Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have become a popular extension of health insurance plans over the last 10 years, and will likely continue to grow in popularity. You've probably heard of them...maybe you even have one. But did you know that most account holders vastly underutilize their benefits? If you (or anyone in your family) has medical expenses at any point in the future, and you prefer to pay less in taxes, you may be one of these people.
I've heard countless clients tell me how they 'failed' at retirement. They enjoyed it for the first three weeks or even three months, then yearned to return to work. They were not ready for it. In some instances, I take blame for this as I did not adequately prepare them for this new freedom. The freedom to do what they wanted, when they wanted. The successful ones were ready for this new way of life, as they had already practiced via a trial run what they were going to do. The unsuccessful ones didn’t. They did not plan.
To increase your odds of a successful retirement, here are a few things to keep in mind as you contemplate this new way of life:
If you follow investing much, you may have heard some talk recently about the US stock market reaching all-time highs. This is true; as I write this the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, along with new high marks for the S&P 500, the NASDAQ, and various other US stock indices that measure market performance. This seems like a good thing, and probably is for those of you invested in US stocks who have seen some nice growth lately. However, along with these record highs comes plenty of doubt and fear. Are stocks too expensive? Are we due for a correction or market decline? Should I get out while the getting's good?
As Tuesday, November 8 gets closer and closer, we receive several questions and concerns about how the presidential election will affect the stock market. I'd love to say we had a crystal ball that would tell us who the next president would be and how that person would influence the markets, but we have yet to find it. Perhaps the best way to address these concerns is to take a look at past elections. While historical data is no guarantee of future results, it can be a good barometer of what we might expect in the next few weeks.