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Northwestern Mutual Encourages Early Planning for Families of Dependents with Special Needs
April's Autism Awareness Month Reminds Families to get a Head Start on Planning

MILWAUKEE, April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For families who have a dependent with special needs, financial planning often takes a back seat to the necessities of daily life; but it also bears an increased importance.

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"When you have a family member with autism, it can be very difficult to look beyond just the current day," said Jason Klawonn, vice president of advanced markets at Northwestern Mutual. Klawonn's son Casey was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old.

Although the planning process can seem daunting, Northwestern Mutual's team of expert financial representatives regularly helps families navigate the complexities of special needs planning. When beginning the planning process, Northwestern Mutual encourages families with loved ones that have physical or cognitive difficulties to consider the following:

  • Think comprehensively and set goals
  • Huddle with experts
  • Understand eligibility requirements and consider a special needs trust
  • Define roles and identify a trustee and/or guardian
  • Create a financial plan to achieve your goals
  • Implement your financial plan

"April's Autism Awareness Month offers a great opportunity to emphasize the importance of planning for families who are caring for a dependent child, sibling or spouse with special needs," said Ruthann Driscoll, JD, CLU, CFP®, director of advanced planning at Northwestern Mutual. "Crafting a comprehensive plan that addresses the needs of the dependent with special needs – for today and for tomorrow – and balancing that with the needs of the rest of the family is essential to achieving lifelong financial security."

For more in-depth information on Northwestern Mutual's personalized comprehensive planning process and to learn how to build a comprehensive financial plan that provides for a lifetime of quality care for loved ones with special needs, visit

About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for nearly 160 years. Our financial representatives build relationships with clients through a distinctive planning approach that integrates risk management with wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution. With $230 billion in assets, $27 billion in revenues, nearly $90 billion in assets under management in our investment products and services, and more than $1.5 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to 4.3 million people who rely on us for insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability income and long-term care insurance; annuities; trust services; mutual funds; and investment advisory products and services. Northwestern Mutual is recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2015.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, Iife insurance with long-term care benefits, 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.


SOURCE Northwestern Mutual

Peter Balistrieri 1-800-323-7033,