Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tax Regulation Makes LTCI More Affordable

Are you reluctant to buy long-term care insurance (LTCI) because it’s not exactly cheap? Or maybe you might not like the thought that if you don’t use the insurance, you’ve wasted your money. However, without some kind game plan, a change in your health could wipe you out! Well, thanks to the IRS, you might be able get a policy while still accumulating bucks for the future. It starts with a fixed, deferred annuity (FDA). Money you put into one of these annuities accumulates tax-free until you withdraw it. When you make a withdrawal, part it is considered a return of your original investment, thus comes out tax-free. The rest is considered earnings and taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. As you can see then, FDAs can be a valuable way to put away money for retirement, much like an IRA. Now, back to LTCI … The Pension Protection Act of 2006 includes two provisions regarding FDAs, life insurance and LTCI that took effect January 1, 2010: 1. Money you withdraw to pay LTCI premiums is distributed free of taxes, therefore your after-tax cost for the policy could be less. 2. Money you transfer directly from an annuity or the cash value in life insurance to pay for long-term care insurance is not taxable. Insurance companies were quick to jump on the second provision by introducing FDAs with a LTCI rider. Very simply here’s how they work: Suppose, for example, you put $50,000 into a FDA. And let’s assume it’s designed to pay you up to 300% in benefits. That means you’d have $150,000 in coverage from day one without paying LTCI premiums. And if you never have to use the benefit, your $50,000 continues to grow tax-deferred. Of course, this perk comes at a cost, which is a reduction in the interest rate you’ll receive on the amount you pay in. So be sure to ask your agent for the details. But at least now you have a basic idea of two more ways to protect your nest egg and leave something for your love ones. To learn more about the many options available to help plan for long-term care expenses, be sure to check out A Boomer’s Guide to Long-Term Care. Best wishes, George


  1. There are now 10 ways to reduce taxes with long-term care insurance. Here's a list of the 10 ways:

  2. That's for the additional information. George