American Workers’ Retirement Confidence Slips in 2017 as Anxiety Grow

Apr 12, 2017 5:36:00 PM / by Darwin Bayston, CFA

Retirement-Confidence-Slips-in-2017The 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey, an annual report published by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), was just released and its findings provide more reason for concern about how prepared Americans are for retirement.

 Sixty percent of American workers feel “very or somewhat confident” about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, with fewer than one in five reporting they feel very confident, according to the EBRI survey. This was a decline compared with last year, when 64 percent of American workers said they were very or somewhat confident about their retirement preparations.

If we drill into some of the more specific findings in the survey, this lack of confidence is easy to understand:

  • 47 percent of workers have less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments, excluding their homes;
  • 24 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in savings; and
  • 31 percent of workers are “very or somewhat stressed” – mentally or emotionally – about preparing for retirement.

EBRI Survey

The EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, which has been published annually for the past 27 years, is the longest-running survey of its kind in the nation.

These findings should come as sobering news to all Americans, but for those of you now in your retirement years, they are likely not very surprising. It may well be that you’re now living the full-blown consequences of this crisis of retirement confidence – and feeling the effects of that mental or emotional stress in your day-to-day life.

 If so, one place to look for help may be an asset you never knew you could tap for cash in your hands.

 Life insurance is personal property, so you can sell it just like any other property you own. This transaction is called a life settlement. In order to qualify for a life settlement, you need to be at least 65 years old, with one or more health issues, and own a life insurance policy that has a death benefit of at least $100,000. When you decide to sell a policy to a third party — rather than surrendering it to the insurance company — you get more than the cash value, but less than the death benefit amount. The buyer of the policy takes on all future premiums and receives the death benefit when you pass away.

 On average, a life settlement yields seniors seven times the amount of the policy’s cash surrender value, based on an analysis of a survey by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. This likely explains why 90 percent of seniors with lapsed policies say they would have considered selling it if they had known life settlement was an option, according to an Insurance Studies Institute survey.




 LISA is committed to educating seniors about the options they have available to them in the event that they no longer want or can afford a life insurance policy. Why are we so passionate about this mission? Because this is a serious retirement planning issue in America: each year, more than $100 billion worth of life insurance owned by Americans over the age of 65 is lapsed or surrendered back to the insurance companies that sold the policies – mostly from a lack of knowledge that an unneeded or unaffordable policy may be sold.

We want you to know that the policy sitting in your drawer, which you may no longer need as a safety net for children who are now grown or can no longer afford due to other rising expenses, may be a hidden asset that can be tapped for a cash payment that can generate a significant amount of cash to help subsidize your retirement fund . . . and reduce your anxiety.

To learn more about life settlements, how they work and if you’re eligible, call the LISA office at (888) 521-8223 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about options available to you

Darwin Bayston, CFA

Written by Darwin Bayston, CFA

Darwin Bayston is President and CEO of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA). His charge is to extend the outreach of the Association to all participants of the life settlement industry from consumers to capital providers, including producers, brokers, providers and service providers who are part of the life settlement market. He was previously Managing Director of Life Settlement Consulting & Management (LSCM), founded in 2004 and specialized in life settlement policy and portfolio valuations, and life expectancy analysis. He has published several articles and participated as speaker at a number of life settlement conferences. Previous to that he operated an investment advisory firm. From 1980 to 1993, he served in several capacities, including President and CEO the CFA Institute (and its predecessor organizations). While at CFA, he founded the continuing education program, was editor of the CFA Digest and supervised research projects funded by the Research Foundation of the ICFA. He began his career as an investment analyst with a Midwest life insurance company. Mr. Bayston has been Chairman of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation ($100 million), a member of the Hospital’s Finance Committee and a past member of the Board of the Institute for Quantitative Research and Finance (Q Group).