Hey kids, let's discuss drugs and alcohol but not life insurance
According to State Farm, discussing sex is only slightly more uncomfortable than discussing life insurance. At least, that's what 2,000 U.S. adults said when polled about what topics they were most comfortable discussing with their children.
Having a 'birds and the bees' discussion came in dead last with only 30 percent of parents saying they are comfortable having that talk with their kids. However, perhaps surprisingly, only slightly more - 38 percent - said they were comfortable discussing life insurance.
Overall, of the six topics polled, most respondents said discussing drugs and alcohol would be the most comfortable subject to broach with their kids.
- Drugs and alcohol: 55 percent are comfortable having this conversation with their kids
- Religion: 53 percent
- Politics: 44 percent
- Life insurance: 38 percent
- Family finances: 33 percent
- The birds and the bees: 30 percent
Discomfort might come from lack of knowledge
Parents may be uncomfortable discussing life insurance, in part, because some of them don't feel knowledgeable about the subject. State Farm found 22 percent of people said they are not at all knowledgeable about life insurance plans.
In addition, 45 percent of respondents told State Farm life insurance benefits are only available when an insured individual dies. However, many policies have living benefits that may be used, depending on the plan provisions, to pay for medical bills and long term care. In addition, whole life plans build cash value that can be used for any purpose.
With life insurance offering additional benefits beyond simply paying a lump sum at the time of death, it may become even more important for parents to discuss with their children their life insurance plans. This is especially true if a parent doesn't have long term care insurance or other assets to pay for their care as they age.
Americans more concerned with paying for cable TV than life insurance
Another reason why parents may not be discussing life insurance with their children is that it is not a priority. When it comes to their finances, only 59 percent said they would be willing to adjust their budget to pay for life insurance. For comparison, 76 percent said they would change their spending in order to afford cable TV.
"Parents know life insurance is an important element to protecting their family," said Joe Monk, senior vice president and chief administrator officer for State Farm, in a written statement, "yet there seems to be a disconnect between that importance and the importance of commodities such as cable TV or cell phones,"