A health savings account (HSA) can act as a retirement savings account. Learn how to use your HSA to work toward your retirement goals.
1. Fund your HSA early
Contribute the most allowed to your account at the beginning of each year. Even though you have until you file a tax return to make HSA deposits, starting right away each January gives you more time to take advantage of your HSA’s tax-free growth. Over the years, you could get tens of thousands of additional dollars with this strategy alone.
2. Wait to withdraw from your HSA
Delay taking money from your HSA for as long as possible. Pay for your medical expenses out of pocket and leave your HSA money to grow tax free. Then pay yourself back from your HSA in the future for those eligible medical expenses. Be sure to save your receipts. Check with your HSA to see if you can scan your receipts into an electronic archive.
3. Use your HSA to invest
Use a portion of your HSA balance to buy mutual funds or other investments that offer growth potential.*
A 45-year-old couple could have $185,215 to $263,200 EXTRA in their HSA when they retire by using these strategies. Here’s how:
They deposit $6,750 annually to their HSA for 20 years and earn a 6 percent return on their HSA investments:*
- They have $2,000 a year in eligible heath expenses.
- Each year, they take out money from their HSA to pay themselves back.
- In 20 years they’ll have $185,215 in their HSA as they begin retirement.
If the same couple delays taking out the $2,000 each year, paying their health care expenses out of pocket:
- They’ll have $263,200 in their HSA at age 65.
- They then pay themselves back for eligible accumulated medical expenses that they did not pay with or take a reimbursement from their HSA plan in years past.
- They’ll have $223,200 in their HSA.
4. Continue savings after retirement with an MSA Medicare plan
A Medicare Savings Account plan is similar to an HSA plan with one major difference, Medicare funds the savings account each year. Your MSA plan deposits money in your MSA account every year and you use that money to pay your healthcare expenses, like:
- Long-term care not covered by Medicare