In these troubled economic times, Americans are increasingly interested in securing their financial futures but lack the appropriate financial instruments to do so, according to a survey by New York Life Insurance Company. Survey results revealed that 83 percent of Americans aged 30 and older indicated that the financial crisis has increased their desire for financial protection for their families, while 88 percent of those 30 to 49 and the same percentage of those with minor children were similarly inclined.

Although they desire financial protection, more than half of survey respondents indicated that they would rely on retirement savings, borrow from family members or get another job if their families were to lose the primary breadwinner. A mere third said life insurance would answer this need for their families.

“The economic crisis has been a wake-up call for families and most are seriously concerned about protecting their loved ones, yet many still lack a secure plan to do so,” noted Mark Pfaff, an executive vice president at New York Life. “The solutions that many Americans would turn to in a crisis, including depleting retirement savings and taking an additional job, would require painful and difficult choices with serious repercussions for the family. These findings show that there is more work to be done to educate families about how life insurance helps to provide peace of mind and future financial well-being for loved ones.”

According to Nicolas Boyon of Ipsos Public Affairs, which conducted the survey, “The survey findings are compelling because for over a year now Americans have been coping with increasing unemployment and dizzying stock market fluctuations, but this hasn’t deterred consumers from a fundamental belief in protecting their families. In fact, it seems to have heightened their focus on creating financial security for their family.”

Observed Mr. Pfaff, “It is very clear to us that families are feeling financially unstable, and we believe that times like these draw even more attention to the negative financial situation that would be compounded by the loss of a breadwinner and bring to the forefront the need for life insurance.”