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Disability-InsuranceMay is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, so we’re making an extra effort to equip you with resources to help your customers protect their paycheck.

Statistics show that over 25% (more than one in four) of today’s twenty-year-olds will suffer a disability at some point before retirement, which will put them out of work for a period of three months or more. And yet, very few understand the importance of protecting their earning power in advance. We can change that.

Let’s take a look at our customers, generation by generation: who they are, what they care about, how they view money, and how to talk to them about DI.

Baby Boomers

Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. Anyone between the ages of 50 and 68 is a boomer. Make no mistake; this is a powerful group: there are over 76 million boomers, collectively representing more than 65% of the net worth of all U.S. households.

According to Value Options (“the nation’s largest independent behavioral health and wellness company”), boomers tend to value (source): 

  • Individual choice
  • Community involvement
  • Prosperity
  • Ownership
  • Self-actualizing
  • Health and wellness
  • Focus on individual choices and freedom
  • Positive attitude

Although they have a reputation for optimism and (statistically at least) wealth, many boomers “worry about retirement and have failed to adequately prepare for the transition from work to retirement.” For a variety of reasons, many boomers plan to continue working past age 65.

Questions to ask boomer clients:

  • At what age are you planning to retire? 
  • How many years do you have left to work?
  • Do you realize that as you get older, the risk of disability due to illness grows?
  • Have you thought about what would happen to your retirement savings and your ability to retire on schedule, if your paycheck was indefinitely interrupted due to stroke, cancer or heart disease?

Generation X

This generation includes anyone born between 1965 and 1980. That makes them 34 to 49 years old today.

Their values and characteristics tend toward (source): 

  • Contribution
  • Feedback and recognition
  • Autonomy
  • Adaptability
  • Independence

GenXers are likely to have made some good fiscal choices to this point in their life. For example, they may have started a fund for their kids’ college tuition, or gotten the jump on saving for retirement. That said, there are many one-income families in this group, working hard to keep the bills paid and raise kids at the same time. Saving can be a challenge for these families.

Questions to ask genX clients:

  • How many people rely on you for some financial support (kids, spouse, aging parents)?
  • How long could you sustain your lifestyle and the support of your loved ones if your paycheck was interrupted?
  • You’ve probably made some smart choices with retirement and college savings, but what would happen to those plans if you suffered a disability?
  • If the family has two-bread winners, are both protected with disability insurance?
  • Do you have employer-sponsored long-term disability protection? Have you done the math to find out the remaining income gap that could be covered by a supplemental DI policy?

Generation Y

Our final group refers to people born between 1981 and 1994. Actually, they’re called by a few different names: millennials, generation next and echo boomers. They can be anywhere from age 20 to 33 today.

Their characteristics may include (source):

  • Marketing of self, self-branding
  • Fear of living poorly – in regards to lifestyle enjoyment, not wealth
  • Respect must be earned (not freely granted based on age, authority or title)
  • Creative, resilient
  • Committed and loyal when dedicated to an idea, cause or product
  • Accepting others of diverse backgrounds easily and openly
  • Global in perspective

Many millennials struggle to reconcile how much they’re earning to how much they need to survive. Saving can be a real challenge for this generation; they may choose to live near (or with) their parents to subsidize expenses. That said, financial independence is important to many millennials: something to achieve before jumping into marriage, for instance. At the same time, some lack the skills to manage their money effectively, which contributes to the struggle.

Questions to ask genY clients:

  • How much did you just invest in your education? Doesn’t it make sense to protect the earning power you worked so hard to develop?
  • What do you see as your greatest asset? Would you agree that it’s your ability to earn a living?
  • You have insurance for your home, your vehicle and possibly even life insurance. Doesn’t it make sense that you would also protect your earning power?
  • Did you ever see one of your parents struggle with depression, anxiety, cancer, stroke or heart attack? How would your family have been better off with quality disability insurance protection?
  • Did you know that the best time to purchase paycheck protection is when you’re young and healthy?

Do your customers a good turn. The next time you’re preparing a quote for life, home or auto insurance, throw in a disability insurance quote as well. Our online quote request tool makes it easy.