Positioning HSA Investment Strategy with The Bucket Plan
There are many solutions for financial advisors to achieve profitable business lines using health savings accounts (HSA). Implementing an HSA investment strategy into the client’s retirement plan can help them in the future regardless of their medical needs.
Since the client owns the health savings account, they can take it with them when they retire or switch jobs, and you can invest it in the same way you would an individual retirement account (IRA) or 401k.
If the HSA is treated like any other investment account and maxed out each year, it can grow into a safety net that the client can use for medical expenses as they arise or save for retirement.
Helping Clients Understand the Benefits of a Health Savings Account
Health savings accounts provide various solutions for financial advisors that can benefit their clients. But one of the most important is the triple tax advantage of using an HSA investment strategy. And it’s never too soon for early retirement tax planning.
- Tax-deductible contributions
- Funds grow tax-free
- Capital Gains
- Qualified medical expenses are tax-free
Understand the Position of an HSA in The Bucket Plan
Clients with pre-existing conditions use their HSA in the Now Bucket of their holistic financial plan. They can use their health savings accounts to regularly buy prescriptions and medical devices, pay for office visits, etc.
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) follow a use it or lose it approach. This means the client will forfeit any funds remaining after a specified date. Alternatively, HSAs can be rolled over year after year with no penalties.
Unlike IRAs and 401(k)s, health savings accounts do not require clients to take distributions at a certain age.
Saving for a Soon Emergency
Incorporating an HSA investment strategy into your client’s holistic financial plan can help them prepare for a procedure or planned expense like elective surgery or orthodonture.
What happens if an emergency occurs, and the client finds themselves in a situation where they don’t have enough funds in their health savings account to cover the related costs?
Once in the client’s life, you can roll the maximum annual HSA contribution limit from the client’s IRA into their health savings account.
Boosting Retirement Savings in the Later Bucket
After age 65, the client can use their health savings account penalty-free for non-medical expenses, but it is taxed at the standard income-tax rate.
However, it’s not guaranteed that your clients will maintain a clean bill of health until then. In fact, statistically, most won’t.
So, it’s essential to carve out space in the client’s holistic financial plan for health care expenses.
Estimates in 2022 show the average retired couple over age 65 requires approximately $315,000 for medical costs in retirement.
Building out the HSA investment strategy as part of the overall holistic financial plan can protect your clients should any new health care concerns arise in the future.
HSA Investment Strategy Alternatives to Use in a Holistic Financial Plan
To take full advantage of the HSA investment strategy is to do exactly that: invest it.
Recall that there are three tax benefits to health savings accounts: tax-deductible contributions, tax-free growth, and tax-free distributions.
If the client has minimal health care costs and they are able to max out the annual deposits and employer matches, it can grow into a healthy account for them to draw from later.
The client’s contributions can remain in the account, earning interest for as long as possible. If they can avoid dipping into their health savings account except when necessary, they can realize substantial returns in their retirement years.
Understand the Placement of HSA Investment Strategy
Many health savings accounts require a minimum balance before the client can use it for investment purposes like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETF).
Where is the client on the retirement timeline? If they are retiring soon or looking at early retirement, you may want to look at investment options with a low volatility rate.
Alternatively, you might consider a more aggressive investment strategy if they have some time to invest before retirement.