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Northwestern Mutual Study: Women Understand the Realities of Long-Term Care, But May Not Plan Accordingly

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Women may have a better understanding than men about the resources and options available to individuals facing a long-term care event. However, they're significantly less likely to be taking action to protect themselves from the risks.


The findings come from a two-part study by Northwestern Mutual, released in conjunction with November's Long-Term Care Awareness Month. Responses indicate:

  • 73 percent of women are aware of at least one of the long-term care options available to them
  • 4 in 5 women (80 percent) are sure of what they would need assistance with/don't think they'd need assistance in the case of a long-term care event
  • 4 in 5 women also were able to estimate how long – on average – they might need long-term care (79 percent)

"There are two reasons long-term care should be top-of-mind for women: traditionally they're the caregivers in their families, and they face greater longevity," said Rebekah Barsch, vice president at Northwestern Mutual. "Yet, we're finding that women don't necessarily feel empowered to plan for the chance they'll experience a long-term care event."

Women aren't taking action
In contrast to their recognition of the risks, 30 percent of U.S. female adults said they're not sure how they plan to address their potential long term care needs. And 57 percent of women reported they're likely to need help meeting financial expenses.

Furthermore, only 37 percent of women said they're saving for their future needs, and are significantly less likely to own long-term care insurance than their male counterparts (9 percent vs. 15 percent).

"The survey demonstrates that women aren't translating their concerns into actions," said Barsch. "The best way they can do so is by talking to an experienced financial advisor who can help determine a course of action to protect their nest eggs."

Additional Resources for Long-Term Planning
Northwestern Mutual has a range of resources to help individuals think about and plan for their long-term care needs:

Survey Methodology
This research was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Northwestern Mutual from October 2-4, 2012, among 2516 American adults ages 18 and older. This online poll is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Contact Northwestern Mutual for complete survey methodology, including weighting variables.

About Northwestern Mutual
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.  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 Investments.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual

John Gardner 1-800-323-7033,