Spend my HSA or use it as investment fund?

Years ago the mad fientist convinced me to use my HSA as an even better 401k.

For 3 years I maxed it out. Now there’s $21k in it. Tax free! Tax free gains! No penalties for taking it out!*

I’m 37, and 30+ years of a tax free retirement account is enticing.

AND YET. I’m considering using it up now. I have dental bills that would use a big chunk, and ongoing stuff that I could just pay with the HSA card.

But why?

This fucking HSA! It’s from years ago, and every time I try to log in to check the balance, there’s something wrong. The verification email is my old work email, or there’s a new provider and I have to reregister, or I need to verify with information I don’t even have anymore.

Case in point - I decided to check the balance right now. The website redirected me to a new service provider. My old password didn’t work. I needed to re-register. It didn’t let me. I called customer service. They told me I needed to create a new account, but I needed my HSA card number to do so. I do not have that HSA card number, because I never actually used the card. They can send me a new card. First I need to verify the address they have on file, which is like 30 addresses ago, and how am I supposed to know? Thankfully I had put a note in LastPass which address was linked to the account. CS rep is expediting a replacement card to my current address. Once I get it, I can create a new account and access my HSA.

For like 2-4 years, until there’s another provider change, and I lose access again. I am already terrible with admin stuff, can you imagine me trying to do this shit after THIRTY YEARS?

I started this post with an actual question, but the experience of trying to check my account convinced me to just spend it. It may not be the optimal financial decision, but it’s better than losing the whole damn thing.


We are literally doing the same thing right now. It was like $9k in there and I was sick of having it just floating around. We had a bunch of medical expenses with my loss and D&C and want to build our cash buffer back up so I was finally like… you know what, fuck it. Simplicity has value too, and not having to worry about an account shutting and being garnished (looking at YOU remaining $150 in my solo bank account last year….) has value too.


We need to keep ours because we get dollars from our employers, but I think we are going to spend it down more than we used to. Like, I have five figures of unreimbursed expenses! Carefully stored and spreadsheeted going back three or four years. Maybe it would be more optimal to leave the dollars in there and borrow for big projects, but I’d rather keep debt low.

It seemed silly to take money out just to stash it into some other savings vehicle, but… that is no longer where we are at financially!


Yeah if we were still getting money it’d be a different picture. But it’s a dead account at this point. Hardly seemed worth the management task.


Ugh. You could roll over your HSA to another provider once you get access. We have ours through Fidelity which is Marmalade’s current workplace provider, and the customer service would probably be better there!



Well. On brand again, I apparently opened a fidelity HSA 3 years ago but never did the rollover.


I have rolled all my HSA money from various jobs into a fidelity HSA, which takes care of the changing provider issue. I’m still sitting on it since I haven’t had any medical expenses that I can’t cash flow. But I’ve also learned that I’m absolutely shit at tracking my unreimbursed medical expenses over long time periods, so I’m having to rethink my eventual strategy for spending it down. Which is to say: there is the ‘optimal’ path, and the path that actually works. And it’s ok to take the one that actually works even if it’s not optimal since you would never do the optimal one anyway.