Rod Rishel (Photo: AIG) Rod Rishel (Photo: AIG)

A few years ago, judges who disliked the Affordable Care Act individual health insurance ownership requirement likened a federal requirement for consumers to buy insurance to a law requiring people to eat broccoli.

This summer, as life insurers and producers head toward the September, and the Life Insurance Awareness Month campaign, one ho question is why some consumers do agreat job eating their life insurance, retirement savings, and general personal finance broccoli?

Analysts at American International Group Inc. addressed that question by sponsoring an online survey of 8,100 U.S. adults, ages 21 through 64, in the second half of 2017.

One of the things AIG did was include a mini personality survey.

The company came up with a rough measure of participants’ disposition by asking them to agree or disagree with statements such as “In uncertain times, I usually expect the best.”

AIG found that, using its gauge, the life insurance policyholders were more optimistic than the uninsured: 56% of the policyholders were classified as optimistic, compared with 48% of the uninsured participants.

(Related: Life Insurer CEO: Vision Matters)

Other AIG survey findings:

Age: Median age was 43 for life insurance owners and 39 for the non-owners.

Annual income: The median annual income was $88,000 for the life insurance owners and $70,000 for the non-owners.

Group retirement plan participation: 69% of the participants in group retirement plans had life insurance, compared with 44% of the non-participants.

Individual retirement account ownership: 64% of the IRA owners had life insurance, compared with 37% of the consumers were not in a group retirement plan and did not own an IRA.

AIG released only part of the data it collected. It did not adjust the results released for factors such as income. If, for example, optimists tend to earn more than pessimists, that could be responsible for part or all of the life insurance ownership gap between optimists and pessimists.

Rod Rishel, the head of AIG’s life unit, said in a statement about the results that the company uses surveys like this one to come up with new products.

“Now is a perfect time for financial professionals to educate their clients about key protection and retirement planning solutions for themselves and their loved ones,” Rishel said.

— Read How ‘New Frugality’ Influences Boomers’ Rising Retirement Optimismon ThinkAdvisor.

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