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Q&A from Our Financial Transitions e-Mailbag

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Yvonne Marsh, CFP®, CPA

Question: Can I contribute to a Health Savings Account if my wife is on Medicare but I’m still working?

Answer: You must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan as a requirement to fund an HSA.  Then yes, you can contribute up to $3,450 as an individual, plus an extra $1,000 assuming you are over age 55.  The tax benefits of an HSA are triple: The contribution is tax deductible, the growth is tax-deferred, and the withdrawals are tax-free for qualified medical expenses.  Pretty hard to beat!

Question: I’m divorced after 22 years of marriage and want to retire next year when I’m 65. Can I claim Social Security under my ex-husband’s benefit and let mine keep growing until I’m 70?

Answer: If you claim SS before your “full retirement age,” which for you is age 66, then the government looks at all of the benefits for which you are eligible – your ex-spousal benefit versus your own benefit – and gives you the greater of the two payments.  However, if you were age 62 coming into 2016, and waited to retire until age 66, you would be in the grandfathered group that could claim an ex-spousal benefit and let your own keep growing. That option isn’t available for people not age 62 by January 1, 2016. 

Question: The markets are making me nervous.  Do you have any tips on how to time the market to avoid losses?  

Answer: A better answer is to have a well-diversified portfolio that matches your personal tolerance for risk.  Owning some mix of stocks versus bonds, spread across all sectors of the U.S. and international markets, will give you peace of mind to ride out market volatility.  Tune out the daily noise, keep costs down, set realistic expectations, and you’ll be able to weather the short-term volatility.  

Have Questions?  Send your financial questions to me at questions@marshpros.com, and I will review your question for possible inclusion in a future column. 

Marsh Wealth Management, LLC
1341 Branton Blvd, Suite 105
Knoxville, TN 37922

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory Services are offered through Marsh Wealth Management, LLC (“MWM”), an independent investment advisor registered with the state of Tennessee.  Yvonne Marsh is an Investment Advisor Representative of MWM in the state of Tennessee.  Marsh Professional Group, LLC, is a TN registered public accounting firm and a separate legal entity from MWM. For a detailed discussion of MWM and their investment advisory fees, see the firm’s Form ADV on file with the SEC at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

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