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.


New HSA on its way babyyyy! This will save me $3 a month in account fees, and $1.50 a month in PAPER BILL FEES because they have been sending monthly statements to an address in Queens for like 8 years?

PS: I did not need the physical card to register after all? But I have it. And it will be valid for 4 more days.

Thanks yall!


Woohoo! You’re so on top of life!

By the time I finally got around to figuring out how to access my old HSA to roll it over, it had gone to the lost money pool in a state that I was no longer living in! So, that was fun lol.

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WHAT I did not know this was even possible. Did you get it back?

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It’s a thing! It’s call unclaimed property and here’s your PSA to do a search for your name in any states you’ve lived in: https://ucpi.sco.ca.gov/ (spouse found $200 from some sort of reimbursed fee from his college that he didn’t know about?)

I ended up consulting with an accountant/tax person but it ended up being fine as long as I immediately put the whole thing back into an HSA. :raised_hands:


I have done the unclaimed money thing and found over a thousand dollars! Moving every year or more has some downsides. I didn’t realize HSA’s could be included, though.

Yay, go you! Since the Fidelity account is low-maintenance and isn’t going anywhere, are you still thinking of spending it? The market is way down right now so if that money is invested it could end up growing quite a lot.

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I’ll keep it around now! No changing providers without notice, no monthly fees, no problem.

Ideal world, Vanguard would allow HSA’s so everything is in one place. Although I guess ideal world, we wouldn’t have such a fucked up, complicated health care system in the first place, requiring all of these special savings accounts.


Oh boy. Taking bets on how long this shit’s gonna take.


Oh hey, so I can go to Fidelity and open my own individual HSA account that doesn’t bounce around to wherever my former employers have put it? Now I know what I’m going to do with my HSA accounts. Thanks!


Yeah! You can’t control whatever your current employer has, but any old ones you can consolidate to Fidelity!

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Somebody please reassure me that twenty thousand dollars didn’t just DISAPPEAR???

I cleared up the old issue with Fidelity, they re-started the transfer, ran into an issue on Optum’s end, but the note they got from Optum said they couldn’t tell Fidelity why, they would only talk to me.

So I called Optum today, they said the funds had already been transferred out and the account closed.

Logged into the Fidelity account, and THE FIDELITY ACCOUNT IS ALSO CLOSED.

Optum then said, ACTUALLY the funds should finish transferring next week.


So now I’m calling Fidelity again to find out WTFFFFF


Fidelity rep reopened the account (no idea why it was closed in the first place) and will keep watch for a PHYSICAL CHECK from Optum. Because financial companies love to Pony Express checks for tens of thousands of dollars.

(My 401k rollover from an old job, they sent an EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLAR CHECK to the WRONG ADDRESS.)

Fidelity rep cackled when I mentioned Optum and said getting information from them is like pulling teeth. Cool cool cool.

I’m going to the park to paint and look at doggies because it is sunny and warm and I need to relax.