(Newsroom America) -- About half of Americans (47 percent) say if they were to lose their primary source of income tomorrow, they could only maintain their current lifestyle for three months or less.
A new study commissioned by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) – conducted online by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older – finds that many Americans, even those considered financially successful, do not account for unexpected risks during financial planning.
Planning for the unknown
It appears that many American households are unprepared in the event of something unexpected happening to a family member, thus losing a primary source of income. A majority of Americans (61 percent) say their family would assume debt if they passed away tomorrow, with 38 percent of U.S. adults saying the debt would be $10,000 or more. Additionally, only half of Americans (50 percent) have life insurance. Of those who have any dependents, 47 percent say their dependents would run out of money without their personal income in two years or less if they were to pass away tomorrow.
"While these families with a steady source of income may seem prepared, they are jeopardizing it all by not having the right protection to ensure future financial security for themselves and their families," said Mark J. Hanna, CLU, ChFC, MDRT President.
Americans are also not taking in to account the possibility of disability or illness while planning for their financial future. One in 20 Americans (five percent) are unemployed and unable to work because of disability or illness, but only 20 percent of U.S. adults have either short-term and/or long-term disability insurance. Of those Americans who do have disability insurance, only 39 percent believe it would be enough to cover their long-term care and medical expenses if they were to have an accident.
Even financially successful families do not anticipate financial risks On average, Americans say their household has two sources of income, with 40 percent having income of $74,000 or more.
"It's not just lower income Americans who are vulnerable to financial strain in the event of a life-altering incident; families considered financially successful are also at risk," added Hanna. "A financial professional can help identify potential risks and work with you to set up a plan that protects your family from these pitfalls."
Of the Americans surveyed:
70 percent have received some college education, are graduates or have a higher degree 62 percent are currently employed 67 percent are homeowners 80 percent have medical insurance 56 percent are parents