disability-insurance-talking-pointsDo your clients think they’re too young for disability insurance? Or too old? It’s a common objection, but here’s the thing – disability can strike at any age.

Anyone who depends on paycheck has a good reason to protect it, regardless of their age. Here are some of the key talking points to hit when discussing the importance of paycheck protection with members of different generations.

(Note that different sources may give slightly different age brackets for these generations. The following definitions are based on Pew Research Center.)

Generation Z

This generation includes people born in 1997 or later, making the oldest members 22 in 2019. Most of this generation is still in school, so they’re probably not worried about paycheck protection yet. As they enter the workforce, however, they’ll need to know more about disability insurance and how it can protect their future earning power. They’ll see how the older generations are struggling to save for retirement, and they’ll want to protect their own futures. Many of them will also have substantial student loan debt to pay off, so they’ll need their paychecks.

  • What to say to Gen Z: Earning power is your greatest asset. Once you’re finished with college and earning good money, be sure to get protected. Spread the word, and make sure your parents have paycheck protection too!


This generation includes individuals born between 1981 and 1996. They’re out of college and working. Many of them are starting families and buying houses.

According to the Council for Disability Awareness, pregnancy is the cause of 25 percent of short-term disability claims and 9.4 percent of long-term disability claims. Given this, Millennial women may be especially interested in paycheck protection.

Both men and women in this group will want to protect their homes and their retirement savings. They may also be worried about paying off their student loans and about saving for their children’s education. They may lack emergency savings, meaning they depend on an uninterrupted income.

  • What to say to Millennials: Earning power is your greatest asset. When your earnings reach $50K or more, be sure to secure an individual disability insurance policy. It will follow you through every job change and self-employment and will ensure you can maintain your standard of living and pay your student loans. Get more Millennial sales tips in from this toolkit!

Generation X

This generation includes everyone born between 1965 and 1980. They’re getting closer to retirement, but they may not have much saved for it yet. Many of them have mortgages to pay, and possibly student loan debt as well.

Member of Generation X may also be part of the sandwich generation. The sandwich generation is based on situation, not age – it refers to people who are taking care of both their children and their aging parents. With so many people depending on their paycheck, they need to make sure it’s protected.

  • What to say to Gen Z: You’re in your prime earning years and you probably have more responsibility than ever – perhaps due to growing kids and aging parents. With these responsibilities, and retirement on the horizon, you can’t afford to let an illness or injury to interrupt your earning potential. Now is the time to shore up your disability insurance protection – even if you have a work-sponsored policy. We may be able to add an enhancement to protect your ability to continue retirement savings contributions.

Baby Boomers

People born between 1946 and 1964 belong to the Baby Boomer generation. Some Baby Boomers have retired already, but the youngest members of this generation still have about a decade of work ahead of them. Unfortunately, according to the Insured Retirement Institute, 42 percent of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings.

Some Baby Boomers plan to keep working in order to catch up on their retirement savings, but disability sometimes forces people to quit working before they’re financially ready to retire. Baby Boomers need to keep earning a paycheck as long as possible. Those on the younger side, who have not yet reached retirement age, may be good disability insurance candidates.

  • What to say to Boomers who have not yet reached retirement age: Your risk of injury or illness is higher than ever before. Is your paycheck adequately protected? Be sure that your disability insurance protection is robust. It may be insufficient if you’re relying on a work-sponsored policy. We may be able to add an enhancement to protect your ability to continue retirement savings contributions.

Silent Generation

This generation includes people born between 1928 and 1945. They’re well into their retirement years, so paycheck protection probably isn’t a concern for them. Their children may need disability insurance coverage, but this generation is more likely to be interested in long-term care insurance.

  • What to say to Silents about DI: Have you told your adult kids and adult grandkids about the importance of protecting their earning power?
  • What to say to Silents about LTCI: Have you personally considered how you will pay for long-term care needs? Did you know that you can prevent long-term care costs from depleting your assets by purchasing long-term care insurance?

All generations have one thing in common: They have questions and objections. Here’s how to address those.

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