This September, singer, actor and producer Donnie Wahlberg will urge millions of Americans to make sure their financial plans have the "right stuff." When he's not touring the country with the reunited New Kids on the Block, Wahlberg will serve as the front man for national Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), sharing his personal story to encourage Americans to examine their need for life insurance.
Wahlberg understands the difference life insurance can make when tragedy happens. His sister, Debbie, died at the age of 44 with a 16-year-old son and no life insurance. Fortunately, Wahlberg's nephew was taken care of thanks to a strong, extended family support system and famous uncles with the wherewithal to meet his needs. But many families would not be so fortunate. Wahlberg understands that without life insurance, many families leave themselves open to serious financial hardship.
"My sister was taken away from us too soon. She was a young woman who
had her whole life ahead of her, but like so many people, she didn't think about the 'what ifs,'" says Wahlberg. "With an upcoming album and tour, as well as a new movie, it may seem like I don't have a worry in the world, but I realize it could all be over tomorrow. When it was time for me to sit down with my advisor and set up my own financial plan, life insurance was a no-brainer. If something were to happen to me, I want to know that my loved ones will be taken care of financially. Life insurance guarantees that."
During September, Wahlberg plans to share his story through public appearances and interviews with newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations around the country. A video message from Wahlberg can be seen on LIFE's website at www.lifehappens.org during the campaign.
"Donnie understands first-hand how not owning life insurance can leave loved ones financially vulnerable in the event of a tragedy, but just as important, the peace of mind it provides to those who've purchased it," says Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation. "The vast majority of Americans understand the need for life insurance, yet a startling 68 million adult Americans have no coverage at all. We are hopeful that Donnie's involvement this September will motivate Americans to take a short break from their busy lives to determine if they're among the millions who lack adequate life insurance protection."
Throughout Life Insurance Awareness Month, a wealth of information about life insurance will be available for consumers from the LIFE
Foundation and more than 100 insurance companies and other industry groups supporting the campaign.
For consumers interested in evaluating their life insurance needs, LIFE suggests taking it "step by step" and offers the following three tips to get you started:
1. Determine if you need life insurance - If someone would suffer financially when you die, you need life insurance. For most adult Americans, that is the case.
2. Evaluate how much life insurance you need - Ask yourself, how much money your loved ones would need in your absence to maintain their standard of living and fund future plans? The difference between that amount and your existing income and assets offers a good guide for how much life insurance you need. For a quick estimate of your needs, check out the interactive insurance needs calculator on LIFE's website at www.lifehappens.org/howmuch.
3. Get professional help - The process may seem simple enough, but calculating your needs can get complicated and this is one math assignment you don't want to get wrong. For a comprehensive needs analysis, meet with a qualified insurance professional. You can also look into your coverage options at work. Many employers provide their employees with life insurance or give them the opportunity to buy or increase coverage at favorable rates. To find an agent in your area, visit LIFE's agent search engine at www.lifehappens.org/agentlocator.