Our son started his new job on Monday and is going through all the paperwork in order to select his benefits and sign up for their 401K, etc. He’s still covered under our health insurance and might not sign up for another couple of years, when he turns 26. But he has to make sure he can sign up during his birthday month (November). Otherwise, he’ll have to sign up in January 2015, almost a full year before he turns 26.
I suggested that he sign up for the 401K, even though his company doesn’t start matching until he’s worked there for a year. Even if he just puts in 2%, at least he will have opened a 401K and started saving. And, having established an account, it will be easier for him to manipulate the options vs. having to go to HR and open one up next year, in order to take advantage of the company match.
A couple of the healthcare options offered include Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. He’s not going to sign up for either, at this point. The Flexible Spending Account involves keeping track of lots of details and is a “use it or lose it” program. Since he has no history of his health spending under the new plan he may or may not sign up for, it just seems like too much hassle. And the downside of losing some of your money makes it particularly unattractive.
The Health Savings Account, on the other hand, is not a “use it or lose it” program. He’s still not going to sign up for it, because of the lack of history plus the fact that it involves keeping track of details that he probably won’t be very good at. But, it did get my attention. I’m good at keeping track of details. I even have a spreadsheet to keep track of all our copays and health related expenses. We would be good candidates for either of these programs. Years ago, we were signed up for the Flexible Spending Account. But it was such a hassle to keep all the receipts and supply everything in order to get our reimbursement that we dropped out of it. Of course, things may be more automated now. And I’m not working with three kids at home. So, I’m going to look into what options are available these days.
I think we missed the deadline to sign up for anything. It was earlier this month. 🙁
But, at least I can look into it and decide for next year. It will roll along before you know it.