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Make Sure Your Life Insurance Is Not Taxed at Your Death

Although your life insurance policy may pass to your heirs income tax-free, it can affect your estate tax. If you are the owner of the insurance policy, it will become a part of your taxable estate when you die. While the federal estate tax is currently zero, the exemption will be $1 million and the rate will increase to 55 percent on January 1, 2011, if Congress fails to act in the interim. And state estate taxes are still in


Getting Social Security While Living Overseas

Many retirees look forward to traveling in their retirement, and more and more are actually retiring overseas, in part as a way to stretch savings. But what happens to retirees’ federal benefits while they are out of the country? The short answer is that although Social Security benefits are available to retirees in other countries, Medicare is not. In this installment we look at Social Security. (Click here for our article on overseas travel and Medicare.) As is not the


How Risky Is Buying a Limited-Duration Long-Term Care Insurance Policy?

More consumers are buying shorter-duration policies as a way to keep the cost of long-term care insurance affordable. For example, in 2009 almost one-third of individual buyers purchased a three-year benefit period policy, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. But is that sufficient coverage or is the policyholder likely to run out of benefit dollars? According to a new consumer guide by the industry trade association, the risk of running out of benefits on a three-year policy