The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Quarantine Chore #3

03/23/2020

If you are one of the millions under a Stay-At-Home order, if you are one of the millions “working-from-home”, if you are retired and worried, the first thing you should do is turnoff the television.  You can do nothing about it, and it ruins your day.  How about using your time more wisely . . . financial planning, for example?

What if there was a triple-tax advantaged investment vehicle that you are not utilizing?  You get an income tax deduction.  You pay no tax on the investment growth.  You pay no tax on withdrawals.  Now, would that motivate you to turn off the television and do something productive?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are not just for the healthy and wealthy.  Individuals can put $3,550 a year into it and deduct it from taxable income.  (If you’re at least 55 years old, it is $4,550.)  You can think of it as another type of IRA, except it is focused on your healthcare expenses.  Originally designed to accompany high-deductible health insurance, an HSA can reduce current income taxes and reduce the after-tax cost of your healthcare expenses now (examples are deductibles, co-insurance, prescription drug coverage, vision and dental expenses).  The remaining funds in your HSA can grow to help you during your retirement years.

Are you eligible for this great little financial planning tool?  I could tell you, but it is more important to me that you put down the television remote and put your hand on your computer mouse.

What are you waiting on?  You cannot “watch-away” the coronavirus outbreak anyway!

Besides, you might learn something to help your kids or neighbors.

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