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New Northwestern Mutual Study Shows Americans Are Underutilizing Permanent Life Insurance Despite Multiple Benefits

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 4, 2014 – As both longevity and the cost of living continue to increase, Americans may be overlooking a key opportunity to strengthen their financial foundation.  In contrast to savings and investing vehicles that focus on either asset accumulation or risk management, permanent life insurance is a multi-faceted financial solution that augments a death benefit with a number of important living benefits.

“Permanent life insurance is the proverbial Swiss army knife of financial solutions because it can be used to tackle any financial challenge from leaving a legacy to dealing with a medical emergency,” said David Simbro, senior vice president, Northwestern Mutual. “Flexibility combined with the fact that permanent life insurance is virtually recession-proof means invaluable peace of mind in today’s complicated and unpredictable economic environment.”

According to Simbro, the advantages of permanent life insurance include:

  • Guaranteed growth in value over time: The cash value of a permanent life insurance policy never declines and is guaranteed to continue increasing over time, tax-deferred.
  • Flexibility: Policyowners can leverage the value to pay for college, fund a business, or address any number of planned or unexpected financial needs. Because of its assignability, the policy can also serve as collateral.
  • Retirement: Policy cash value can be leveraged to supplement retirement income.

However, despite its many advantages, only 22% of Americans currently own a permanent life insurance policy, a fraction of the 66% who have savings accounts, according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2014 Planning and Progress Study.  As the company committed to helping Americans achieve financial security, Northwestern Mutual is leveraging September’s Life Insurance Awareness Month observance to deepen awareness for permanent life insurance and how it can serve as the cornerstone of sound financial strategy.

Simbro encourages people to meet with a financial advisor to explore the role permanent life insurance can play in their overall planning strategy. Additionally, Northwestern Mutual’s Online Learning Center features a wide range of resources and tools for individuals interested in learning more about attributes of permanent life insurance. The resources can help address such topics as:

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 more than $217 billion in assets, $26 billion in revenues and more than $1.5 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.2 million people who rely on us for insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability and long-term care insurance; annuities; trust services; mutual funds; and investment advisory products and services.

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, 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; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.


Jean Towell, 1-800-323-7033,