Too Much Stuff

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in BBA Blog

Cyber Monday! Black Friday! Shopping ads coming at us like bullets.  Shop, shop, shop.  Spend, spend spend!  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good deals out there right now that you can take advantage of but in the long run, do we really need all that stuff?  Today, with credit card and online shopping, there is more data being collected about our homes, our shopping habits and our spending.

Here are some interesting facts about our spending gathered by Joshua Becker:

  1. The average American household has 300,000 items in it today (LA Times)
  2. The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years (NPR).
  3. 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them and 32% only have room for one vehicle (U.S. Department of Energy).
  4. 3.1% of the world’s children live in America, but they own 40% of the toys consumed globally (UCLA).
  5. The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually (Forbes)
  6. The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year (Huffington Post)
  7. Americans spend more on shoes, jewelry, and watches ($100 billion) than on higher education (Psychology Today).
  8. Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods – in other words, items they don’t need (The Wall Street Journal).

I too get a bit excited by the hype and I do buy gifts for family and friends this time of year, but there is still that nagging issue of lack of life insurance ownership with all of this spending going on. More people protect their “things” with insurance than protect their loved ones with life insurance according to Life Happens.  Here are some additional interesting facts from the 2017 Insurance Barometer Study.

  • The most common financial concern is the ability to afford a comfortable retirement. Retirement has remained a top concern for the seven years of tracking financial concerns. Yet Americans keep spending!
  • People see the need for life insurance particularly for parents with young children. Eight in 10 say that a married person with one or more young children needs life insurance. Yet ownership is down.
  • Consumer demand for life insurance is greater than actual ownership. Seventy percent say they need life insurance, yet only 59% own life insurance. Could it be procrastination or just because no one has offered it to them?
  • 4 in 10 households without any life insurance would have immediate trouble paying living expenses if they were to lose their primary wage earner.
  • 8 in 10 Americans overestimate the true cost of life insurance. So, they don’t buy it!


Certainly, life insurance is not as fun to buy as new clothes, jewelry, electronics or cars but it is important to keep the ability to spend normally in place for loved ones should you die unexpectedly.

There are no special deals on life insurance, but the cost has come down over the years and is definitely not as much as most consumers believe. Plus, the process has become much easier with “Drop Ticket” applications and underwriting processes that no longer require the gathering of labs or a paramedical exam.

Help your client get through all the clutter of the stuff in their life and focus on what is important, protecting the ones they love. Show them how life insurance can do just that.  We are here to help.  Questions?  Just give us a call or send an email.