Financial Advice for All Life's Creeks

Month: November 2020

Do Health Savings Accounts Make Financial Sense?

A health savings account, or HSA, is a smart choice for anyone who has a high deductible insurance plan. The HSA is used to pay for out of pocket costs not covered by insurance. Money in the health savings account is contributed pre-tax and can grow tax-free in the health savings account. Money not used each year rolls over to the next year.  
Who Can Use a Health Savings Account? 
To qualify for a health savings account you must have a high deductible health insurance policy. The benefit of a high deductible policy is that it allows both you and your employer to pay lower premiums. You then use money from your HSA to cover healthcare costs not covered by your health insurance policy.  
You can pay for many medical, vision, and dental expenses with your healthcare savings account. Another benefit of health savings accounts is that others can contribute to your account, including your employer and even relatives. You can contribute money to the account pre-tax as well as post-tax. After-tax contributions can be deducted from your gross income, which will lower your tax bill.  
Any interest earned on your health savings account is tax-free, as is money spent from the account. Your HSA will follow you, meaning you get to keep the money that is in it when you change jobs or retire.  
Health savings accounts make sense for individuals with high deductible health insurance plans. You can use the money in your health savings account to pay for office visits, prescription medications, and many other healthcare-related expenses. Money that you have in your HSA is yours to keep indefinitely.  
It is important to note that if you withdraw money from your health savings account for expenses that are not healthcare-related you will be required to pay taxes as well as a penalty. If you make the withdrawal after the age of 65, you will owe taxes but not be required to pay the penalty.  
HSAs are a great way to make healthcare more affordable for several reasons. Not only does this create a dedicated account to pay for medical expenses, which often includes matching funds from your employer, but using a high deductible insurance plan lowers your monthly premium. 

Understanding Stock Investments by Style

Do you know what kind of investor you are? Most people are not even aware that there is more than one type, but there are. In fact, many investors don’t fall perfectly into one category or another, but they have some mixture of a few. Stock investments by style can be broken down in multiple ways as well, but the two most popular are value and growth stocks.  
Growth stocks
These are the stocks of companies that are growing at a rapid clip. Many investors are happy to pay more for these types of stocks because they are getting in on a company that has been accelerating rapidly. Paying up for that growth is what people will do. The companies represented in as growth stocks are likely to be names that the average person has heard of, and that makes them more comfortable to invest in for some people.  
Value Stocks
Investors sometimes go for value stocks because they prefer to play the market this way. These are the stocks of companies that are not necessarily growing as rapidly as the growth companies, but they have value to them because they have been beaten down too violently compared to what they are truly worth.  
Those stock investments by style are the two biggest options for people attempting to get started in the market. Most people gravitate towards one style of investing or another. Money can be made investing in either style, but a lot of the choice boils down to how comfortable a person is with a particular type of investment. It is often about getting to know yourself as best as possible. You will not succeed if you don’t learn which methods really work for you and why they do. Learn that, and you are all set. 

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