Everyone that knows me, knows I moved out to Las Vegas to marry P, but a big plus of moving out here, was I got the opportunity to work for a very technically advanced company that works with very sophisticated software. I love software engineering and enjoy going to work every day. One of the perks of working for my company is that they give employees access to a HSA.
HSA stands for Health Savings Account. It’s an account employers usually sponsor for their employees that gives employees access to healthcare with a spending account to cover the cost of their health savings. My company gives me health insurance for approximately twenty dollars a month. The insurance is free preventative with a $3,000 deductible which is quite steap; however, the company also gives me $500 every year in my HSA and I can contribute up to $3,300 a year or an additional $2,800.
Each paycheck, I try to contribute to the HSA to help reach this max for the following reason. As I am younger, my medical needs are quite limited. I rarely need to go to the doctor and when I do, I use this app called MDLIVE where within minutes I speak with a doctor with my issue and only pay $40. There is literally 0 wait time. Regardless, my expenses are limited.
What most people don’t know is that: HSA lets you invest contributed amounts in investment vehicles that are…. drumroll… tax free on capital gains! This means that the money a user invests in an HSA, he/she must keep $1,000 available in the account at all times in cash, but all amounts >$1,000 can be used toward any investment vehicle and can be kept tax free post retirement.
If your company uses a HSA, you should definitely consider investing in it because it’s pre-tax money going in and all capital gains are tax free and can be taken out after 55.
It’s obviously ironic that I chose to write to this title at 4 AM on a Thursday morning but I had some thoughts I wanted to put down.
In life, you can prepare for the worst and still get caught with your pants down. You can simply not prepare for anything and have the greatest time. Overall, life throws all of us into different scenarios where we have opportunities to play or pass. Always having a strategy to deal with what life may or may not throw at you is not the solution. Sometimes human beings need to experience hardships in order to appreciate happiness.
It’s also important to point out that small things can make you happy and make you appreciate the positive things in your life on a much greater level. Take for instance, your car breaks down and you get yelled at work for being late the same day. Obviously that’s rough and no one would be overjoyed to be in either situation let alone both.
Using that same example, Instead of being upset that the car broke down, you could appreciate that the car broke down during the day and not at night. Or that your boss got upset but didn’t fire you. Accepting the good even when there is bad always changes perspectives and helps people deal with bad situations.
I relate this to financial blogging because there are times where it’s very difficult to maintain my blog, however, I am very happy that I have loyal readers keeping up with me and appreciating what I post. The positivity is what keeps me going.
Just a short followup to Monday’s piece about marriage finances. I forgot to add a few small things that me and “P” did as well and wanted people to be aware of what’s up.
Gift Cards for Cash
For our wedding, P and I got many gift cards to many stores. It’s very important to note that stores will give customers cash back for gift cards but they need customers to specifically ask for it. So if for instance, you don’t need anything from Macy because you generally don’t shop there, you can go to the customer service desk and ask for cash in exchange for the gift card.
Many people feel guilty doing this because when someone buys you a present, you almost feel obligated to use it. What I have come to terms with is that the nature of why people give newlyweds presents is to help them get on their feet and get a jumpstart in life. Once you have received the present you are free to do whatever you want with it, and the “gifter” will generally be happy with whatever you decide.
You may ask, why wouldn’t everyone just give cash and let the bride/groom decide. I think most people want to be original and give something that the bride and groom will remember them by. Cash is very general.
Till next time.