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How to Help Clients Save Big Bucks on Health and Medicare Costs in Retirement

In an environment of swelling health care expenses and inflation, examining ways to mitigate those costs, especially as they relate to Medicare, is becoming an increasingly important way for advisers to add value for clients. Because of the triple-tax-advantaged nature of HSAs, and because health costs will be greatest during one's retirement years, it makes sense for clients to save HSA funds until later in life and fund current health expenses with other disposable income if possible.

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The Math of Medicare Deferment Strategies

Clients who are otherwise eligible to contribute to an HSA may wish to delay Medicare enrollment. Delaying Medicare enrollment is a strategy that is likely to become more common as working past age 65 becomes more common, and employer-sponsored health coverage becomes the standard in larger employers. For eligible clients, the cost savings can be substantial—however, each client’s situation must be examined to determine both eligibility and advisability.

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Use a Health Savings Account to Pay Medicare Premiums Tax-Free

Can we use money from my wife's HSA to pay our Part B premiums, even though they're automatically deducted from my Social Security benefits? After your wife turns 65, you can use money from her HSA to pay Medicare premiums for both of you. And even though your premiums are deducted from your Social Security benefits, you can withdraw money from the HSA tax-free to reimburse yourselves.

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An HSA Can Help You Save for Retirement

Most people who put money into health savings accounts do so to cover their current medical costs. It’s a great way to set aside pre-tax money to spend on the medical bills you have today. But the HSA has another, potentially better use—to save money for medical expenses once you are in retirement. Every year, you add money to your HSA from your pretax income, the same way that you might add money to a traditional IRA or a 401(k).

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Why HSAs Have Become a Valuable Tool for Retirement Planning

Health savings accounts have become a popular way to pay for health care. And thanks to a growing understanding of their tax benefits, they are also starting to be seen as a worthwhile addition to any retirement plan. HSAs are a great way to supplement retirement savings, but the concept is still new for some employees. That’s why it’s important for employees to understand how HSAs work, so they can take full advantage.

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