The M.O.O.D. of America

Lincoln Financial Group has recently released new findings from its recent M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook, and Direction) of America study, which show a high level of empowerment and a positive outlook on the future among respondents who own life insurance.

According to the survey results, which are being released in conjunction with the Life Insurance Awareness Month campaign currently under way, 71 percent of life insurance owners believe they are “in control,” a mindset that combines how comfortable respondents feel about their overall life, personal/family life, health and financial future. Eighty-seven percent believe their life is heading in the right direction.

“People buy life insurance for a lot of different reasons, but regardless of what their motivation may be, it ultimately boils down to putting a measure in place that helps them face the future with confidence,” says Mark Konen, president, Insurance and Retirement Solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. “We see this reflected in a strong sentiment of empowerment expressed by life insurance owners from our M.O.O.D. study. Not just in terms of financial planning, but life in general.”

The survey data show that life insurance is among the top five most frequently-owned financial products, ranking fifth behind checking/savings accounts, car insurance, credit cards and home insurance.

Taking this one step further, M.O.O.D. survey findings indicate that life insurance owners consider life insurance to be a valuable component of a well-rounded portfolio.

  • 74 percent of life insurance owners also own Retirement products (e.g. 401(k), 403(b), SEP, IRA, Roth IRA), compared to 44 percent of those who do not own life insurance.
  • 52 percent of working life insurance owners are also covered by short-term disability or long-term disability insurance through an employer, compared to 23 percent of those working non-life insurance owners.
  • 34 percent of life insurance owners also own mutual funds, compared to 16 percent of those who do not own life insurance.

Given these facts, it is not surprising that 68 percent of life insurance owners believe they are “very” or “somewhat” prepared for retirement, compared to 44 percent of non-owners.

The poll also found that individuals who place importance on protecting their wealth or assets are 39 percent more likely to own life insurance than those who do not consider it important. Similarly, individuals placing importance on the following financial priorities are also correlated with a higher likelihood of owning life insurance:

  • Putting money away for retirement
  • Making investments work harder
  • Minimizing the amount they pay in taxes

“There’s been a lot of innovation and change in the life insurance industry,” adds Konen. “While people still value the importance of a death benefit on life insurance policies, they also recognize that these products can help meet a variety of financial goals and, as a result, they are embracing life insurance as part of a well-rounded financial portfolio.”

Room for more
While life insurance is an important piece of the financial-planning puzzle, the study shows that fewer than half of those polled (48 percent) are actually policy owners. Of those respondents who own life insurance, the average age is 51 years.

Compared to non-owners, life insurance owners are more likely to be married, have children, be employed, be more educated, and own their home. Life insurance owners also tend to have higher incomes and higher amounts of investable assets than non-owners. These findings reflect an opportunity for the insurance industry to help a broader demographic reach their financial goals with life insurance, and at different stages in life.

Read more information on the M.O.O.D. of America, including supporting documentation for the findings.


By Ayo Mseka
Advisor Today