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What Explains the Decline in Life Insurance Ownership?
Life insurance ownership has declined markedly over the past 30 years, continuing a trend that began as early as 1960. In 1989, 77 percent of households owned life insurance (see figure 1). By 2013, that share had fallen to 60 percent. This article analyzes factors that might have contributed to the decline in life insurance ownership from 1989 to 2013. The focus of our analysis is on two broad sources of potential change in the demand for life insurance: changes in the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the population and changes in how those same characteristics are associated ...
Reinvesting After the Crisis: Changes in the Fixed-Income Portfolios of Life Insurers
The years following the Great Recession presented a unique set of challenges for life insurers even as the U.S. economic recovery began to gain momentum. Between the financial crisis in 2008 and the end of 2016, life insurers? policyholder liabilities grew 25%, from $2.6 trillion to $3.2 trillion, while their preferred investment habitat, the fixed-income securities market (excluding Treasury securities), grew by only 3%, from $22.0 trillion to $22.1 trillion.
Financial Life After the Death of a Spouse
The death of a spouse results in a considerable decline in average income for the surviving spouse. The Social Security survivors benefits program compensates the surviving spouse, most often a woman, for almost all of the lost income, allowing them to work less, but many widows who are not yet eligible for the program struggle to meet their financial needs.
Private Efforts for Affordable Mortgage Lending Before Fannie and Freddie
Prior to government interventions in the U.S. mortgage market during the 1930s, private institutions arose to improve the efficiency of the market and produce more affordable mortgage products. These institutions included mortgage companies that made significant use of mortgage securitization, building and loan associations, and life insurance company mortgage operations. These developments allowed for the creation of geographically more diversified mortgage portfolios while working to address the difficulties of maintaining effective oversight of local lending agents. They may be suggestive ...