green health savings account card with bandage (Photo: Shutterstock)

Paying for health care costs is an important component in determining one’s financial needs in retirement that is often forgotten in retirement planning.  According to research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, some couples may need $370,000 for medical expenses during retirement.  While 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and taxable investment accounts can help individuals meet their retirement planning needs, a health savings account (HSA) can provide a unique, triple tax-advantaged means of saving for medical expenses after retirement.

HSAs are a savings vehicle specifically designed to save for medical expenses that occur during working years as well as in retirement.  Contributions are made to an HSA in years where the individual is covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Contributions to an HSA are based on whether the HDHP coverage is individual or family coverage.

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