Dreams of a long life may be leading to failure to protect family, loved ones

New USAA survey reveals more than half of U.S. adults do not have life insurance

September 7, 2023    

Nearly half of respondents (48%) in a new USAA Life Insurance Company survey said if they could go back 10 years and give themselves advice about life insurance, they would tell their younger self that life insurance is the responsible thing to do for their family. But hindsight is 20/20 as more than half (51%) of surveyed U.S. adults say they do not have life insurance. That number is highest in respondents 18-34 years-old (57%) and lowest in those over 55 years-old (45%).

“This year’s study shows that younger generations know that planning for later-in-life expenses is what is best for their family, but something is prohibiting them from actually doing it,” said Brandon Carter, president of USAA Life Insurance Company. “Our job at USAA is to educate members about life insurance so they can feel comfortable and confident in establishing plans.”

Long-term planning should be important as 53% of respondents said they think they will die of old age. Just 20% believe they will die with more than a month’s notice and 27% said they think they will die suddenly.

When asked what they would do if they found out they were going to die soon, two-thirds (66%) of adults said they would spend more time with friends and family. And in this scenario, what they would do with their money varies by age.

  • Younger adults, ages 18-34, are more likely to spend their money on luxuries (16%).
  • Younger and middle-aged respondents are more likely to travel (37% ages 18-34 and 31% ages 35-54) or start a bucket list (24% ages 18-34 and 29% ages 35-54).
  • Middle aged and older adults are more likely to plan their estate (33% ages 35-54 and 34% ages 55+).

On the other end of the spectrum, if they believe they’ll live longer, over half (60%) of adults say they will be financially fine in retirement. The other 40% of respondents fear they will never afford to retire without running out of money.

For those that are protecting their family with life insurance, 86% of respondents said their family would not fight over inherited property or money. As far as who is getting that money, 44% said their spouse or significant other is their beneficiary, while 25% said their kids and 10% said their parents.

“We want to help our members take that important step of protecting their families, so they don’t have to worry and know they’re taken care of no matter what happens,” added Carter.


About USAA’s Life Insurance Survey 

This research was conducted by KRC Research using an online omnibus survey of n=1,114 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The study fielded between May 26 and May 29, 2023.

About USAA 

Founded in 1922 by a group of military officers, USAA is among the leading providers of insurance, banking and investment and retirement solutions to nearly 13 million members of the U.S. military, veterans who have honorably served and their families. Headquartered in San Antonio, Tex., USAA has offices in eight U.S. cities and three overseas locations and employs more than 37,000 people worldwide. Each year, the company contributes to national and local nonprofits in support of military families and communities where employees live and work. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com. 


Life insurance and annuities provided by USAA Life Insurance Company, San Antonio, TX and in New York by USAA Life Insurance Company of New York, Highland Falls, NY. All insurance products are subject to state availability, issue limitations and contractual terms and conditions. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.