One of the biggest wild cards in financial planning is healthcare; research conducted by the consulting firm Milliman indicates that the average family of four spends over $9,000 in healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket costs each year. If current trends continue, that number will only rise in the years ahead. But you can help to protect your future physical and financial health by taking these steps today.
Take Advantage of Preventative Health Benefits
Most medical plans cover annual physicals and basic screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol level, blood sugar level) to help prevent minor health issues from becoming major health problems — and a significant drain on your finances.
Purchase Life and Long-Term Care Insurance Before You Retire
You’re more likely to qualify for life and long-term care insurance coverage — and receive the most competitive rates — when you don’t need it. Don’t wait until you’re ready to retire to apply.
Enroll In A Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Many employee benefit programs include healthcare FSAs, which allow you to set aside pretax income to pay for a wide array of expenses not covered by medical, dental, and vision plans.
Open A Health Savings Account (HSA)
If your employer offers a high-deductible medical plan, you may be eligible to contribute to an HSA instead of an FSA. Like a FSA, HSA contributions are made on a pretax basis and are used to pay for a variety of qualified medical expenses. However, unlike a FSA, you can roll over your HSA account balance from year to year and use it anytime in the future.
Always read the FSA and HSA details carefully; there are a number of tax issues and usage restrictions to be aware of before opening either type of account. Ask your employer for more information, or refer to you open enrollment materials.
Source: “To Your Health,” Retirement Essentials, Fall 2013.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.
SMART MONEY TIPS are published to provide practical personal financial tips relating to budgeting, saving, spending, debt, credit, financial wellness, planning for the future, and other personal finance topics. For comments or questions, please e-mail us at at Linda@financialfreedomcoaching.com. We are located in the Tampa Bay, Florida area and are dedicated to educating you to take control of your personal finances and financial future. Services include confidential personal financial coaching and mentoring, personal financial counseling, and financial education through financial literacy seminars. Linda A. Stortz is a CPA and financial literacy advocate, having earned the Accredited Financial Counselor and Certified Credit Counselor credentials. For more tips, please go to http://www.financialfreedomcoaching.com.
About these ads
Linda A Stortz