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I have been with Northwestern Mutual life insurance for over 40 years. The service has been excellent but with my agent and calling their customer service. Their statements are easy to read and understand. Cannot go wrong with Northwestern Mutual.
From the moment I met my NWM team I felt important and understood. I didn’t have a million dollars to invest and yet they treat me like I do. It makes a massive difference because my money matters to me and they know how to beat manage it for me.
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I have been with them for 20yrs and I couldn’t be happier. Great rates and service. 500,000$ policy good until 75 years old. Best company I have ever dealt with for term life insurance. Namaste. Greg.
On life insurance and disability they do a thorough application process but once approved you are golden. They also gave an extra 60 days this spring to pay your premium without jeopardizing your coverage.
Why I am closing my Northwestern Mutual accounts and what it has cost me in both time, frustration, and $$$: In 2019, I shifted from being an independent artist, making sporadic money, to being an entry level police officer making the most money I had ever made with a job in my life. My husband and his friend worked with a “financial advisor” at Northwestern Mutual named Ryan ** who came recommended by them so I finally set up an appointment to talk about opening up a retirement account in addition to my police officer retirement accounts. I never really felt comfortable investing in the whole stock market/mutual funds thing because I honestly have always had a hard time understanding it and I never wanted my money to be wrapped up in something I didn’t understand. But Ryan was very assuring at the appointment.
My head was already spinning from all the paperwork and stuff I had to do to 1) get into the police force, and 2) sign up for all of my department’s retirement packages and trying to understand everything. Listening to Ryan explain things was difficult to follow, but I figured this is a professional company and I know two people who have accounts here so let’s just go with it. I opened a Roth IRA, which I chose to contribute $100 a month to. I also was talked into purchasing extra life insurance (even though I already had it through my police department) because Ryan explained that in the event that I left my job, that job’s life insurance won’t come with me. Okay, makes sense. I’ll be responsible and invest in extra life insurance. Another $100 a month.
Well after a year of working as an entry-level police officer, unfortunately the job did not work out for me (for a myriad of reasons) and I left law enforcement in May of 2020. Of course when I tried to go back to my original line of work in the teaching and performing arts, the entire country was shut down due to COVID. I notified Ryan of my situation and told him I needed to roll over the retirement money that I did accumulate during my time as an officer (about $8,000) to a Traditional IRA with NW Mutual and that I needed to stop all of my monthly contributions because I did not currently have steady income anymore. Ryan was VERY communicative when it came to helping me roll over the $8,000 into a traditional IRA with NW Mutual. He also said that he would stop my monthly contributions, which I requested in June.
July rolls around and $100 comes out of my account. I politely let Ryan know. He said he would look into it and make sure it was stopped. No big deal, I know automated things can take time. August rolls around, another $100 comes out of my account. I let Ryan know once again, a little nervous this time since my money was already dwindling fast. Meanwhile, I am in my early pregnancy and also dealing with a slumlord apartment manager so my tensions were rising. Ryan also stopped answering his office phone and did not respond well to voicemails. It seems he only responded to me by text message, which is frustrating when you’re trying to figure out a problem. I called the Home Office 800 number and the representative I spoke to removed my banking information from online so that the next bill I received would be a physical one and not automatically withdrawn. I called Ryan, but no answer.
So I text him and asked him what my options were since the next bill for the life insurance was going to be due soon at the end of September. He finally explained that since it was the life insurance that kept coming out, it wasn’t automatically stopped with my other contributions and that life insurance can’t be paused, it either has to be paid or cancelled. He told me that I could get a refund for the last three premiums since I had been requesting it to be stopped since May, but nothing refunded before that (so basically I paid $100 a month for almost a year to them for nothing). I could not afford a $100 premium a month and I did not know when I was going to be able to. Pretty much my only option was to delay the payment by a month (their idea of providing “COVID relief”) or just cancelling altogether.
I knew my situation was going to be the same in a month so I decided to cancel. I bit my tongue and said, “Okay great well getting back the last three months of premiums is better than nothing.” Well when I called the Home Office to request this change, they told me that I could not be refunded anything at all and they weren’t sure who would tell me that incorrect information. So now I look like an idiot on the phone. I called Ryan and guess what? No answer! But not to worry, he can always text! So I text him the information I was told and he of course says he’ll get it taken care of. No offense, but after three months of money coming out of my account, I stopped taking his word.
I tried figuring out my online account site with NW Mutual (which is not user-friendly and really doesn’t allow you to make any changes on your own). My representative in the corner was listed as David **. I tried calling him, but no answer. No one at the Tacoma, WA branch office where I set up my accounts were answering the phone. The only thing I could really do was leave an angry message on the internal website under “Feedback.” Shortly after, I was contacted by a Lucretia ** from client services who actually spoke to me on the phone and issued the $300 refund for the last three premiums that had been charged to me after I requested cancellation. She also confirmed that my life insurance accounts were now successfully closed. So it took three months for me to get payments stopped and to figure out what the payments were for, which was a whole life insurance policy AND a term life insurance policy.
I feel as though it was a bad recommendation in the first place to sign up for such pricey life insurance policies when I’m only in my 20s. And I did not know at the time of signing up that this was something that could not be cancelled without losing out on all of the money you paid into it. Of course you can cash out the policy… Do you know what I received? $30. I felt very frustrated by this whole situation, but I moved on. That is until a few months later when I received a peculiar letter in the mail from NW Mutual in November, notifying me of a “recent trade purchase” made on my behalf. I had never received a letter like this before and wasn’t sure I understood it, so I decided to call the 800-number/Home office. I spoke with a Suzy on the phone, who explained that it was simply a new policy for them to notify us and that it wasn’t anything particularly new.
However, while she was looking at my accounts, she happened to notice that my Roth IRA had a negative balance of somewhere around $400. I was unaware of why this was. Whenever I logged into my accounts, it showed that I had roughly $1100 in my Roth and roughly $8,000 in my Traditional. She looked further into my account and noticed that instructions were given back in the summertime to stop all of my contributions (as I had requested due to my unemployment). But instructions were NOT given to stop the purchase of the 2055 Target Date Retirement Package. I still don’t know if I understand what happened, but apparently for four months, they kept purchasing the retirement package even though I was not making contributions. I personally didn’t even know that was possible.
I asked how that could be corrected and Suzy told me it would be best to contact my local representative. From my past experience, I politely told her that my representative never answers the phone and issues that have needed fixing in the past have had delays. She then gave me the number to a representative in Seattle named Juliette **. I told her I had never spoken to a Juliette before and that I thought my representative was Ryan ** from the Tacoma office. She wasn’t quite sure about this either so she gave me numbers for both and said to call the home office back if I couldn’t get to anyone. I called the number she gave for Ryan ** and it was a nonworking number. So I called Julie’s office in Seattle and of course no one answered, so I left a voicemail.
While waiting for a few minutes before I called back the home office, Ryan ** sent me a text message saying that his colleague Julie had received a call from me and he then asked if there was something I needed help with. Why I can’t seem to just talk to my so-called representatives through our voices on the phone is beyond me, but I digress. I explained the situation to him over text and he said he would call the home office and figure it out. His explanation was that I had a negative balance in my Roth because the account was still purchasing $100 of mutual funds when I stopped contributing to it and it “used to automatically stop when contributions stopped but that’s not the case anymore.” In layman's terms, he made the mistake.
Now he had to go through the process of “selling back the trade shares” or something like that. This all happened right before Christmas. So of course it wouldn’t get fixed completely until after the holidays they said. Here I am again, left up in the air. I understand that this was a mistake and it was fixed, but unfortunately this was now one too many mistakes for me to feel fine about leaving my money with NW Mutual; particularly the $8,000 that I had rolled over to a NW Mutual IRA when I left my job as a police officer. I am 8 months pregnant at this point and the last thing I would have time to worry about when the baby comes is whether or not NW Mutual is missing important details with my accounts. That and the fact that I don’t understand the stock market and whole investing process very well and don’t feel comfortable trusting someone else to do something that I don’t fully understand the risks for.I also do not have steady income and don’t feel it’s wise to have an aggressive account if I cannot make contributions. My husband is the sole income right now.
I explained all of this to Ryan, who apologized for everything. But neither he, nor Julie (who I didn’t even know was my representative, but apparently merged practices with Ryan) have been what I consider to be a financial adviser to me, personally. He was quick to urge me not to move my money into a bank. He also notified me of a $95 account closure fee for each account. But when I asked him what he thought I should do as someone who is unemployed and unable to make steady contributions, I received no response. That was the final deciding factor for me to set up an appointment with my credit union and just have everything transferred over to a place that I’m familiar with and have trust with. People who I can easily contact and not have to be passed around a call center.
Previously, I had asked both the Home Office AND Ryan if there was anything specific I needed in order to do this rollover successfully. They both told me no, that my financial institution should have all of the necessary forms. So I had an hour long appointment with my credit union to both update my accounts with them and initiate the rollover request on December 31st, 2020. I asked Ryan where the request should be mailed to and he told me to the Northwestern Mutual Headquarters in Milwaukee, WI. So I gave this instruction to my credit union.
The mail went out on January 4th and I was told the mail service was operating very slowly. So in the meantime, I asked Ryan if there was anyone I could speak to about discounting or waiving these account closure fees after all that has happened. No response. I then decided to email Lucretia **, the woman who originally processed the life insurance refund for me a few months ago. No response. I called her and left a voicemail asking if she had received my email and to let me know if there was someone else I could speak to about the account closure fees. No response. Mind you, I am now nearing NINE MONTHS PREGNANT and trying desperately to tie up all loose ends before this baby comes.
After waiting for 20 days, I finally called the NW Mutual Home Office on January 24th, 2021 to ask if they had received any of the requests from my credit union. Ed ** informed me that yes they did and they were rejected on January 20th. I asked why I was not notified of this and he said it looks like the requests first went to the Headquarters Office, which is NOT the correct location to send them to, so it was then rerouted, causing a delay. They would also be notifying my credit union of the rejection by mail. After looking into why it was rejected, Ed informed me that 1) I was supposed to call and give vocal permission for them to liquidate the funds and send to the other financial institution, 2) my credit union made a mistake on checking the box of the type of accounts that were being transferred, and 3) All transfer requests are supposed to be sent to the Pershing LLC Holding Company, a completely different entity from Northwestern Mutual.
Would you agree that these are very specific instructions that should have been relayed to me when I specifically asked what I needed to do to close my accounts and transfer my money? When I told him I had a baby due in two weeks, he gave me a FAX number for my credit union to send the necessary corrections to. So this whole time, I could have had my credit union fax the information instead of waiting 20 days for the mail service and having it sent to the incorrect location causing unnecessary delays??
I asked Ed to please look into my closing fees and find out if any of them could be waived in respect to all the stress and miscommunication this company has caused. He called me back the next day and informed me that his supervisor declined any waiving of fees. And I also learned that it’s not just the $95 closing fee per account. It is also the $50 annual fee to have each account for both the year of 2020 AND the year of 2021.
My total fees for simply closing my accounts and moving MY money because Northwestern Mutual has lost my trust is going to be $380. $380 of the money that I earned as a police officer, which was extremely difficult and trying. A $380 fee being charged of an unemployed person during a global pandemic after dragging a pregnant woman through stress, miscommunication, and confusing errors for the latter half of the year. A $380 fee after I was the one who had to call in to find out about each of the mistakes and issues with my accounts. Let that sink in.
I will never work with Northwestern Mutual again. I took a giant leap of faith by opening aggressive accounts that Ryan ** highly recommended, but as soon as struggles hit and I became a non-contributor, my account didn’t matter; answering the phone for me didn’t matter; getting back to me didn’t matter; and trying to give me a break on excessive fees didn’t matter. My local representatives were rarely available to talk to me, so I always had to call the Call Center and continually had to explain everything to a new person who answered the phone.
Make sure you understand completely what you’re getting into if you sign up with this company. And be prepared to be left high and dry if you ever decide that you can’t afford to continue contributions. And God forbid you ever want to take your money elsewhere. I had to go back to my credit union today for another hour long in-person appointment to try to piece together the correct way to send the rollover/transfer requests, which is the last thing I feel like doing with a nearly full-term baby pressing on my spinal cord and my bladder. I am praying that the faxed transfer will go smoothly and my credit union will be able to make contact with Pershing LLC next week with no other problems because baby is coming and I cannot be dealing with this mess much longer.
Do not do business with Northwestern Mutual under any circumstances. Our NM "financial advisor" representative Jay ** reached out to my family through an extended family connection, offering to help us with some free financial advice. He sold us term life insurance, which is fine (although the rates are terrible compared to other companies), and also pushed a whole/permanent life insurance policy on us that he said was a "medium-term investment" with great average rates of return of 5-7%.
We asked him general questions about our finances, and overall he suggested we not put money into other things like 401k, but do this whole life insurance plan instead. We signed up for these policies as my spouse was looking for a long term investment with good rates of return; our premiums were a combined $640 per month. Our NM representative also followed up all of our phone calls by going through our LinkedIn contacts and asking if they could contact them, presumably looking for more people to scam, to which we said no.
18 months later, I ran the numbers more closely and saw that the projected rate of return was only 2.9%, and the guaranteed return was only 0.4%. Realizing we may have been scammed, we spoke with several independent financial advisors over the last few months, and they were unanimous in saying that these whole life insurance policies are a very bad investment for us considering our age and income level.
After asking our Northwestern Mutual representative about their commissions on these products, we discovered that he had taken over 60% of our premiums as commission in the first year of our policy (at least $4,600), and takes 5-10% of our premiums as commission for every year after that (it may even be higher - these were just the estimates that our dishonest NM representative provided). These extremely high commission rates were not disclosed to us at the time of purchase. We canceled our plans at a loss of $8,742 over the last 18 months, because after looking at the numbers, staying in longer would have only incurred increasing losses.
I filed a complaint with the NM office in question regarding these sales practices, and in the dispute resolution document, our NM representative claims that he never told us the rate of return averaged 5-7%, and that he never told us we should not increase our 401k contributions. Both of these statements are blatant lies. Most appallingly, the resolution document states that "A permanent life insurance policy is not an investment. Typically, an investment is purchased for the purpose of accumulating wealth." These life insurance policies were sold to us under the explicit description of being investments that would accumulate wealth.
Northwestern Mutual has denied that they owe us any money in return, saying that since his statements were over the phone and not recorded or documented, it is our word against his. There was no source of confusion here, my spouse and I heard him state these things repeatedly over the course of several weeks on the phone when pushing these products on us.
I spoke to some friends about this, and the same thing happened to 2 of them - NM representatives push these whole life insurance policies on people, get them to put many thousands of dollars in that they take as commission, and then when people finally realize what is happening, they cancel their policies at huge losses, because the alternative is worse. These products should not even be legal as there is no benefit to them for people who aren't millionaires trying to dodge estate taxes.
In summary, these Northwestern Mutual people are predators who will lie to you and knowingly push terrible products on you, and you should not trust them under any circumstances. If you are going to talk to them, make sure to record the phone calls or get their statements in emails, because they will use illegal marketing practices over the phone and deny it later.
Northwestern Mutual staff are salesmen who earn commissions by selling products laden with hidden fees. Ignore their titles - they are not true financial advisors creating a financial plan in your best interest. Some of NWM's offerings may be appropriate for you, but do your own research before accepting their recommendations. For example, whole life insurance is an expensive product appropriate only for certain situations, not every person who walks through the door. See the White Coat Investor's blog post, Confessions of a "Financial Advisor" for more detail on that.
There are plenty of free resources and podcasts nowadays that will teach you the basics so you can make informed decisions – check out JL Collins, Meaningful Money, Dough Roller or ChooseFI for starters. I wish I had known about these when I naively signed up for a bucket of inappropriate NWM products when I first started out. It would have saved me a lot of money!
I am a full-time instructor at a community college. About 1 year ago, I was approached by an ex-student (now employed at NW Mutual) and his supervisor. They seemed to be very interested in helping me obtain a life insurance plan that would provide for my 10 year old son. The plan sounded great and was at a reasonable price. During the health screening process, I told the NP that I had been on ** for years to help me sleep due to a disorder. I told the NP that I got off the ** when I found out it was linked to dementia, instead taking a few drops of a legal **/** a couple times a week for sleep.
The whole application process took about 4 months to complete and when I was approved and asked to make my first payment, they raised my premium over 25%! The company wrote a letter to me saying my premium was changed due to my “** use” and that my premium may be lowered if I were in a “more favorable risk classification.” I would think that a risk of dementia is a “less favorable” risk as opposed to taking a ** tincture a couple of times of week.
I actually think the whole thing was a ploy and that the application process takes so long, that they feel they can raise the rates at the last instant and a customer will capitulate. Northwestern Mutual is a shoddy, dishonest company. Update...I recently applied through Banner Life Insurance and told them exactly the same info I told Northwestern Mutual. They offered me a much lower rate and were very honest about everything. Shop around and you will find the honest companies. Just avoid Northwestern Mutual at all costs.
I could NEVER recommend Northwestern Mutual again. I completed a form concerning dividend use. Box checked by agent states that SS# required complete W-9. Agent says can't find my form. So now where is my SS# floating around. Totally incompetent!!!
While at a B2B social, a beautiful woman approached me and asked me a little about my business. She then said that she was working on a summer project for a college class and would like to interview me for her report. Being a start-up I was intrigued and agreed to meet her at an office address that her school said we could use. A week later I followed my GPS and discovered it led me to a Northwestern Mutual office in Charlottesville. I thought that was weird. So I went in to see if I was lost. She walked out and met me and led me to a back office where we could talk. She then introduced me to their financial advisor and disappeared. I never saw her again.
I asked the FA what was going on and he gave me a vague answer and explained that the assistant was probably confused. For whatever reason I bought the policy and was a client for 3 years. But every time my bill auto-drafted I was reminded of that dishonest and deplorable beginning. So I finally canceled it. Be warned, many FAs are creating schemes to get you in the door ever since they became heavily regulated in doing other forms of advertising or lying.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance author review by Neal Frankle
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance is a financial services company that provides its clients various insurance options and investment opportunities. It can aid individuals and businesses to possess a lifetime of financial stability.
Specialized planning: Northwestern Mutual creates flexibility through a range of financial options — such as life, disability, long-term care insurance, investment products and services.
Guidance: It employs financial representatives who aid clients individually to develop a personalized account using their range of services and plans.
Reliability: The life insurance plan has a persistency rate of 96 percent. Such a high persistency rate means a large percentage of policies stay in force through the end of the designated period.
Long-term prioritizing: Northwestern Mutual wants financial stability for its clients and want to create long-term value for them. Thus, the company doesn't pursue short-term gains through fads or take unneeded risks.
Educational tools: It offers the Northwestern Mutual Learning Center, which helps clients obtain their financial goals through online tools and resources including videos, articles and market information.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Information
- Company Name:
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
- Year Founded:
- 720 East Wisconsin Avenue
- Postal Code:
- United States
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