by WEX Benefits
We’re just a few weeks into the new year. For most Americans, a new year meant setting new financial goals. In fact, almost three-quarters of U.S. citizens had a New Year’s resolution last year that centered on being smarter with money. So how can you do just that? We broke down a few ways below, or watch this episode of our Benefits Buzz podcast to learn more about the perks of an HSA.
Max out HSA contributions
There is no “one-size-fits-all” guidance on how much you should be contributing to your HSA. With rising healthcare costs and cost of living, saving for retirement is more important than ever. Since all funds do carry over, you don’t risk losing funds at the end of the plan year, which is one reason why it makes sense to max out your HSA contributions in line with the IRS limits.
Our My HSA Planner tool can help you determine the right contribution amount based on your goals. It provides personalized calculations so you can learn more about your HSA’s present and future potential. Simply by entering basic information the My HSA Planner calculates your future savings balance, potential retirement balance, and projects how different levels of contributions can make an impact.
Set and monitor savings goals
Setting goals that are achievable is vital to securing your dream retirement, but so is monitoring those savings goals. Always remember that your HSA contribution amount is flexible and can be changed at any time during the plan year.
At the 90-day mark, it’s clear whether you are making the right moves to meet your financial goals. It’s important to review your savings goals for the year one by one and to be honest with yourself on your progress.
- For goals you may have missed, it helps to figure out what may have caused you to miss them. Have you saved as much as you wanted to? Did you make the payments you planned to make? Did you reduce certain expenses in ways you aimed to?
- For goals you’ve hit, it can help to see if you have the capability to be more aggressive with them. If you have more money left at the end of the month than anticipated, how can you allocate it to other areas of your life?
Invest your HSA funds
Investing your HSA funds can enable your money to grow faster, tax-free, and help supplement your needs long-term while you save for retirement. However, the majority of people with active HSAs don’t take advantage of investing their money. In fact, only 6% of account holders were investing their HSA balance in 2020.
The expected rate of return on mutual fund investments is much higher than the standard interest rate of an HSA. For example, let’s say that you have $10,000 in your HSA balance and are trying to decide if you should invest your dollars.
|Year||If you invest …||If you build interest …|
|After five years||$14,693||$10,176|
|After 10 years||$21,589||$10,356|
|After 20 years||$46,609||$10,724|
* Table indicates fund growth at an 8 percent rate versus interest at a 0.035 percent rate.
The difference is considerable, and those invested funds are growing tax-free!
Evaluate HSA and 401(k) together
Many people dream of a certain retirement lifestyle. These goals are achievable, especially with the right planning. Many don’t realize that health savings accounts (HSAs) and 401(k)s can be used together as a retirement savings strategy. This pairing helps expand your savings potential over time.
- An HSA and retirement. An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account for current or future medical expenses. All funds roll over from year to year, and you can invest their funds. That makes these accounts ideal for retirement planning. They even have perks that a 401(k) or IRA don’t have as it pertains to healthcare costs in retirement.
- A 401(k) and retirement. The 401(k) has long been a retirement-planning staple. You can take advantage of tax savings (either pre-tax or post-tax) when you set aside dollars in a 401(k) for future use. These funds are then invested for potential growth.
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