Apprise’s Five Favorite Reads for the Week of June 19, 2022

Two People Cycling During Sunset and How to Keep Your Brain Health and Happy
Our five favorite reads from the last two weeks. Includes articles discussing the best way to use your health savings account, how to slow cognitive decline, and more!
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I’d like to send belated “Happy Father’s Day” wishes to all the dads reading this week’s blog. As the father of four great kids, I feel very fortunate. The time I spent with my wife and kids this weekend reminded me of how lucky I am that they are part of my life. On Saturday, I saw my daughter play for her club lacrosse team and played disc golf with two of my sons. Then, on Sunday, I went on a long bike ride with all three of my sons. Our oldest made us pancakes after our ride. Later, the six of us played miniature golf. The day was capped with a nice dinner and a FaceTime call with my father and sister.

Knowing that even though our kids are older, they are still willing to travel with me and/or my wife means the world to both of us. We hope we can continue to travel with them – at least occasionally – once they have families of their own. This August, we will take a family vacation before everyone starts school.

This week’s first article revisits a favorite retirement savings tool. Those of you who participate in a high deductible healthcare plan and don’t have a Health Savings Account (HSA), should open one as soon as possible. Those who have an HSA should do their best to maximize the benefits it provides. If you are unsure about how to realize these benefits, you can read more about HSAs and the benefits they provide by clicking here.

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Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1. Here’s the Best Way to Use a Health Savings Account, Which Offers a Triple-Tax Advantage.

When used properly, health savings accounts (HSAs) provide a great retirement savings vehicle. You can make the case that an HSA is a better retirement vehicle than an Individual Retirement Account or a 401(k)/403(b). They have advantages relative to Roth IRAs as well. If possible, you should invest the money in your HSA and pay for current health costs out of pocket. This allows for tax-free growth of your HSA funds. You can withdraw the money tax-free as well – as long as you had qualified healthcare expenses that were not reimbursed. According to the article, only 9% of accountholders invested even a portion of their balance in 2020. The remainder only had cash in their accounts. If you would like to invest the cash in your HSA but aren’t sure how, please schedule a quick call. You can click this link to read more about this.

2. Brain Health: 6 Ways to Slow Cognitive Decline.

As we age, the parts of our brain that control learning and complex thought shrink. Blood flow in the brain can also decrease. Plus, neurons in some brain areas may no longer communicate as effectively. As a result, even if our overall health is good, our memory might not be as sharp. It can also take longer to learn new things. Can we mitigate these effects? Possibly. But we must make brain health a priority to do so. This article shares six tips that can help keep your brain healthy and happy.

  • Exercise your mind
  • Stay physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get good sleep
  • Be social
  • Avoid smoking and too much alcohol

3. 3 Reasons to Wait Until 70 to Start Taking Your Social Security Benefits.

Many people start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62. But should they? More often than not, the answer is “No.” Starting at full retirement age – between 66 and 67, depending on when you were born – may not be the best choice either. Deciding to wait until 70 doesn’t mean you must work until that age. Determining when to start collecting benefits isn’t an easy decision. You must have a plan for how to overcome the lack of benefits, too. The article shares three reasons why you may want to consider waiting until age 70 to start collecting Social Security benefits.

  • You’ll get a bigger Social Security check – guaranteed.
  • You may be getting Social Security checks for a long time.
  • The potential for a lower tax bill.

Do you know how much your benefit can grow if you wait? Would you like to better understand the potential benefits of waiting? If you’re not sure of the answers to these questions, you can schedule a free call. I’ll do my best to try and help. For other Apprise content on Social Security benefits, please click here.

4. How to Use Your Time Effectively and Efficiently.

In today’s busy world, we must often get more done in less time. This can make it easy to feel overwhelmed. As a result, we must use our time effectively and efficiently if we want to achieve our goals. Focusing on the right things can help. You want to solve the right problems and not pursue the wrong goals. This includes setting priorities. Doing so can help you make better decisions. It can also reduce stress. The article shares several suggestions that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your time management.

5. Americans Can Expect to Pay a Lot More for Medical Care in Retirement.

Medical care can cost a lot. According to Fidelity Investments, a 65-year-old couple will spend an average of $315,000 in healthcare and medical expenses in retirement. (Note: That’s an after-tax figure.) You should note that $315,000 translates to about $6,000 per year per individual, on average. Most of us expect to spend a lot less. How do we pay for our future medical expenses? As always, it begins with saving. When should you start? The earlier the better. Check out the article for some other suggestions that can help you start saving now. If you have a high deductible healthcare plan and are not taking advantage of the benefits of an HSA, you should start using one as soon as you can.

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Our practice continues to benefit from referrals from our clients and friends. Thank you for your trust and confidence.

We hope you find the above articles valuable. We would be happy to address any follow-up questions you have. You can complete our contact form if you would like to talk to us about financial topics, including your investments, creating a financial plan, saving for college, or saving for retirement. Once you do that, we will be in touch. You can also schedule a call or a virtual meeting via Zoom.

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