Category Archive

2022 May

HSAs: Health Nest Eggs

2022 May, Benefit Spotlight April 27, 2022

Retirement life is the stuff dreams are made of. So many of us have been socking away money each month in 401(k)s, 403(b)s, or any flavor of IRA for years. Those types of accounts, however, are not the only options. Health Savings Accounts are also an excellent way to save for specific retirement needs. Let’s look at a few reasons why.

Rollover. While there is a fixed annual amount you can set aside in an HSA (limits for 2022 are $3,650 for an individual and $7,300 for a family), you keep any amount you don’t spend. Unlike other healthcare-specific accounts, you never lose the money you put in an HSA.

Tax advantage. Other traditional retirement accounts require you to pay taxes on the funds, whether it’s now or later. As long as the funds contributed to an HSA are used to pay for qualified medical expenses, they are never taxed. It is especially likely that you will need increased medical care in your retirement years, making this an excellent way to provide for yourself down the road.

Investing. If you are in a financial position where you can pay some medical expenses in cash, you may be able to save enough funds in your HSA to invest. Even if you’re only investing half of your HSA contributions annually, over the years the money earned on the investment will stack up.

It’s important to note that you must elect an HSA-compatible medical plan in order to open an account (although if you change plans down the road, the funds in the account are yours to keep). At your company’s next Open Enrollment period, check to see whether you have an HSA-compatible plan available to you.


The Power Of Health Savings Accounts For Retirement Planning (
5 ways HSAs can fortify your retirement | Fidelity
4 ways to use an HSA in retirement | Principal

TIME OUT: Work-Life Harmony

The work-life discussion has been ongoing for years on both employer and employee fronts.

It is easy to see, however, that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought an entirely new dimension to this discussion. In 2016, only an estimated 6% of Americans worked primarily from home. In December 2020, this number was around 24%, and it seems likely many of these positions may stay remote permanently.

Leaving one’s home and going to a separate workspace can create sharp delineations between home and work. Those lines are now blurred for those that work from home. The key to maintaining a healthy relationship between work and life in these circumstances is setting boundaries for yourself on both sides of the equation:

  • If you no longer have a commute, set a transition period for yourself into and out of work. Take a brief walk before logging in for the day and try setting aside 5 or 10 minutes to wind down before re-entering the “life” portion of your evening.
  • If your living situation allows it, have a dedicated workspace set up. Having a specific physical location to work in helps establish it as separate from the rest of your home, which can make focusing in it easier.
  • It is equally important to not work during off hours. While it’s easy to answer an email or schedule a meeting – it only takes a few minutes! – this can create unconscious patterns that erode your boundaries between work and life.
  • As part of this process, talk with your manager to make sure you have the same expectations of your availability. If you are in a managerial role, have these conversations with your employees.

A good work-life balance is beneficial for your physical and mental health, productivity, and overall happiness.


How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance – WSJ
Importance of a Work-Life Balance (
Work, family or personal life: Why not all three? (
The Evolving Definition Of Work-Life Balance (

What Bin Does This Go In?

Many of us are fortunate enough to have curbside recycling, and we’re pretty familiar with what we can drop in those bins.

Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and cardboard boxes are staples of the recycling life. However, there are a lot of other household items you may not necessarily think of as being recyclable. Let’s look at a few of these items and see how we can most responsibly dispose of them.

Cooking oil is something many folks just pour down the drain. However, cooking oil can stop up drains, pipes, and even citywide sanitation systems. Simply designate a sturdy container to store your used oil in (metal coffee cans are great for this) and pour your used oil into it every time you cook. Click HERE to find a location near you to recycle your cooking oil.

Other recyclable items commonly thrown out are batteries. These contain mixes of chemical elements and metals that can be harmful to human health and to the environment if disposed of improperly. It’s important to note that there are many different kinds of batteries; check HERE for a helpful rundown of where and how to safely recycle each type.

You may have never considered shoes as recyclable, but they are! Notably, Nike will accept any type of athletic sneaker – you can drop your old shoes at any Nike store. If you have other kinds of shoes you don’t want to just throw out, check HERE for several convenient options.

These may all seem like small things in the grand scheme, but taking a little time to recycle these uncommon objects helps reduce waste and harm to the earth.


How to Recycle Cooking Oil – Earth911
Used Household Batteries | US EPA


If you’ve ever looked up solutions for quick weight loss, you’ve probably seen websites touting supplements that are supposed boost your metabolism so you can lose pounds fast.

Metabolism is simply the process by which your body turns food and drink into energy to fuel itself. It varies from person to person based on body size and composition, sex, and age. At first sight, it might make sense that speeding up your metabolism would help you lose weight, much like driving a car at higher speeds uses more gas.

However, it’s not that simple. A slow or fast metabolism does not usually have anything to do with weight gain. There are multiple culprits to weight gain: eating more calories than you burn, not getting enough sleep, or being stressed. If you’re looking to lose weight, there are better, more proven methods aside from supplements, many of which have not actually been proven to increase your metabolism.

Physical activity does not change your metabolism, but it does increase the amount of fuel your body needs. You don’t have to sign up for a marathon right off the bat. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise – such as walking, running, or bicycling – per day will help you burn more calories. In addition, strength training will help you build muscle tissue, which requires more energy than fat. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep as well, and try to reduce stress in your life.

It is important to note that in some rare cases, there are medical conditions such as Cushing’s disease or thyroid issues that can lead to weight gain. If you are struggling to lose weight, talk to your doctor about what method is best for you.


Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories – Mayo Clinic
Metabolism Boosters: Weight Loss Fact or Fiction? (