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What You Need to Know About Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

28 October 2020

What You Need to Know About Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Open enrollment season is quickly approaching, and I want to make sure you take full advantage of all that's available to you, especially a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA is a powerful tool to help you save and invest in paying for your qualified medical expenses (QMEs) now and into retirement. It's become popular as more employers move to high deductible health plans (HDHP) to reduce insurance premiums. A critical note about an HSA is that you must choose an HDHP instead of traditional (lower deductible) health insurance plans if you wish to make contributions to an HSA. 

Six Essential HSA Facts

I have used HSAs for 10+ years and find them to be very beneficial. Here are a few essential facts I'd like to share with you:

1.    The HSA provides triple tax benefits. Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars (free of federal, state, and FICA taxes) through payroll if your employer offers it. If you purchase an HDHP on your own in the insurance market, you can set up your own HSA online and make contributions before the tax return filing deadline. You can choose how to invest the balance, and the growth is tax-deferred. Distributions are income-tax-free if they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses (QME). "Typical" retiree expenses on health care are often as high as $500/month (or $1,000/month for a married couple), much of which is HSA-eligible QMEs, including Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs (although Medigap coverage doesn't count). 

Once enrolled in Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA. But you can take distributions from your HSA for QME.

Five Things to Do If You Inherit a Roth IRA

These steps will help you make the most of the bittersweet situation you are in.

17 October 2020

Five Things to Do If You Inherit a Roth IRA

Once upon a time, if you inherited a Roth IRA, you would be able to stretch the inherited Roth IRA withdrawals out over your lifetime, letting the money grow over the years. Now though, the rules have changed. With the SECURE Act, which was signed into law in December of 2019, planning for an inherited IRA requires a little bit more effort and intention.

This is because the act imposes a new rule on inherited IRAs for any account whose owner died after December 31, 2019, requiring that beneficiaries must empty the account within 10 years of the owner’s death (unless they qualify for an exception).

While this new law definitely limits what you can do with an inherited IRA, there is still some flexibility in how you reap the benefits as long as you stay in the 10-year time limit. Here are five tips to guide you as you plan your strategy.

 

Retirement Savings Catch-Up Strategies

Seven Tactics to Help You Build a Bigger Nest Egg - Even if You're Way Behind

14 September 2020

Retirement Savings Catch-Up Strategies

In a perfect world, we would all start saving for retirement at age 25 and life would never throw any curveballs to send us off track. Of course, this is far from a perfect world, and that’s why so many Americans find themselves playing catch-up and carrying anxiety about never achieving their retirement savings goals.

If you find yourself in this boat, you’re certainly not alone. Luckily, there are many powerful techniques you can use to accelerate your savings right now – even if you’ve waited longer than you had hoped to begin saving. Below, we’ll look at seven strategies to help you get serious – and successful – about your retirement nest egg.

Four Times You Should Consider a Roth Conversion

Proper Timing Can Help You Maximize the Benefits of Converting Your Traditional IRA

14 September 2020

Four Times You Should Consider a Roth Conversion

A traditional IRA is a fantastic retirement savings tool because you can minimize your current tax burden and pay taxes on your contributions later. There are some instances, though, when you may want to take care of what you owe the government now so that you can avoid subsequent taxes down the road. To accomplish this goal, you’ll want to convert some of your traditional IRA balance to a Roth as Roth IRA distributions in the future including all the gains will be income tax-free.

When might a Roth conversion make sense? Although you should always consider your unique financial planning needs, there are four scenarios in which it makes sense to consider a Roth conversion.

The Heirless Estate: What to Do and When to Do It

Estate Planning Guidance for Those Without Heirs

12 August 2020

The Heirless Estate: What to Do and When to Do It

Estate planning is all about the disposition of your assets and, for many people, this involves determining how to divide assets among heirs. What happens, though, when you don’t have a spouse or children, or other obvious heirs to your estate? Unfortunately, many people in this situation don’t feel it’s necessary to plan where their assets will go, which makes it more likely that their money will end up somewhere they wouldn’t choose – namely, the state. For this reason, it’s always prudent to have a strategy in place and to plan ahead for various outcomes.

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