Arlington, Va. — Nearly six in 10 (59%) Americans are planning to make “carpe diem” their new mantra after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study, “Life’s New Appreciations” by Life Happens, a nonprofit dedicated to educating consumers about the importance of life insurance and other related products for sound financial planning.
For Life Happens’ annual Insure Your Love campaign this February, the survey asked 2,000 Americans about the impact COVID-19 has had on their lives and what lessons they’ve learned, and found 68% are planning to emerge from quarantine as new people. In fact, seven in 10 (70%) people polled said they’re planning to live each and every day to the fullest post-COVID-19.
COVID-19 Sparks A Small-Win Revolution
In an effort to make the most of each day, Americans are pursuing small wins, including speaking to their families more (45%), speaking their minds more truthfully (43%), and taking more vacation time when it’s safe to do so (42%). Four in 10 (41%) respondents also shared that they plan to be more confident and express themselves creatively as a part of this small-win revolution.
Financial Security Vital In 2021
While COVID-19 has ushered in a more considerable emphasis on small wins, Americans are still focused on big life decisions during this time. In fact, 58% of respondents said the pandemic has drastically changed the milestones they’d like to accomplish in life, with three-quarters (75%) of those polled saying it’s important for them to get their finances in order in 2021. For the second year in a row, financial security ranked as the most important milestone to achieve.
Additional milestones include:
- Financial security (38%)
- A successful career (28%)
- Retirement (27%)
- Becoming debt-free (26%)
- Having children (26%)
While marriage and having a successful career remain important, year-to-year results showed that they’ve become less of a focus in 2021. Marriage is down 11% (22% in 2021 vs. 33% in 2020), while achieving a successful career is down 5% compared to 2020 results (28% in 2021 vs. 33% in 2020).
“Traditional milestones and outlooks on life have been upended, leading many to reevaluate what’s important in life and their relationships,” said Faisa Stafford, president and CEO of Life Happens. “For many, the past year has emphasized that there is no better financial security for your loved ones than life insurance, with our study showing that more than a quarter (29%) consider getting life insurance a ‘small act of love.’”
Gather Round, Let’s Talk Money
With finances top of mind, life insurance has become a popular discussion topic over the last year – and for some, a discussion topic for the first time. There was a 9% decrease for life insurance to be avoided at the dinner table (27% in 2021 vs. 36% in 2020). Over half (55%) of respondents said this past year was the first time they specifically spoke with a loved one about life insurance. This was particularly true among millennials – with 65% agreeing with this statement.
“For our loved ones, including our children, we want to be as prepared as we can be and anticipate anything that may arise,” said Reena Patel, Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavioral Analyst. “This can mean filling up the nursery, stocking up for any emergencies and also thinking about our finances long-term. You create a lifelong toolbox that has all your essentials. Our biggest job is to ensure security for our children and loved ones, let’s make sure to add life insurance in that toolbox to make it complete.”
In support of this message, Life Happens has launched its annual Insure Your Love campaign focused on motivating people to purchase life insurance to protect their loved ones financially. To take action for your loved ones, Life Happens has a free Life Insurance Needs Calculator to help evaluate your own life insurance needs.
Methodology for “Life’s New Appreciations”
These results were taken from a random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll, and commissioned by Life Happens in January 2021. OnePoll is a corporate member of the AAPOR and adheres to the AAPOR Code of Professional Ethics and Practice.