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Can life insurance make you happy? Maybe.

Believe it or not, people who own life insurance are generally happier than their non-owner counterparts. According to a 2013 study conducted by Greenwald & Associates on our behalf 1, people who own life insurance policies reported more fulfillment and optimism in their lives than those who said they did not own a policy.

Greenwald polled 2,000 people about their attitudes toward cultivating goodness in their lives. When asked questions relating to happiness and quality of life, those with life insurance consistently scored higher than those without such protection.

Life Insurance Owners
Non-Life Insurance Owners
42 percent are very happy with their life 32 percent are very happy with their life
64 percent feel their quality of life is better than the average American 51 percent say they have a better quality of life today compared with five years ago
51 percent say they have a better quality of life today compared with five years ago 43 percent say they have a better quality of life today compared with five years ago
43 percent are on track in terms of living life as a good person 37 percent are on track in terms of living life as a good person
92 percent feel that having enough money to protect family against life’s uncertainties is important to living life as a good person 85 percent feel that having enough money to protect family against life’s uncertainties is important to living life as a good person
91 percent feel that being self-sufficient in retirement is important to living life as a good person 85 percent feel that being self-sufficient in retirement is important to living life as a good person

Are happy people more likely to buy life insurance than unhappy people? Or is the simple act of buying life insurance the key to policy owners’ optimism? Perhaps it’s a little of both. Those who buy life insurance are generally more financially prepared to deal with what life throws at them, say the researchers. They have a plan.

“There’s also the element of having done the right thing, something that validates what our Agents say,” says Mark Pfaff, head of the company’s Agency arm that includes 12,000 agents nationwide. “Buying life insurance is about more than checking off a box indicating you’re insured. Instead, there is a sense you’ve taken care of a key element of protection for your family, and that brings comfort and confidence, knowing an important base is covered. ”

1 The Keep Good Going Report survey was sponsored by New York Life and conducted online by Greenwald & Associates, Inc., in August 2012, among 2,069