Life changes continue to prompt consumers to add life insurance to their retirement and financial plans, according to research from Northwestern Mutual.

The motivation behind many of the 2,097 Americans ages 18 and older obtaining life insurance and planning future financial security differ by age and lifestyle. The younger respondents (18-34 years old) are most likely to have purchased life insurance due to the birth of a child. More than one-third (36 percent) of Americans 55+ years old who have life insurance were prompted to buy life insurance as a result of marriage, and 31 percent were prompted as part of a retirement plan.

In between those two, 45-54 year olds who have life insurance were prompted by marriage (39 percent), followed by retirement planning (25 percent) and homeownership (25 percent). This group had the highest percentage than any other age group when asked how secure they feel as a result of owning life insurance (69 percent).

Other findings from the survey:

• 18-34 years olds (35 percent) are significantly more likely than those ages 35-54 to have peace of mind as a result of knowing all their debts are paid.

• Both 35-44 (34 percent) year olds and 45 – 54 (36 percent) years olds derive the greatest peace of mind knowing that their family will be provided for in the event of their unexpected death, and those aged 18-34 (68 percent) and 45-54 (58 percent) who have life insurance were significantly more likely to have been motivated to purchase life insurance in order to provide for their loved ones.

• Those who are 55+ (31 percent) find the most peace of mind in knowing that they will have enough money to live in retirement.

• 18-34 (10 percent) year olds who have life insurance were significantly more likely than age 35-44 (2 percent) to have purchased life insurance in order to leave an inheritance to heirs or a charity/non-profit.

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