Sunday - HSA's posted: Sun 2019-04-07 10:56:41 tags: finance
Thursday's dept meeting featured a guest presentation by the HR director. My ears perked when we started talking about HSAs, but the rules quickly get so convoluted and the advantages so marginal that I would really much rather we as a society stop enabling runaway healthcare profiteering, and step up to the 21st century with the rest of the civilized world in a universal ("single-payer") model. And THAT won't be a secure step forward until we dislodge the dark-money-fueled, gerrymandered, electoral-college-skewed representation of corporations at the expense of the citizenry.

The trend of new "tax-advantaged savings account" program inventions has been going on for decades. IRAs started in 1974, 401(k)s in 1978, Roth IRAs and Coverdell ESAs in 1997, HSAs in 2003. We should be questioning the narrative that "retail costs of X vital industry are outpacing inflation, therefore we're going to encourage working slobs to feel like they're avoiding taxation, but in reality they're still going to be burdened with hyperinflating costs" instead of "X vital industry is out of control, so let's bring it back under control with regulations to impose accountability, and limit profiteering and speculation".

So anyway, if I take a "bronze" or "silver" plan then I can have HSA contributions deducted from my pay, but I would rather fund a lump sum of the max $3500, and take immediate advantage of the ability (at the $2000 mark) to invest that the same way you would a conventional retirement account.

Finance bloggers are very bullish on HSAs, and if you don't scratch too deeply then yeah they seem attractive as a retirement investment. However, the "administrators" (financial institutions) housing HSA accounts are a minefield of monthly fees and investment limitations.

20SomethingFinance.com blog: best HSA admins

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The sermon today continued the "Letting Go of Lies We Love" series: "When God Closes a Door, He Cracks a Window". Nobody wants to have to crawl out the window. The OT is a cycle of God opening unexpected paths when His people were backed into a corner - dramatic example, the parting of the Red Sea - but also the Resurrection - the tomb is sealed off with a stone, the door is closed and then 3 days later tada, the finality of death is itself dead. But the sunshine through the window of redemption and resurrection is cold comfort in the face of genuinely grievous loss. In fact, the whole sermon series seems to be cliche-by-cliche rebuttals of bad catch-phrases we might fall back on when we don't know what to say to someone grieving a loss.