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FSA vs HSA: How to Make the Most out of Your Employee Benefits

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A comparison of the two biggest tax-advantaged savings accounts offered by employers

If there was a pop quiz and you were asked to explain the difference between a flexible spending account (FSA) and a health savings account (HSA), would you pass the quiz?

Chances are, you’d probably struggle with the answer. Though they share similar names and some other key similarities, such as both being tax-advantaged options available through work benefits, there are some major differences between the two accounts.

Like any decision, it’s best to make your choice from an informed position. To do so, here are the main takeaways you should know when it comes to the differences between an HSA and an FSA account.

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Planning Assumptions That Should Be Avoided

Even the Most Disciplined of Planners Can Fall Victim to Faulty Planning Practices

Even if you consider yourself an accomplished and disciplined planner – and, perhaps, even more so if you fall into this category – it’s uncomfortable to face unexpected financial hurdles. Since no one can perfectly plan for the unexpected, however, it happens from time to time. It could be that your career takes a turn you didn’t foresee, or maybe your child’s college education ends up far costlier than you expected. All of a sudden, you find yourself facing a future where your savings goals may be in jeopardy.

Although no planning is foolproof, avoiding some common – and faulty – planning assumptions can help ensure your long-term goals won’t be in danger.

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Retirement Planning Considerations for Spouses with a Significant Age Gap

In some things in life – love, in particular – age is a fairly meaningless number. When it comes to financial planning, however, age can begin to matter quite a lot. This is why it is exceedingly important for spouses with a wide age gap to have a long-term financial plan in place. As we collectively face a time of economic uncertainty, smart long-term planning can also offer you peace of mind.

Long-term financial plans include retirement planning, of course, and this is an area in which traditional advice often won’t work well for couples separated by a decade or more. If you and your spouse are in this scenario, you’ll need a retirement plan that can accommodate the needs of two different stages of life.

Let’s explore a few of the considerations that mixed-age couples need to be aware of for proper retirement planning.

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Understanding the SECURE Act and How it Could Affect Your Retirement

Learn more about the sweeping legislation designed to fight America’s retirement savings crisis

In May 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, commonly called the SECURE Act. Designed to help tackle our country’s growing retirement savings crisis, the far-reaching legislation spent months tied up in the Senate. On December 19, 2019, it passed the Senate with a 71 to 23 majority.

Let’s take a look at a few standout provisions of the legislation and discuss what they could mean for you.

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Are You on Track to Meet Your Retirement Goals?

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Net Worth Goals By Age

Do you find yourself wondering if you’re on track to meet your retirement goals? Are you saving diligently but still unsure whether it’s enough? A valuable benchmark to help you answer these questions is your net worth: that is, the number you’re left with when you add up your cash and other financial assets and subtract all your debts.

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How Can Entrepreneurs and Executives Prioritize Their Financial Objectives?

Everyone strives to be successful in their careers. You may spend long hours working hard to ensure the success of the company you work for or the one you’ve created. Success, however, is not only about what you produce at work and what you earn from that. Giving time to establish goals for your financial future will help you maintain financial security for the long-term. 

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Have You Written Your ‘Legacy Letter’ Yet?

When you think about leaving a legacy for future generations, does your mind automatically associate this idea with financial assets? It’s normal to want to put an estate plan in place that will benefit your heirs, but you may want to think outside the box, too.

Why? Well, there are some things that money just can’t buy.

In truth, your legacy is about much more than just your hard-earned assets. You have a wealth of life experience and wisdom to share, too. A great vehicle for preserving this intangible type of asset is a Legacy Letter.

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Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 401(k)?

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you likely know two things about it: 1) you can automate investment of a portion of each paycheck to make saving easy, and 2) whether or not your employer offers matching contributions (i.e. free money).

Outside of this basic information, 401(k) plans can be a bit confusing for the average investor. The financial jargon alone can be enough to deter you from investigating the best way to protect and grow your money over the long-term. This is one of the main reasons so many people leave their retirement accounts on auto pilot, failing to learn ways to enhance their earnings. If you’d like to avoid this fate, information is key.

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Four Ways to Streamline Your Finances

Managing a complex financial picture can feel like a Herculean task and one that often leads to stress and procrastination. So much time is spent organizing paperwork and hunting down data that by the time you actually sit down to figure out where you stand you are too tired and stressed to be able to make good decisions or implement new strategies.

If this sounds like you, it may be time to take some steps to simplify your financial life. This won’t just save you time and effort it may also save you money.

We have compiled four tips that cover the areas most people seem to need to simplify and improve. Your needs may be different but at the very least this list should give you some ideas about how to get started.

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How to Help Recession-Proof Your Life: 5 Tips

It’s hard to watch the news and not feel a little concerned about your finances. Trade wars, stock plunges, interest rates fluctuating, combine that with stagnant wages and an inflating cost of living–it’s enough to get even the most stalwart savers wringing their hands. In fact, 25% of Americans report worrying about money all the time.[i] So, what can you do? In this article, we will outline 5 tips to help recession-proof your lifestyle so that, while the economy and markets may have ups and downs, you can feel secure.

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