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Greetings mtbkim,

Where can I learn more about these, and their risks and benefits?

Here are a few links on the subject that I think could be worth reading to get some basics:

http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Money/2-08-28Valentine.htm
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/8/prwebxml151174.php
http://www.annuityadvantage.com/equityindexed.htm
http://www.ins.state.il.us/Life_Annuities/equityindex.htm
http://www.suntimes.com/output/savage/021604savage.html
http://www.fool.com/retirement/annuities/annuities.htm
http://www.nasd.com/Investor/Alerts/indexed_annuities.htm

Do they really protect against market volatility and are they a reasonable means to obtain long-term care insurance?

From what I've read the answer to the first part is yes since the insurance company will bound each side so that you're returns fall within a certain range based on the participation rate that limits the upside and does take out the down side. Something to ponder is how well would this have worked over the past in terms of generating a different return than the usual 10% figure that is tossed around.

I'm not sure I see how this obtains long-term care insurance or would even work as a good way to pay the premiums for LTC to some extent as once you start annuitizing you could well end up running out of funds at some point when you least can afford it as this would be similar to a variable annuity in terms of payout I think.

Regards,
JB
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