The New Health Insurance - Avoid Diabetes and Heart Disease So Your Medical Retirement Acct Grows
By Wiley Long
It is now estimated the average couple will need over $200,000 in retirement just to cover medical expenses. Health Savings Accounts are now giving people serious incentives to take care of their health so that money will be there when they need it in old age.
Health Savings Accounts are tax-favored accounts where someone with a qualifying High Deductible Health insurance Plan (HDHP) can deposit money to be used for future medical expenses. The money can be withdrawn any time to pay medical expenses tax-free. Those who stay healthy and don't withdraw the money benefit from tax-deferred growth, just like with an IRA.
Many experts now believe that 85-90% of all health problems are self-induced, and can be easily avoided if you understand how. By avoiding the most common diseases that affect modern Americans, you can delay having to take money out of your HSA, and take great advantage of the tax-deferred growth. Over a 20 year period, tax-deferred growth and tax-free use of your money to pay medical expenses during retirement could yield a 30% better return than a taxable investment.
Metabolic Syndrome: The Preventable Diseases That Almost Everyone Gets
One out of every five Americans, 45% of those in their 60's, and two-thirds of overweight people have metabolic syndrome. An astounding 70% of Americans have at least one symptom.
The symptoms of metabolic syndrome include elevated fasting blood sugar, high LDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and a waist circumference of 34 inches or more. Three of the top five causes of death - diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease - are all related to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome could also be thought of as "pre-diabetes". Of the cancers, prostate and breast cancer are particularly correlated with metabolic syndrome. And metabolic syndrome will soon overtake cigarette smoking as the number one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Yet the diseases of metabolic syndrome are almost entirely preventable by simply eating a good diet, exercising, and maintaining a normal body weight. Do so, and you avoid paying for the medications that everyone else is taking. Even more importantly, you avoid the surgery, hospitalization, rehab, and all the other expenses that come with a heart attack, stroke, colon cancer, and other related health problems.
If you are withdrawing several hundred dollars a year from your HSA to pay for cholesterol medication and blood pressure medication and other drugs, you're going to have a difficult time growing the account. But if you stay healthy, and invest most of your money in a good mutual fund, you could easily accumulate over $500,000 in a 25 year period.
HSAs reward personal responsibility. Those who save for the future and maintain healthy lifestyle habits will be rewarded with both health and wealth in their old age.
About the Author
By Wiley Long - President, HSA for America (http://www.health--savings--accounts.com) - The nation's leading independent health insurance firm specializing in individual and family coverage that works with a Health Savings Account. Please link to this site when using this article.
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