(NAPSI)—Anyone who has ever seen a retirement account take a hit during a recession or stock market correction knows firsthand that it takes a mental and emotional toll. New research, however, has discovered that it also makes you sick.
An article published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, based on a study of how 8,714 adults fared over a 20-year period, concluded that a “negative wealth shock” can increase an individual’s risk of dying within the next two decades by more than 50 percent.
As The Wall Street Journal explained, “losing one’s life savings in the short term might curtail one’s life span in the long term.”
What Can Happen
It’s not entirely clear to researchers how the loss of retirement savings can damage your health—perhaps it’s related to increasing blood pressure or cardiovascular events—but the scientific findings are consistent with a growing body of knowledge:
- The Population Reference Bureau studied the effects of the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 on older Americans’ health and well-being and found that financial losses during that time translated into a higher risk of mental and physical health problems with potential long-term consequences.
- The Federal Reserve released a briefing paper in 2013 that found “lower levels of life satisfaction” correspond to “greater levels of financial stress”—58 percent of older adults who said they were not very satisfied with life also reported having major financial stress.
What You Can Do
There is no magic bullet to prevent your retirement savings from being depleted by a major financial shock. Economic downturns are inevitable, stock market volatility is rising and unexpected expenses—such as a sudden hospital bill or home repairs—can wreak havoc on even the very best retirement funding plans. One option for coping with a negative financial shock is to unlock hidden value from everyday assets you may no longer need.
For example, many seniors are surprised to learn that one potential asset for generating immediate cash is a life insurance policy. A life insurance policy is considered your personal property, so you have the right to sell that policy anytime you like. When a consumer sells a policy—something called a “life settlement” transaction—the policy owner receives a cash payment and the purchaser of the policy assumes all future premium payments, then receives the death benefit upon the death of the insured. Candidates for life settlements are typically aged 70 years or older, with a life insurance policy that has a death benefit of at least $100,000.
If you own a life insurance policy you no longer need or can afford, you may be able to protect your retirement savings—and your personal health—by selling that policy for immediate cash.
For more facts about life settlements, visit www.LISA.org or call the LISA office at (888) 793-3946.