Lincoln Financial Group announces the findings from its American Consumer Study. The study conducted during the fourth quarter of 2016 involved 2550 respondents ranging in age from 18 to 66+ with the highest concentration in the 18 to 35 age category, also known as Millennials. The study asks a series a questions to gauge thoughts and attitudes regarding the importance of life insurance. The study compares the results from 2015 and 2016. The findings indicate that those between the ages of 36 and 48, Generation X, had more credit card, and overall debt than the other generations. The study also revealed that respondents perceived importance of various insurance products increased during the two year study period, though life insurance received the lowest level of increase. “Life insurance needs to be a core component of any financial plan, as opposed to being viewed just as a product that provides financial security down the road,” said Daniel L. Whittenburg, MBA, CFP®, AIF®, a partner at Whittenburg Wealth Management and a registered representative with Lincoln Financial Advisors. “When viewed that way, people can easily become more focused on living in the moment, thinking there will always be a better time to buy life insurance later. These benefits are a vital part of a long-term financial strategy, so we want to help ensure families make that connection in order to take appropriate steps and protect their future.” The study also found paying off short term debt is more important to the respondents (57%) than setting aside additional funds for life insurance policies. The final survey question revealed a divergence between the sexes on this topic, with women (29%) more likely than men (14%) to increase funding for life insurance policies. In response to the American Consumer Study, Lincoln Financial recommends the four tips to make life insurance a part of your financial plan. 1. Start the Conversation in your household about the life insurance and the financial future of a spouse or significant other. 2. Create a Budget to identify areas of opportunity for additional funding for life insurance and other retirement products. 3. Understand the Options through a process of educating yourself on life insurance products that will contribute to your short term, and long term financial goals. 4. Consult a Financial Advisor for assistance in developing a financial plan that is designed to meet your needs and that of your family. For more information you can read the American Consumer Study at this link.