A majority of Americans are concerned about the “financial protection” of their families, according to a new survey by Ipsos Public Affairs, a global market-research company. The survey was sponsored by New York Life Insurance Company, which launched an index this month called the Personal Protection Index to help Americans measure their level of financial protection.

More than half of the respondents, 53%, reported that they are financially under-protected in terms of savings, emergency funds and life insurance coverage. Almost one in five, 19%, believed they were severely under-protected.

“The survey reinforces what our agents are hearing in their communities: Significant numbers of Americans are concerned that their financial resources are not adequate to meet both the challenges of today’s economy and their future obligations,” said Mark Pfaff, executive vice president in charge of U.S. Life Insurance & Agency for New York Life, in a statement.

The new index is a pragmatic take on the New York Life Protection Index last year to help gauge the ability of football teams to protect their quarterbacks. That index used a proprietary formula that looks at statistics on pass attempts, penalties by offensive linemen, sacks allowed and quarterback knockdowns.

A few tidbits from the survey: Parents are more likely to feel under protected than are adults without children; older adults (60 and up) are much more likely than those 30 to 59 to feel protected; and individuals with a household income greater than $50,000 are more than twice as likely to feel protected than those with a lower household income.

New York Life’s Personal Protection Index uses “stated and industry-standard income replacement goals to estimate how much individuals might need for their retirement and survivors, as well as funds for unexpected needs,” said the company in a statement. Users of the index input information about their age, income and resources and receive a number, which indicates—on a scale of 0 to 100—how their families stand financially. The higher the percentage the more financially protected the individuals and their families are.

The survey went to 1,000 adults age 30 and older.




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