Advisors. Prudential’s Individual Life Insurance business focuses on offering competitive solutions to meet the needs of consumers through the manufacturing and distribution of a diverse portfolio of life insurance products. Visit

Working parents know that priorities change when you have children. For me, having a family forever changed my perspective on what financial security means. It went from my financial well-being to our financial well-being. And I know I am not alone. Parents and other working Americans are busy balancing responsibilities at home and at the office, working to strengthen their financial well-being and that of their children and ensuring loved ones are protected in case of the unexpected.

For many Americans, this means looking to life insurance to provide protection to their families. This is one of the key takeaways from a recent survey sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. and conducted by Morning Consult. The survey results provide insight on how clients nationwide are feeling and suggest how financial professionals can help address their challenges.

American workers value life insurance

Eighty-seven percent of American workers say life insurance is either very important or important, according to the survey. Two of three said they have coverage, and half said their primary motivation for buying insurance is to protect their spouse and family in the event of passing.

Further, 75 percent said life insurance provides more financial security than bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards or student loans. And more than one in three said life insurance provides “a lot” of protection.

Americans lose sleep over financial worries
Feelings of protection have been in short supply since the financial crisis. The survey showed that in addition to the fear of losing a loved one, financial issues are the among the top worries that are keeping people up at night. Among them: Paying bills (29 percent); losing household income (26 percent); and saving for retirement (23 percent).

Almost half of women surveyed, 49 percent, said they were more stressed now than they were a decade ago, compared with 39 percent of men. This is notable as more and more women are emerging as the prime family wage earners and financial decision makers. The poll was taken of about 2,000 working adults in autumn 2017.

Not a regional issue
The findings on financial stress are troubling because they span demographics and geography. Even with regional inequalities, there is little discernible difference between the stress experienced by rural and urban workers. No matter where we live, whether near Prudential headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, or in communities across the country, Americans share the same concerns and familiar challenges.

Taking the steps to achieve financial wellness and stop worrying about money are within reach for everyone. Life insurance is a big part of financial wellness, and the survey shows that most American workers understand that. We recognize that almost everyone has periods of financial stress in their lives, and partner with workers and employers to identify financial challenges and opportunities, then create plans to achieve the best outcome.

Workers think retirement is risky

Retirement concerns are paramount for Americans, with a majority saying entering life after work is risky. Worrying about saving for retirement is yet another concern we all share. The insurance industry has a responsibility to ease these concerns. We must be inventive and provide financial solutions for everyone – retirees, working families, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and future generations.

Retirement concerns are paramount for Americans, with a majority saying entering life after work is risky. Worrying about saving for retirement is yet another concern we all share

Financial professionals are uniquely positioned to help people eliminate their money worries and get them on the path to financial wellness. Having deep conversations with clients gives financial professionals the information they need to ensure their clients are prepared for financial emergencies, can save for the future, and live within their means by avoiding unnecessary debt. As a financial services company, Prudential provides a holistic approach to planning with an eye towards a client’s overall financial wellness.

The challenges faced by American workers will always change, and it is our responsibility to help them throughout this journey.

Being a parent, there is a lot that keeps me awake at night, and I know I am not alone. Luckily, wondering whether my family is protected is not one of them. Our goal as advisors should be to ensure that all Americans can rest easy knowing their financial futures are protected.

Excerpts from the American Workers Survey

Two in three American workers have life insurance including:
• 66% of men
• 61% of women
• 58% of Millennials
• 67% of Gen Xers
• 67% of Baby Boomers
• 61% of Low- to Middle-Income Earners (earning less than $100,000 annually)

Nine in ten American workers say life insurance is important
• 55% say life insurance ownership is very important.
• American workers say life insurance provides the most financial security for the people in their lives.
• Protecting one’s spouse or family was the primary motivation for purchasing life insurance for half of policyholders

The Role Of Life Insurance In The Lives of American Workers

Eighty-seven percent of American workers say it’s important to have life insurance, according to the results of a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential Financial, Inc.

When asked which products (life insurance, bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards, student loans) provide the most financial security for the people in their lives, American workers were most likely to select life insurance, with 75% saying life insurance provides financial security. This includes more than 1 in 3 who say it provides a lot of security.

With these results, it shouldn’t be surprising that the majority (64%) of American workers have life insurance. Life insurance owners represent a broad cross-section of American workers. In fact, 58% of Millennials and 61% of American workers earning less than $100,000 annually have life insurance. Half of policyholders (50%) say their primary motivation for buying insurance was to protect their spouse and family in the event of their passing.

American Workers Losing Sleep Over Financial Concerns
Aside from losing a loved one, financial issues are among the top concerns that keep American workers up at night. These worries include paying bills, losing household income and saving for retirement.

Retirement concerns also were apparent in other findings, with a majority of American workers (67%) saying entering retirement is risky. This sentiment was most prominent among Gen Xers. Seventy-two percent say entering retirement is risky and 73% say they worry about saving for retirement—significantly higher than the other age groups surveyed.
While age may matter, education and income have little to do with retirement fears. Those with a post-graduate degree worry just as much about retirement savings as those without a college degree. The same is true across income levels. v