There are a lot of factors to consider when planning for retirement. Retirement income, savings, and investments all come to mind, but one thing often overlooked is the role that healthcare expenses can play in your retirement plans. The cost of health care in retirement continues to rise, with the latest estimate in the hundreds of thousands. Although it’s just an estimate, it remains a largely unpredictable cost in retirement. You can better plan and predict other expenses, such as entertainment or food.
As you prepare for retirement, planning for this unpredictable cost is essential. A helpful tool that can help you plan and save for healthcare costs well into your retirement is a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs are a tax-advantaged saving tool that allows you to plan for and save for healthcare expenses now and in the future. However, what benefits can HSAs provide?
The Tax Advantages of HSAs
The most direct benefit of an HSA is the triple tax advantage. Contributions go tax-free, earnings on investments and interest are tax-free, and any qualified medical purchases can be tax-free. While planning for potential medical expenses, saving an average of 30% makes a significant difference. The powerful tax advantages of this account are only one of the reasons that HSAs are a powerful tool for retirement.
The Flexibility of HSAs
A lesser-known benefit of HSAs is their flexibility. HSA contributions can vary each year, and your balance rolls over from year to year. This flexibility allows you to contribute to your schedule and accumulate savings when needed the most. Be that for unexpected medical expenses as you grow your career or for expenses accrued during retirement.
Save for the Long-term With HSAs
Since HSAs are tax-advantaged, they can be an effective tool for accumulating savings over time. Contributing to your HSA and investing the funds allows you to use the power of compounding interest to accumulate tax-free savings for retirement. Whether you start in your 20s or later, it can provide peace of mind as you plan for future healthcare needs.
HSAs for Retirement Savings
HSAs aren’t exclusively for your health care expenses. As you enjoy retirement, unexpected expenses might come up. With an HSA, you can withdraw funds for any reason without penalty after you reach the age of 65. However, you will need to pay taxes on unqualified medical expenses. This benefit allows you to supplement retirement income and protect yourself beyond your healthcare needs.
HSAs are a powerful tool for planning and saving for early retirement. Their tax advantages, flexibility, and ability to save for and spend in the future can help ease your mind as you plan for retirement. If HSAs aren’t part of your retirement plan, it may be time to look. The best time to start saving and investing was yesterday. And the following best is today.