With Americans living longer than ever before, having a long term perspective for individual care needs is critical. The good news is Northwestern Mutual has launched a new Long Term Care Cost Calculator to help people better understand the financial impact of those needs.

The calculator builds on Northwestern Mutual's Cost of Care research, released earlier this year, which surveyed nearly 7,000 home health care providers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes across the U.S. and revealed stark differences in costs for long term care services in geographic locations across the country.

"It is clear that most people simply can't afford to pay for long term care by drawing on their retirement nest eggs," says Terence Holahan, Northwestern Mutual. "Planning for long term care is about protecting both your assets and your lifestyle when you are unable to care for yourself; this new calculator helps educate consumers about the potential cost of a long term care event and how it can vary by age, location and length of time the care is needed."

November is Long Term Care Awareness Month and National Caregivers' Awareness Month and offers an excellent opportunity for individuals to educate themselves about long term care. The critical need for this conversation as part of a holistic approach to financial security is evident when you consider the hard facts:

  --  About 60 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some
      type of long term care services during their lifetime(1)
  --  People who reach age 65 will likely have a 40 percent chance of
      entering a nursing home. About 10 percent of the people who enter a
      nursing home will stay there five years or more(2)

  --  Nearly seven in ten (68%) Americans have a family member or close
      friend who has been in a nursing home or received long term care in
      the past 3 years(3).


"The bigger picture speaks for itself: protecting yourself and your family against a long term care event is an individual responsibility," says Holahan, who led the long term care research study at Northwestern Mutual. "In the same way you have to take the lead to save for your retirement nest egg, and not simply count on social security, you must also prepare for a long term care event and immunize yourself against the financial and emotional impact that such an event can potentially have on a family."

The Long Term Care Cost Calculator includes a series of adjustable 'sliders' that allow individuals to view various long term care scenarios in real-time, setting the stage for a more in-depth discussion and consideration of an individual's long term care risks.

It joins several other calculators from Northwestern Mutual, all of which are aimed at helping educate individuals to help them better understand how certain risks apply to them and how they can best manage those risks. Among the other calculators is the Lifespan Calculator, which uses the latest information from the National Center for Health Statistics, and considers 13 lifestyle factors including diet, drinking, smoking and stress to estimate life expectancy (longevity risk).

About the Cost of Care Study

In October and November 2008, the Long Term Care Group, Inc. conducted customized Cost of Care research on behalf of Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, a Northwestern Mutual company. The study covered nearly 7,000 home health care providers, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. To view the full survey report, visit www.northwesterncostofltc.com.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company - Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with over $1 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual seeks to share its gains with policyowners and deliver consistent and dependable value to clients over time.

Northwestern Mutual is an industry leader in total individual life insurance and disability insurance dividends paid to participating policyowners. Though dividends are not guaranteed, are reviewed annually and are subject to change, the company has paid life insurance dividends every year since 1872.

Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investment Group. Further information can be found at http://www.northwesternmutual.com/.

(1) "Own Your Future", Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December 2002

(2) U .S. Department of Health & Human Services, Medicare, Long-Term Care Home, (http://www.medicare.gov/LongTermCare/Static/Home.asp) March 25, 2009

(3) "The Public's View on Long-Term Care" KFF Update on the Public's Views of Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Services (conducted October 1-10, 2007), Kaiser Public Opinion Spotlight, Kaiser Family Foundation, December 2007

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SOURCE: Northwestern Mutual

CONTACT: Jean Towell, 1-800-323-7033,
mediarelations@northwesternmutual.com

Web Site: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/