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Postponement of taxes on investment or other earnings until the investor begins to consume them and anticipates being in a lower tax bracket. One example of a tax-deferred investment is an individual retirement account (IRA). Earnings accumulate tax free until the account holder retires after age 59'A. At that time, taxes must be paid on the earnings as money is withdrawn from the account. Other examples of tax deferred investments are insurance products such as annuities and various types of whole life insurance such as variable life and universal life. The tax reform act of 1986 limited the use of IRAs, making insurance products one of the few tax-deferred investments still available.