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Survey: Americans' Love for Financial Security Taking Precedence over Traditional Romance This Valentine's Day
Date:1/15/2009

The LIFE Foundation Launches Campaign to Encourage Americans to Insure Their Love

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Concern about the economy is causing many Americans to reconsider their approach to Valentine's Day. A new survey commissioned by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation reveals that seven in ten (70%) would forego celebrating Valentine's Day this year in exchange for greater financial peace of mind(1). Of those Americans who typically buy Valentine's Day gifts, the current state of the economy will influence gift-giving strategies in a variety of ways. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say they will consider less expensive gifts, 36 percent will focus on more thoughtful gifts, and 20 percent will consider not even giving a gift this year.

To coincide with the release of its survey results, the LIFE Foundation today kicked off a new national public awareness campaign, "Insure Your Love," to encourage Americans to consider a different way of expressing their love this Valentine's Day.

"The main reason to buy life insurance is because you love people and want to protect them financially, so Valentine's Day is an ideal time to consider a life insurance purchase," said Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. "Life insurance helps guarantee that your loved ones will be provided for, even after you're gone. What a wonderful way to say 'I love you' to the most important people in your life."

A Shift Towards Practical and Lasting Gifts This Valentine's Day

In an ordinary year, the thought of giving something practical to your significant other for Valentine's Day may not have crossed the minds of many people looking to make a lasting impression. But there is nothing ordinary about today's economic climate. That might explain why 41 percent of women (and 48 percent of men) say this Valentine's Day they would prefer a practical or useful gift such as money towards bills, gas or other financial needs, as opposed to more traditional gifts such as flowers, chocolates or dinner out.

In addition, according to the LIFE survey, 42 percent of Americans who received a Valentine's Day gift last year didn't think their present was memorable and nearly half (48%) lamented that it lasted only a month or less. Perhaps with this in mind, 31 percent of Valentine's Day gift-givers said they will consider gifts that can be enjoyed for a longer period of time than those they gave last year.

"It's clear that given today's economy, Americans are adopting a new gift-giving mentality this Valentine's Day, focusing more on meaningful gifts that fulfill 'needs' as opposed to 'wants,'" said Feldman. "If you think about it, life insurance is one of the most enduring gifts you can give since it will provide financial protection for the ones you love for many years, long after the flowers have wilted and the chocolates have been eaten."

Selfless Love Contest

An act of "selfless love" is one in which you do something for someone else without expecting anything in return, like owning a life insurance policy. Most people will never see or experience the death benefits of a life insurance purchase. But the proceeds of a policy could benefit a person's loved ones for many years after he or she is gone.

To encourage Americans to commit selfless acts of love this Valentine's Day, LIFE is sponsoring an online contest during the weeks leading up to February 14. Consumers ages 18 and older are invited to nominate a close friend or family member who has exhibited selfless love for a chance to win a variety of prizes and a monetary donation in their name to a charity of choice. The Selfless Love contest will be open from January 15 through Valentine's Day 2009, with the winner announced in April. Learn more at http://www.insureyourlove.org/.

(1) The LIFE Foundation Valentine's Day Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between December 11 and December 15 2008. The survey was fielded to 1,000 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over.

About LIFE

The Life and Health Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public's growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.lifehappens.org.

    CONTACT:    Weber Shandwick
                Susannah Frank
                212-445-8437
                -or-
                Katharine Carver
                212-445-8210


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SOURCE The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education
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