What to be afraid of (or not)

Human beings are absolutely horrible at estimating the risks they are exposed to.  Here is a graphic and some numbers to help put different risks in perspective. If you are in the US, here are your one-year chances of dying from … any cause: 1 in 117 heart disease: 1 in 384 cancer: 1 in [...]

Instant Quotes: Annuities and Life Insurance

When shopping for immediate annuities or life insurance it always amazes me how far apart quotes can be from different companies.  To make things even worse, the same companies aren’t always the cheapest, so you ALWAYS need to shop around. Here are a few sites where you can get instant quotes [...]

Equity Indexed Annuity Scam

First, to put it on the table, I have a strong bias against EIAs because I think there are more effective ways to achieve the same result.  They often have many moving parts that can make them less valuable than they originally appear and which help hide the expenses built into the product – [...]

Long Term Care Policy Rates Can are not Fixed

When long term care policies are sold, people are reassured that the premiums will be stable.  But they often forget this is not a guarantee and if the insurance company discovers they have underpriced a product for a class of people the premium will go up. I have actually been impressed that John [...]

Genetic Testing Without Worry

With Bush’s signing of the Genetic Information Nodiscrimination Act (GINA), in 12 to 18 months people can get genetically tested without worrying about how it will affect their health insurance (in 12 months) and employment status (in 18 months). From my initial reading, it looks like genetic [...]

Map of Long Term Care Costs

Genworth has created a map to see long term care costs in your state.  It is mostly at the state level although many large cities have their own numbers.  Metlife’s Nursing home survey covers more metropolitan areas if you can’t find yours here.

Longevity Insurance

Jim Miller provides an overview of longevity insurance.  It is basically an immediate annuity that doesn’t start paying until around age 85. These products are still new so I’m not confident that pricing has stabilized yet (i.e., enough competition to ensure you are getting your money’s worth).  [...]

Health Insurance for Early Retirees

Kimberly Lankford reviews resources for early retirees to get health insurance. COBRA National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans Georgetown University Health Policy Institute consumer guides

Tax Treatment of Long Term Care Insurance

Leimberg Information Services has written a great summary of the tax treatment of long-term care Insurance. For individuals, deductions flow through itemized medical expense deduction (subject to 7.5% floor) and if self-employed, through the self-employed health insurance deduction (subject to age [...]

Young and Uninsured: Bad Idea

Health is one of the most important assets a young person has. It has long been known that there is a correlation between health and wealth. When this was first examined it was postulated that this was because wealthier people had access to better health care. Further research has shown causation [...]
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