I’ve been spending what free time I have working on the Forum, and we are starting to see some interesting conversations unfolding there. At a high level the Forum is divided into Travel (Miles, Points and Cashback) and Personal Finance (Investments, Savings, Debt, Taxes). And we also have some slightly off topic areas, the most recent one in which I posted how I turned 3 traffic tickets (crossing double yellows to overtake, speeding and not updating an address with the DMV) into a ‘failed to stop at a stop sign’…. check it out here Winning At Traffic Tickets.
I’m pretty stoked about the Traffic ticket, hence its inclusion,. please forgive the digression. This post is talking about the Finance side of things.
High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) can be powerful tools. They are actually the crappy counterpart to the fabulous Health Savings Account (HSA) these are tax deductible savings vehicles that can be implemented in a manner similar to an IRA, but without the salary caps. You need to be enrolled in a HDHP in order to qualify for an HSA. This post discusses the math behind taking the HDHP route vs a PPO when you are about to become a parent. The High Deductible part of a HDHP can be a negative variable, but in this example, it turns out to be the smarter move.
We explore the notion of a parent taking on debt to help support their children through college. The interesting dilemma is that many parents might have equity through home ownership, and also access to lower cost borrowing through credit history. So, if it is cheaper, is it better? I discuss the concept of the child paying for the education of holding their own debt here.
Many people have grown aware of ETFs and their low cost value as an investment vehicle, but which of the major brokerages offer the best solution to implement it, and can new players like Motif shake that up?
Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) are often confused with HSAs, however they are very different things. Learn how they can reduce taxes considerably here, and also don’t forget that the IRS changed the ‘use it or lose it’ rules this year, providing that your employer elected to update their plan, you can now carry over $500 into next year. FSAs come in several forms, and while you can’t hold a Health FSA with a HSA (either/or decision) you may be able to hold a Dependent Care FSA with a HSA, which can be used for things like childcare. This is a must read for people with kids.
There’s lots of great discussion going on, I look forward to you joining in with us over at The Forum.