Best HSA (2017)

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aristotelian
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by aristotelian » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:34 pm

I am not seeing HSA Authority being discussed on this thread. I plan to be opening an account as soon as I get my next employer contribution. No fees for the bank account, and just $36 annually for the mutual fund account.

The other option that looks very compelling is SelectAccount, which is $30 annually but requires a minimum $1,000 balance in the bank account. It does have a Schwab brokerage option once you hit $10K.

I get my employer deposits quarterly, so the one transaction per year with Saturna is a dealbreaker, plus knowing myself I will want to periodically rebalance. Does anyone know if withdrawals at Saturna also cost $24.95 per transaction? I don't plan on making withdrawals, but you never know if a big expense comes up.

*3!4!/5!
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:45 pm

aristotelian wrote:I am not seeing HSA Authority being discussed on this thread. I plan to be opening an account as soon as I get my next employer contribution. No fees for the bank account, and just $36 annually for the mutual fund account.

The other option that looks very compelling is SelectAccount, which is $30 annually but requires a minimum $1,000 balance in the bank account. It does have a Schwab brokerage option once you hit $10K.

I get my employer deposits quarterly, so the one transaction per year with Saturna is a dealbreaker, plus knowing myself I will want to periodically rebalance. Does anyone know if withdrawals at Saturna also cost $24.95 per transaction? I don't plan on making withdrawals, but you never know if a big expense comes up.
I looked at both HSA Authority and SelectAccount (went for the latter, due to wanting a specific fund). Both are investor friendly, low cost, (unlike Health Savings Administrator and HealthEquity which have big wrap fees), with some Vanguard funds. You do not have to keep $1,000 uninvested, as you can withdraw it for medical costs. Also you can let your employer send deposits to their chosen HSA, then transfer them to your chosen HSA.

aristotelian
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by aristotelian » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:57 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote: I looked at both HSA Authority and SelectAccount (went for the latter, due to wanting a specific fund). Both are investor friendly, low cost, (unlike Health Savings Administrator and HealthEquity which have big wrap fees), with some Vanguard funds. You do not have to keep $1,000 uninvested, as you can withdraw it for medical costs. Also you can let your employer send deposits to their chosen HSA, then transfer them to your chosen HSA.
So what happens when the balance goes under $1,000? Extra fee? Angry letter? Nothing? Really the $1,000 minimum is the only thing that's holding me back from SelectAccount.

*3!4!/5!
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:44 pm

aristotelian wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote: I looked at both HSA Authority and SelectAccount (went for the latter, due to wanting a specific fund). Both are investor friendly, low cost, (unlike Health Savings Administrator and HealthEquity which have big wrap fees), with some Vanguard funds. You do not have to keep $1,000 uninvested, as you can withdraw it for medical costs. Also you can let your employer send deposits to their chosen HSA, then transfer them to your chosen HSA.
So what happens when the balance goes under $1,000? Extra fee? Angry letter? Nothing? Really the $1,000 minimum is the only thing that's holding me back from SelectAccount.
Nothing. It's HSA Bank, I believe, that charges you for dipping below ~$5,000. For many others, the balance is required to buy investments, but then you can withdraw it (if you are wanting to withdraw it for medical costs - many don't want to do that). So my planned yearly cycle is: deposit full year's contribution at once, then buy new investments leaving $1,000 cash as required, then withdraw that $1,000 for medical costs. There is no requirement/fee/penalty for not maintaining the cash balance. Most HSAs work this way (HSA Bank is the big exception). It works for me as I've decided to reimburse annually rather than keep multi-decade receipts.

aristotelian
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by aristotelian » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:02 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:
Nothing. It's HSA Bank, I believe, that charges you for dipping below ~$5,000. For many others, the balance is required to buy investments, but then you can withdraw it (if you are wanting to withdraw it for medical costs - many don't want to do that). So my planned yearly cycle is: deposit full year's contribution at once, then buy new investments leaving $1,000 cash as required, then withdraw that $1,000 for medical costs. There is no requirement/fee/penalty for not maintaining the cash balance. Most HSAs work this way (HSA Bank is the big exception). It works for me as I've decided to reimburse annually rather than keep multi-decade receipts.
Thank you! Selectaccount, here I come!

tombonneau
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by tombonneau » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:38 pm

robbierob03 wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:
robbierob03 wrote:I'm curious why there's no discussion of Bank of America's HSA offering in the thread.
It's because there are a gazillion other threads on this topic, and BoA HSA has been mentioned in some of those other threads.
Fair point. Perhaps a better question is why is BoA's HSA offering not considered a "Best HSA" within the context of this discussion? Again I'm strongly considering the move myself and truly welcome feedback as to what I may not be considering. Because from my limited research I'm not seeing anything better once monthly fees, transaction fees, and AUM/wrap fees are taken into account.
I just opened a BOA HSA and am very happy with it. They have a rock bottom Blackrock S&P fund (0.04 I think) and decent-priced international (I want to say 0.14?). I just mimic my US/international split with those two funds, auto-invest, and call it a day.

Haven't ready this whole thread so not sure if the recent Morningstar HSA analysis report has been linked to, but if not a quick Google should turn it up. BOA ranks highly as far as fund options, which IMO is the most important factor. (I'm not fussed about the $4.95/mo fee or whatever it is)

Another factor in my decision is I wanted to invest with a financial entity that I felt strongly would be around in 20-30 years when I need them. A lot of these HSA-specific companies I'm not so sure will be around in their current form, whereas if BOA can survive acquiring Countrywide and Merrill in 2007-08, they can survive anything.

theplayer11
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by theplayer11 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:15 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:
aristotelian wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote: I looked at both HSA Authority and SelectAccount (went for the latter, due to wanting a specific fund). Both are investor friendly, low cost, (unlike Health Savings Administrator and HealthEquity which have big wrap fees), with some Vanguard funds. You do not have to keep $1,000 uninvested, as you can withdraw it for medical costs. Also you can let your employer send deposits to their chosen HSA, then transfer them to your chosen HSA.
So what happens when the balance goes under $1,000? Extra fee? Angry letter? Nothing? Really the $1,000 minimum is the only thing that's holding me back from SelectAccount.
Nothing. It's HSA Bank, I believe, that charges you for dipping below ~$5,000. For many others, the balance is required to buy investments, but then you can withdraw it (if you are wanting to withdraw it for medical costs - many don't want to do that). So my planned yearly cycle is: deposit full year's contribution at once, then buy new investments leaving $1,000 cash as required, then withdraw that $1,000 for medical costs. There is no requirement/fee/penalty for not maintaining the cash balance. Most HSAs work this way (HSA Bank is the big exception). It works for me as I've decided to reimburse annually rather than keep multi-decade receipts.
only need receipts if you don't think you will be having any health care expenses later on, or pay for medicare

cas
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by cas » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:38 pm

Since SelectAccounts was mentioned, and since this is a major thread gathering information on various HSA vendors together, here's some information on SelectAccounts that may be useful to somebody somewhere: Be aware that most of SelectAccount's cash management accounts are not FDIC (or NCUA) insured. (You can pay an extra fee of $36/year for the SelectSaver tier and get FDIC insurance, but the other 4 tiers are not FDIC/NCUA insured.)

The only hint I found on their website about the lack of FDIC insurance is a footnote in a small font that says "SelectSaver offers FDIC security." (If the reader even notices the footnote, they still have to make the leap to wondering what that implies about the other 4 tiers.) ( https://www.selectaccount.com/products/hsa/#investments

SelectAccounts does come straight out and say that the other 4 tiers are not FDIC insured in the small print legalese of the custodial agreement. ( https://www.selectaccount.com/wp-conten ... eement.pdf ) In the custodial agreement they also add the information that
We hold all HSA cash contributions you deliver to us in your Base balance as a deposit fund item in our general account. ... As a life insurance company regulated under Minnesota law ... The guarantees that we provide [ about liquidity ] are based on our continued claims paying ability.
(p 2, Article XI, Item 3. I hope I typed it correctly because the pdf document doesn't seem to allow copy/paste.)

Reading that, I thought to myself "OK, maybe this is similar to a Stable Value fund in a 401(k)? But I'd really like to at least know the financial health of the insurance company."

At that point I discovered that SelectAccounts is not the name of the life insurance company. I had to search rather diligently before I finally figured out that the name of the life insurance company was MII Life, Inc. (DBA SelectAccounts).

Once I had that name, I could look them up on AM Best. (I don't know if that is where I'm supposed to look or not, but I had in in the back of my mind that AM Best is where you look for financial stability ratings on insurance companies.) And AM Best says...
A.M. Best has assigned a financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and an issuer credit rating of “bbb+” to MII Life, Incorporated (MII Life) (Eagan, MN).
(http://news.ambest.com/presscontent.asp ... fnum=23689 )

OK ... I didn't really know what to compare those ratings to, so I looked at the prospectus for the Stable Value fund in my 401(k). It is organized differently, with risk spread out across contracts from 5 different insurance companies, all of which had an A+ (Superior) AM Best rating.

AM Best also says (of MII Life)
A.M. Best has concern with the underlying credit quality of some of MII Life’s investments in equity-related holdings.
That got me wondering about 2 things:
1. Maybe this doesn't sound similar to a Stable Value fund after all, because I thought they pretty much stuck to high quality bonds in their underlying general accounts. (But I'm no expert on that.) So just what *is* the risk on these no-FDIC-insurance SelectAccount cash management accounts?

2. The selling point of Stable Value funds is that they offer a considerably better interest rate than insured cash accounts, in exchange for a minimal amount of risk. But in SelectAccount's case, the interest rate is pretty much 0%* , so apparently the account holder gets to take all the risk (whatever it is) and SelectAccount gets to keep all the anticipated extra return (whatever it is). That started smelling like an undisclosed stealth fee or stealth expense ratio to me. (*Interest rate can be greater than 0% if you pay a fee to get a higher interest rate ... Morningstar's 2017 HSA Landscape analyzed the tradeoff and decided the extra fee wasn't worth it.)

I then noticed that somebody had asked the question I was wondering on the HSA Search SelectAccounts page:
. I have not been able to find any information about the financial strength of MII Life. Anybody have additional information or can point me in the right direction?
( https://www.hsasearch.com/hsa_providers/selectaccount/ )

SelectAccounts gave an official answer, but it seems like a lot of marketing words that avoided answering the question.

And at that point I got frustrated with the opacity of it all and decided I didn't want to play unknown-risk games with the cash portion of my HSA. But that is just me. I am not any kind of expert on the inner workings of insurance companies, and I may have misinterpreted the information I found.

I mostly just offer the above information in order to save other people the work of trying to dig it up themselves. (My apologies for the length.) Please make up your own minds on what it all means.

dissonance
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by dissonance » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:26 am

Comparing SelectAccount, HSABank, HSAAuthority (thanks indexfundfan), and Saturna, HSAAuthority seems to be the most well rounded and flexible provider:

HSABank:
-Total $66/year to invest in Vanguard Index EFTs (via TDAM) [$2.5 maintenance fee/mo + $3 investment fee/mo]
-Almost no cash drag (no min balance to invest)
-Best balance between cost and flexibility

SelectAccount:
-Total $30/year to invest in VFIAX [$18/year investment fee + $1/mo account fee (minimum tier for investment)]
-Cash drag on min balance of $1000 (assuming 5%/year returns in opportunity costs, adds an additional $45 to the total cost to invest)
-Becomes $75/year to invest
-Overall more expensive option than HSABank if factoring in cash drag/opportunity cost

Saturna:
-This thread has covered many scenarios of the cost and comes down to: cheapest if investing 1x per year lump sum ($14.95) in a 4x/year dividend payout ETF(e.g., VTI) -or- $24.95 for a mutual fund (only makes senses for a monthly dividend yielding asset [VTBLX] since there's no reinvestment fee).
-Anything beyond that and the costs start adding up. The biggest drawback to Saturna is its lack of flexibility in holding multiple assets (at a low cost) for the purposes of balancing/rebalancing. The primary advantage of Saturna is it's high upfront transaction costs but no ongoing maintenance costs (aside from the $25 annual inactivity fee) for people invest annually in only one asset.
-Best cost, lowest flexibility
indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:36 am
I would add HSA Authority into the mix.

HSA Authority
- Total $36/year to invest in mutual funds.
- Investment options include VG S&P500, TSM (both with ER 0.04%), Emerging Mkts (ER 0.14%), EAFE (ER 0.17%).
- Other options: short term bond index (ER 0.07%). SmallCap, MidCap, TIPS, REIT and Lifestrategy funds from Vanguard are also available.
- First dollar investing. No cash drag.
Has a dormant fee of $5

**Anything with a wrap fee for investments is a non-starter since the fees scale with your assets. I would only consider those if my employer contributed on my behalf and offered me payroll deduction (saving 7.65% on FICA/MCR).
Last edited by dissonance on Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

politics123
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by politics123 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:46 am

FYI For those that don't use Optum, they now have a variety of Vanguard funds available:
  • Vanguard 500 Index - A* 0%
    Vanguard Equity-Income - A* 0%
    Vanguard Extended Market Index Inst* 0%
    Vanguard Global Equity * 0%
    Vanguard Healthcare* 0%
    Vanguard Inflation-Protected Inst* 0%
    Vanguard Life Strategy-Growth* 0%
    Vanguard LifeStrategy-Conservative Growth* 0%
    Vanguard LifeStrategy-Moderate Growth* 0%
    Vanguard Mid Cap Index Inst* 0%
    Vanguard REIT Index Inst* 0%
    Vanguard Short-Term Federal Adm 0%
    Vanguard Short-Term Investment Grade Inst 0%
    Vanguard Small Cap Index Inst* 0%
    Vanguard Total Bond Mkt Port* 0%
    Vanguard Total Stock Market Inst* 0%
    Vanguard Wellington - A* 0%
They also have Charles Schwab target date funds, which are also low fee.

I was @WF and then Optum bought WF's HSA portfolio. I don't get charged any fees. (>$5000 balance) My only real cost is the $1000 min left at effectively 0% in the checking account. The opportunity cost of the cash is $12. (balance x 1.25% best online savings account rate. To stomach this, just consider it part of your emergency fund)

Edited to clarify why I don't get charged fees.

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indexfundfan
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by indexfundfan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:36 am

dissonance wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:26 am
Comparing SelectAccount, HSABank, and Saturna, HSABank seems to be the most well rounded and flexible provider:

HSABank:
-Total $66/year to invest in Vanguard Index EFTs (via TDAM) [$2.5 maintenance fee/mo + $3 investment fee/mo]
-Almost no cash drag (no min balance to invest)
-Best balance between cost and flexibility

SelectAccount:
-Total $30/year to invest in VFIAX [$18/year investment fee + $1/mo account fee (minimum tier for investment)]
-Cash drag on min balance of $1000 (assuming 5%/year returns in opportunity costs, adds an additional $45 to the total cost to invest)
-Becomes $75/year to invest
-Overall more expensive option than HSABank if factoring in cash drag/opportunity cost

Saturna:
-This thread has covered many scenarios of the cost and comes down to: cheapest if investing 1x per year lump sum ($14.95) in a 4x/year dividend payout ETF(e.g., VTI) -or- $24.95 for a mutual fund (only makes senses for a monthly dividend yielding asset [VTBLX] since there's no reinvestment fee).
-Anything beyond that and the costs start adding up. The biggest drawback to Saturna is its lack of flexibility in holding multiple assets (at a low cost) for the purposes of balancing/rebalancing. The primary advantage of Saturna is it's high upfront transaction costs but no ongoing maintenance costs (aside from the $25 annual inactivity fee) for people invest annually in only one asset.
-Best cost, lowest flexibility


**Anything with a wrap fee for investments is a non-starter since the fees scale with your assets. I would only consider those if my employer contributed on my behalf and offered me payroll deduction (saving 7.65% on FICA/MCR).
I would add HSA Authority into the mix.

HSA Authority
- Total $36/year to invest in mutual funds.
- Investment options include VG S&P500, TSM (both with ER 0.04%), Emerging Mkts (ER 0.14%), EAFE (ER 0.17%).
- Other options: short term bond index (ER 0.07%). SmallCap, MidCap, TIPS, REIT and Lifestrategy funds from Vanguard are also available.
- First dollar investing. No cash drag.
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motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:05 am

discman017 wrote:
Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:47 pm
I see these "best HSA" threads every so often, and I never understand why everyone who wants an HSA investment account doesn't go with the Saturna brokerage account.
....
Saturna charges $15 for a trade. If you make at least one trade per year, there are no additional fees. So the grand total is $15 per year. No account maintenance fees. No requirement to hold funds in cash, so no foregone interest. (And if you forget to make your one trade per year, they charge you a $25 inactive account fee. Still very cheap.)
....
But if you're using your HSA as a long-term investment account, I really don't understand why everyone doesn't just use Saturna.

So does someone know of an HSA investment provider with lower fees? Or is there some reason other than fees to go with a provider other than Saturna? I follow these threads and am genuinely baffled that this discussion hasn't been put to rest already. What am I missing? Thanks!
Perusing their website, I wondered whether they might be exposing themselves to enforcement action. In many of the countries in their emerging market funds it is impossible to do business without resorting to Hawalas. Hawalas give me the heebie-jeebies, and I don't want my investment to be at risk of being tied up due to Saturna's assets being frozen in a federal investigation. Plus my employer pays the investment fees for my HSABank TDA account.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

dissonance
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by dissonance » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:09 pm

indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:36 am
I would add HSA Authority into the mix.

HSA Authority
- Total $36/year to invest in mutual funds.
- Investment options include VG S&P500, TSM (both with ER 0.04%), Emerging Mkts (ER 0.14%), EAFE (ER 0.17%).
- Other options: short term bond index (ER 0.07%). SmallCap, MidCap, TIPS, REIT and Lifestrategy funds from Vanguard are also available.
- First dollar investing. No cash drag.
Look like a great option..beats the HSABank option of 5.5$/mo to invest without cashdrag. Reading the hsa authority faq, it is misleading in the requirements for the investment account--it requires $1000 to open the investment account but no minimum balance. They apparently sell off portions of your mutual fund investments to pay the $36/year fee. No option to prepay or pay the fee separately..there is a dormant fee though. Looks like I may be transferring. :sharebeer

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indexfundfan
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by indexfundfan » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:37 pm

dissonance wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:09 pm
indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:36 am
I would add HSA Authority into the mix.

HSA Authority
- Total $36/year to invest in mutual funds.
- Investment options include VG S&P500, TSM (both with ER 0.04%), Emerging Mkts (ER 0.14%), EAFE (ER 0.17%).
- Other options: short term bond index (ER 0.07%). SmallCap, MidCap, TIPS, REIT and Lifestrategy funds from Vanguard are also available.
- First dollar investing. No cash drag.
Look like a great option..beats the HSABank option of 5.5$/mo to invest without cashdrag. Reading the hsa authority faq, it is misleading in the requirements for the investment account--it requires $1000 to open the investment account but no minimum balance. They apparently sell off portions of your mutual fund investments to pay the $36/year fee. No option to prepay or pay the fee separately..there is a dormant fee though. Looks like I may be transferring. :sharebeer
There is another new possibilty

Lively HSA
- $2.50/month ($30/yr) for brokerage link at TD Ameritrade (>100 commission-free ETFs, including Vanguard)
- First dollar investing
- Quick online application (unlike Saturna)
- Con: new startup

Read this thread

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=228522&newpost=3552 ... ead#unread
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sperry8
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by sperry8 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:24 am

discman017 wrote:
Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:47 pm
I see these "best HSA" threads every so often, and I never understand why everyone who wants an HSA investment account doesn't go with the Saturna brokerage account.

This is Bogleheads -- we all want the lowest fees, right? HSA investment accounts charge fees in three ways:
1. Per-trade fee
2. Monthly / annual account maintenance fee
3. Foregone interest (for the HSAs that require you to have a certain amount of cash in the account, earning a below-market interest rate, before you can make investment transactions)

Saturna charges $15 for a trade. If you make at least one trade per year, there are no additional fees. So the grand total is $15 per year. No account maintenance fees. No requirement to hold funds in cash, so no foregone interest. (And if you forget to make your one trade per year, they charge you a $25 inactive account fee. Still very cheap.)

I've investigated lots of other HSAs, and when you add up the fees (#1, #2, and #3 above), it's always significantly more than fifteen bucks a year.

Totally understand if you want an FDIC-insured account for short-term medical expenses. That's something different. But if you're using your HSA as a long-term investment account, I really don't understand why everyone doesn't just use Saturna.

So does someone know of an HSA investment provider with lower fees? Or is there some reason other than fees to go with a provider other than Saturna? I follow these threads and am genuinely baffled that this discussion hasn't been put to rest already. What am I missing? Thanks!
I can tell you why I don't and choose to go HSA Bank instead. $0 fees. That's right, not $15 for one trade. $0. I hold $5k in my HSA Bank acct which culminates in waived account management fees. Then I set up the corresponding TD Ameritrade account and have 100+ ETFs to invest in with no trading costs. Can't beat free. HSA Bank it remains for me.
Humbling BH contest results: 2017: #516 of 647 | 2016: #121 of 610 | 2015: #18 of 552 | 2014: #225 of 503 | 2013: #383 of 433 | 2012: #366 of 410 | 2011: #113 of 369 | 2010: #53 of 282

ivk5
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by ivk5 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:50 am

sperry8 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:24 am
I can tell you why I don't and choose to go HSA Bank instead. $0 fees. That's right, not $15 for one trade. $0. I hold $5k in my HSA Bank acct which culminates in waived account management fees. Then I set up the corresponding TD Ameritrade account and have 100+ ETFs to invest in with no trading costs. Can't beat free. HSA Bank it remains for me.
I wouldn't agree that $5K of cash drag equates to free, but to each his/her own.

BogleAlltheWay
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by BogleAlltheWay » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:03 am

ivk5 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:50 am
sperry8 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:24 am
I can tell you why I don't and choose to go HSA Bank instead. $0 fees. That's right, not $15 for one trade. $0. I hold $5k in my HSA Bank acct which culminates in waived account management fees. Then I set up the corresponding TD Ameritrade account and have 100+ ETFs to invest in with no trading costs. Can't beat free. HSA Bank it remains for me.
I wouldn't agree that $5K of cash drag equates to free, but to each his/her own.
I agree because that is alot of cash drag to avoid the fees.

gatsu
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by gatsu » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:00 pm

Does any of them offer index target retirement funds?

aristotelian
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by aristotelian » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:02 pm

gatsu wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:00 pm
Does any of them offer index target retirement funds?
HSA has Vanguard Lifestrategy funds for $36 annually. No experience with them, but good fund selection and price point.

user85613
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by user85613 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:17 pm

I have around $11,000 in VTSAX with Health Savings Administrators. They charge $45 annually plus 6.25bps quarterly. I am can no longer make additional contributions so I need to figure out if it would be better to move this elsewhere.

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jhfenton
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by jhfenton » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:54 pm

user85613 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:17 pm
I have around $11,000 in VTSAX with Health Savings Administrators. They charge $45 annually plus 6.25bps quarterly. I am can no longer make additional contributions so I need to figure out if it would be better to move this elsewhere.
I would definitely move it somewhere. Lively would be $30 per year ($2.50/month paid from outside the HSA from a linked bank account), and you could buy SPDR Portfolio Total Stock Market ETF (SPTM) commission-free at 3 bp in a companion TD Ameritrade brokerage. There are no other fees or required cash holding.

Saturna would be a good choice too. It's a little less friendly, with actual paperwork. It'd be $24.95 for VTSAX, and you'd run into the $25 inactivity fee after the first year, but it would be a hair cheaper. For me, I'd pick Lively for the customer service and flexibility, and for the ability to pay the fee outside the HSA. If you wanted to rebalance your HSA or change investments, you could do so at no cost at TD Ameritrade. Saturna also has an account closure fee.

I moved my HSA to Lively in October, and I've been very happy.

aristotelian
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by aristotelian » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:14 pm

user85613 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:17 pm
I have around $11,000 in VTSAX with Health Savings Administrators. They charge $45 annually plus 6.25bps quarterly. I am can no longer make additional contributions so I need to figure out if it would be better to move this elsewhere.
Move it. Look at Saturna, Lively, Selectaccount and HSA Authority. I am in process of moving to Lively.

user85613
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by user85613 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:16 pm

Which has the least headache when transferring to Lively, a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer?

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jhfenton
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by jhfenton » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:41 pm

user85613 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:16 pm
Which has the least headache when transferring to Lively, a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer?
I think it would depend more on the transferring custodian than on Lively. I did a trustee-to-trustee transfer because I'm planning on quarterly transfers from my workplace HSA, and I didn't want to burn my once-per-year rollover. My work custodian also doesn't charge a fee for transfers if you leave the account open. Some do, which might be a reason to do a rollover. My custodian mailed a check to Lively's recipient bank in California. It arrived 3 business days later and Lively credited it immediately. A rollover (work HSA>>ACH>>my bank>>ACH>>Lively) would probably have been a couple of days faster. I also figured there was less chance of a tax-reporting screw up with a trustee-to-trustee transfer.

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Thrifty Femme
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by Thrifty Femme » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:45 pm

user85613 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:16 pm
Which has the least headache when transferring to Lively, a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer?
Probably rollover. It took over a month to do a trustee-to-trustee transfer from HealthEquity.

harvestbook
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by harvestbook » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:55 pm

What TD Ameritrade ETFs are you using at Lively?

I am considering a switch to Lively or The HSA Authority next year. I like Lively's format and basic cost but I don't want to pay trade fees on top of it to get the broad indexes. I prefer a three-fund mix instead of simply a S& P 500. (HSA Authority is annoying because you have to call to move your money from their bank to the investment side and back again, but at least they have the cheap Vanguard funds, except their bond choices are poor.)
I'm not smart enough to know, and I can't afford to guess.

AnonJohn
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by AnonJohn » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:52 am

BogleAlltheWay wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:03 am
ivk5 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:50 am
sperry8 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:24 am
I can tell you why I don't and choose to go HSA Bank instead. $0 fees. That's right, not $15 for one trade. $0. I hold $5k in my HSA Bank acct which culminates in waived account management fees. Then I set up the corresponding TD Ameritrade account and have 100+ ETFs to invest in with no trading costs. Can't beat free. HSA Bank it remains for me.
I wouldn't agree that $5K of cash drag equates to free, but to each his/her own.
I agree because that is alot of cash drag to avoid the fees.
Are there any other Feds with GEHA watching this thread? GEHA says that for HSABank "GEHA pays your account set-up fee, charges for your initial debit card(s) and bank administrative fees." I'm wondering what "bank administrative fees" means in practice. I'm assuming it covers the $2.50 service fee. Does it also cover the "investment service fee" ($3)? (i.e. is cash drag irrelevant to those of us fortunate enough to have GEHA paying fees?)

Another question: is the HSABank $3 investment service fee monthly? Their actual schedule of fees, read literally, seems to say that it's a 1 time fee (in contrast to the account service fee, which is explicitly monthly). I think this is just sloppy writing on their part ...

Thanks!

John

nps
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by nps » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:48 am

AnonJohn wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:52 am
GEHA says that for HSABank "GEHA pays your account set-up fee, charges for your initial debit card(s) and bank administrative fees." I'm wondering what "bank administrative fees" means in practice. I'm assuming it covers the $2.50 service fee. Does it also cover the "investment service fee" ($3)? (i.e. is cash drag irrelevant to those of us fortunate enough to have GEHA paying fees?)
Yes

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jhfenton
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by jhfenton » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:08 am

harvestbook wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:55 pm
What TD Ameritrade ETFs are you using at Lively?
I'm using SPEM (SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets) at 11 bp from the commission-free list. There are good to great choices for most of the basic asset classes, though they are no longer Vanguard ETFs. The commission-free list also has a lot of garbage. Maybe 10% of the nearly 300 funds are worth considering.

fife
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by fife » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:59 am

Now into 2018,

Stumbled upon a post by Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU), that they will begin offering an investment option to their regular HSA. The savings details have been discussed elsewhere (0.5% APY <$5k, 1% APY <$5k).

Must maintain $1k in savings account. The only fee I see listed is the annual fee, similar to other offerings, at $30/year. LMCU has 20 funds listed, over half are Vanguard. Investments are supported by Devenir.

It seems each financial group comes up with their own mutual fund lineup. This always made it hard to find a desirable place as not all the funds I desired were offered in one place. May be the same here.

Sources:
http://enews.lmcu.org/2018/01/new-inves ... e-for.html
https://www.lmcu.org/banking/hsa.aspx
https://hsainvestments.com/fundperformance/?p=LMC
https://www.lmcu.org/banking/savings/savings_hsa.aspx

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camillus
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by camillus » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:16 pm

Re LMCU

Here's the fund lineup: https://hsainvestments.com/fundperformance/?p=LMC

Many Vanguard funds in admiral class, no minimums - though nothing easy like total stock market, etc.

Fee total seems to a flat $30/year

I first learned of this from tbradnc on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=237040&newpost=370 ... ead#unread

alerya
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by alerya » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:01 pm

I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on LMCU vs. Lively. I will be opening a new HSA soon (first year on HDHP) and have it narrowed down to these two. I'm drawn to the Vanguard funds at LMCU due to the familiarity. I quickly looked over the fund choices at Lively/TD, and they are more foreign to me. I am also used to buying mutual funds; I don't yet own any ETFs. I realize LMCU requires $1000 in savings at 0.5%. Mentally, if I went with LMCU, I think I would consider this $1000 part of my EF. Perhaps I just need to be more open minded and give some new funds a try.

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jhfenton
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by jhfenton » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:30 pm

alerya wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:01 pm
I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on LMCU vs. Lively. I will be opening a new HSA soon (first year on HDHP) and have it narrowed down to these two. I'm drawn to the Vanguard funds at LMCU due to the familiarity. I quickly looked over the fund choices at Lively/TD, and they are more foreign to me. I am also used to buying mutual funds; I don't yet own any ETFs. I realize LMCU requires $1000 in savings at 0.5%. Mentally, if I went with LMCU, I think I would consider this $1000 part of my EF. Perhaps I just need to be more open minded and give some new funds a try.
I moved my money from an employer-sponsored HSA to Lively in October, and I've been very happy.

A few thoughts:

1. If it's like my employer-sponsored HSA, where you have to keep $2,000 in cash to invest, I never considered that part of my emergency funds because it couldn't really be withdrawn. If I withdrew $500, they would sell $500 of my investment the next day to replenish it.

2. When comparing HSAs, I count the difference between the rate paid on any required cash and a typical yield from my fixed income allocation (say 2.5%) as a fee. In this case, I would count it as a $20/year fee (2.5%-0.5%).

3. Lively's ease of opening an account is unmatched, and their customer service is fantastic. I've had them respond to emails on Saturday that I sent on Friday evening.

4. TD Ameritrade changed their commission-free ETF lineup literally while my check was in the mail and dropped the Vanguard ETFs they had on the list. I was initially annoyed, but I came to terms with the new lineup. Of the 296 ETFs, 75% are completely useless. 5% are top-notch, low-cost core funds. 20% are potentially interesting, often more niche funds, that you can probably ignore.

The best are the SPDR Portfolio core ETFs launched alongside TDAmeritrade's revamped free ETF lineup. You can do a four-fund version of the classic three-fund portfolio:

SPTM (Total Market) 0.03%
SPDW (ex-US Developed) 0.04%
SPEM (Emerging Markets) 0.11%
SPAB (Total Bond) 0.04%

There is no dirt cheap total international, so you would have to split between developed and emerging markets.

I'm using SPEM instead of Vanguard's VWO.

You can reinvest dividends and put it in set it and forget it mode, just like a mutual fund. But you do have to make the initial purchase live during market hours. And it's possible to end up with a little orphaned cash less than the price of a single ETF share. (I have $20 or so in my HSA, not enough to buy another share of SPEM at $39.xx.)

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camillus
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by camillus » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:10 pm

alerya wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:01 pm
LMCU vs. Lively
To keep it simple, Lively seems to be the best HSA available right now. The new offerings from LMCU seem to be a happy development for bogleheads already connected to LMCU because of it's rewards checking account.

tbradnc
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by tbradnc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:24 pm

camillus wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:10 pm
alerya wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:01 pm
LMCU vs. Lively
To keep it simple, Lively seems to be the best HSA available right now. The new offerings from LMCU seem to be a happy development for bogleheads already connected to LMCU because of it's rewards checking account.
Right-o. My wife and I are both (separately) members of LMCU each with an RCA account and our own HSAs - so this is a great development for us.

alerya
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by alerya » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:35 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:30 pm
alerya wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:01 pm
I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on LMCU vs. Lively. I will be opening a new HSA soon (first year on HDHP) and have it narrowed down to these two. I'm drawn to the Vanguard funds at LMCU due to the familiarity. I quickly looked over the fund choices at Lively/TD, and they are more foreign to me. I am also used to buying mutual funds; I don't yet own any ETFs. I realize LMCU requires $1000 in savings at 0.5%. Mentally, if I went with LMCU, I think I would consider this $1000 part of my EF. Perhaps I just need to be more open minded and give some new funds a try.
I moved my money from an employer-sponsored HSA to Lively in October, and I've been very happy.

A few thoughts:

1. If it's like my employer-sponsored HSA, where you have to keep $2,000 in cash to invest, I never considered that part of my emergency funds because it couldn't really be withdrawn. If I withdrew $500, they would sell $500 of my investment the next day to replenish it.

2. When comparing HSAs, I count the difference between the rate paid on any required cash and a typical yield from my fixed income allocation (say 2.5%) as a fee. In this case, I would count it as a $20/year fee (2.5%-0.5%).

3. Lively's ease of opening an account is unmatched, and their customer service is fantastic. I've had them respond to emails on Saturday that I sent on Friday evening.

4. TD Ameritrade changed their commission-free ETF lineup literally while my check was in the mail and dropped the Vanguard ETFs they had on the list. I was initially annoyed, but I came to terms with the new lineup. Of the 296 ETFs, 75% are completely useless. 5% are top-notch, low-cost core funds. 20% are potentially interesting, often more niche funds, that you can probably ignore.

The best are the SPDR Portfolio core ETFs launched alongside TDAmeritrade's revamped free ETF lineup. You can do a four-fund version of the classic three-fund portfolio:

SPTM (Total Market) 0.03%
SPDW (ex-US Developed) 0.04%
SPEM (Emerging Markets) 0.11%
SPAB (Total Bond) 0.04%

There is no dirt cheap total international, so you would have to split between developed and emerging markets.

I'm using SPEM instead of Vanguard's VWO.

You can reinvest dividends and put it in set it and forget it mode, just like a mutual fund. But you do have to make the initial purchase live during market hours. And it's possible to end up with a little orphaned cash less than the price of a single ETF share. (I have $20 or so in my HSA, not enough to buy another share of SPEM at $39.xx.)
jhfenton, thanks so much for this detailed response! You've made a lot of great points and your personal experience with Lively is really helpful. Also, thank you for the fund recommendations. I'm not familiar with the SPDR funds, but those expense ratios are heartening to see. I just opened up an account with Lively, and you're right, it couldn't have been easier.

Thank you camillus as well for your insight! :sharebeer

b4nash
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by b4nash » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:40 am

I recently completed a trustee to trustee transfer from my employer HSA over to Lively (for lower fees) and am pleased. This was my first experience buying ETFs but it was simple. I went with SPTM and SPDW.

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jhfenton
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by jhfenton » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:00 am

alerya wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:35 pm
I'm not familiar with the SPDR funds, but those expense ratios are heartening to see.
:beer They're all effectively brand new to all of us. Most of them were existing SSGA funds with inconsistent branding and higher expense ratios. SSGA consolidated them into a single "Portfolio Core" lineup, gave them new names and tickers, and priced them just below the market leaders. None of them are yet as large or liquid as their Vanguard or iShares counterparts, but they're all large and liquid enough for buy and hold investors.

aum
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by aum » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:20 am

FIREchief wrote:
Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:48 pm
whodidntante wrote:
danaht wrote:I am still waiting for Fidelity, Vanguard, and all the other discount brokerages to offer "free" HSA accounts like they do IRAs. I think it will happen soon if HSA contribution limits are increased and the eligibility qualifications for HSA accounts are lowered (both possible changes). Until then - I think the HSA Bank (+TD Ameritrade combo) is the closest thing to this setup.
That would be great but I wouldn't hold my breathe. There is more money out there invested in 401(k)s and IRAs, and it's easier to service those accounts. Using an HSA as a long-term investment tax shelter is a fringe thing to do.
Unknown to many, Fidelity does offer HSAs. The "problem" is that they are not generally available to the public. I gained access when my Megacorp switched from Optum to Fidelity for active employees with HDHPs. I was really happy when I received that email. The Fido HSA is just like any other brokerage account. No fees and no minimums in "core" accounts.
I've HSA with fidelity and have my funds(about 20K) invested in FFNOX. No transaction fees with their index funds. Obviously you need to have HC plan HSA eligible which I've been having for past four years. This HSA was opened with my Megacorp four years ago but quit them and retired in Dec 2016. After that I've been on ACA with HSA enabled plan and simply depositing max family contribution(6900 this year) into this account.

techrover
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by techrover » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:38 pm

I have used SelectAccount in 2017 and found it decent in terms of fees and options.
Though I was not aware of the lack of FDIC insurance on the cash balance account as "cas" mentioned - something to watch out for large cash balances.
You have to initially keep 1000$ balance in Cash Account, remaining can be invested in investment(decent options for upto <10K, full schwab options for >10K). I pay medical expenses out of the Cash Account and even if it goes below 1000$, nothing is triggered - i.e. $1000 is not really locked up.

Happy so far with their costs - we get debit cards to charge medical expenses without any fees(I see some providers charge for the cards and per transaction..so this is obviously better).
Total fees - $18/yr for investments + $1/mo for Thriftsaver account = total $30/yr. Once I reach $10K balances(which I am currently not), I should get access to full schwab brokerage - the fees of which are not yet known to me.

tbradnc
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Re: Best HSA (2017)

Post by tbradnc » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:29 pm

My wife moved her LMCU HSA to the new investment platform Monday and the final step of the process was completed this morning. I'll move mine next week.

The interface is nicely done and easy to navigate. Adding new funds, performance, rebalancing, and moving funds back to the LMCU HSA savings account for healthcare expenditures is straightforward.

Overall, nicely done. Lively sounds interesting but our balances are high enough that $30 isn't a deal breaker and our HSAs are already at LMCU so we'll stay there.

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