June 2015 Bar Bulletin
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June 2015 Bar Bulletin

Financial Planning for a Better Retirement

By Rajiv Nagaich


Fourth in a Series

(Last of Three Parts)

(Last month's article discussed options to paying out of pocket for long-term care.)

Financial Planning Decisions That Impede VA and/or Medicaid Planning

One of the areas I'm particularly focused on is how financial decisions made during an earlier phase in life can impact my clients' future ability to apply for and get VA and/or Medicaid benefits. Medicaid and VA programs are means-tested, meaning that to access benefits only limited assets can be under the direct control of the client.

If the plan is to access these programs to address long-term care issues, the following financial decisions will need to be considered.

Holding Assets in Retirement Accounts

Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs [401(k), SEP-IRA, 403(b), etc.] are effectively the opposite of one another. Contributors to a traditional IRA initially receive a tax deduction, but the government taxes that money at ordinary income tax rates when those funds are withdrawn.

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