How the pandemic has encouraged most people to focus on the little things in life

Nearly six in 10 Americans are planning to make "carpe diem" their new mantra after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research. The survey asked 2,000 Americans about the impact COVID-19 had on their lives and what lessons they've learned and found 68% are planning to emerge from quarantine as new people. In fact, seven in 10 people polled said they're planning to live each and every day to the fullest post-COVID-19. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life Happens, a nonprofit educating consumers about the importance of life insurance, for their annual Insure Your Love campaign, the survey found that 71% of respondents value the little things in life more than ever because of the pandemic. Some of the small wins Americans are pursuing at this time included speaking to their families more (45%), speaking their minds more truthfully (43%) and taking more vacation time when it's safe to do so (42%). Four in 10 respondents also shared they plan to be more confident and express themselves creatively as a part of this small win revolution. This isn't to say respondents aren't focusing on big life decisions during this time, however as three quarters of those polled said it's important for them to get their finances in order in 2021. In fact, achieving financial security is the most important milestone for Americans to achieve for the second year in a row (38% in 2021 compared to 36% in 2020*). Faisa Stafford, President and CEO of Life Happens said: "Traditional milestones and outlooks on life have been upended, leading many to reevaluate what's important in life and their relationships. For many, the past year has emphasized that there is no better financial security for your loved ones than life insurance, with our study showing that more than a quarter (29%) consider getting life insurance a 'small act of love.'" Another important milestone for Americans includes becoming debt free - up 8% compared to last year's survey (26% in 2021 compared to 18% in 2020*). The year-to-year results also showed that two milestones in particular are less of a focus in 2021 - the first being marriage (down 11%) and achieving a successful career (down 5%). This is most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as 58% of respondents said this has drastically changed which milestones they'd like to accomplish in life. The survey also asked respondents about the top discussions about life insurance they've had over the last year and found the top two topics were: the need for their better half to buy a life insurance policy (40%) and reviewing their existing life insurance policies (37%). Life Happens partner Dr. Reena Patel, Licensed Psychologist and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst said: "For our loved ones, including our children, we want to be as prepared as we can be and anticipate anything that may arise. This can mean filling up the nursery, stocking up for any emergencies and also thinking about our finances long-term. You create a lifelong toolbox that has all your essentials. Our biggest job is to ensure security for our children and loved ones, let's make sure to add life insurance in that toolbox to make it complete." One of those "small wins" may have to do with talking about finances. In fact, over half (55%) of respondents said this past year was the first time they spoke with a loved one about life insurance, specifically. This was particularly true among millennials - with 65% agreeing with this statement. When it comes to reasons for avoiding talking about finances during the pandemic, men (31%) and women (37%) both agreed that arguing with their significant other/spouse over money was the leading cause. Despite this, a third of respondents also sat down to chat about the need to buy a life insurance policy and even changing their current beneficiary. It's also become less taboo to talk about life insurance at the dinner table compared to last year's data. There was a 9% decrease for life insurance to be avoided at the table (27% in 2021 compared to 36% in 2020*). *Data gathered from OnePoll and Life Happens survey conducted in Jan. 2020