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When An HSA Is Not An Option: Look into a FSA

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, not everyone is eligible to contribute to an HSA. If you are not eligible for an HSA, you may still be able to use a flexible spending account (FSA) to help save for retirement.

An FSA is a tax-advantaged account that allows you to set aside money from your paycheck to pay for qualified medical expenses. Your contributions to an FSA are made on a pre-tax basis, which means you save money on your taxes. You can then use the money in your FSA to pay for eligible medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and vision care.

Even if you are not eligible for an HSA, you may still be able to contribute to an FSA. The eligibility requirements for an FSA are less restrictive than those for an HSA. To be eligible for an FSA, you must:

- Be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)
- Have an employer that offers an FSA

If you meet these requirements, you can contribute up to $2,850 to an FSA in 2023. Your employer may also offer a grace period, which allows you to contribute to your FSA for up to two and a half months after the end of the plan year.​

The money in your FSA can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, both current and future. This can help you save money on your medical expenses in retirement, when you may be on a fixed income.

For example, let’s say you are 55 years old and you contribute the maximum amount to an FSA each year. By the time you retire at age 65, you will have saved up $28,500. This money can be used to pay for your Medicare premiums, copays, and deductibles.

In addition to helping you save for retirement, an FSA can also help you save money on your taxes. Your contributions to an FSA are made on a pre-tax basis, which means you save money on your taxes. For example, if you are in the 22% tax bracket, your contributions to an FSA will save you $627 in taxes each year.

If you are not eligible for an HSA, an FSA can be a great way to save for retirement and save money on your taxes. To learn more about FSAs, talk to your employer or a financial advisor.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about FSAs:

- You must use the money in your FSA by the end of the plan year, or you will forfeit it.
- You can carry over unused FSA funds to the next plan year, but only up to $575.
- You can only use FSA funds to pay for qualified medical expenses.

If you are considering using an FSA to help with retirement, be sure to do your research and understand the rules and restrictions. An FSA can be a great way to save money on your medical expenses, but it is important to make sure that it is the right option for you.

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