What are Health Savings Accounts?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were designed by Congress to provide tax advantages to individuals enrolled in high deductible health care plans. Deposits to an HSA are used to pay qualified medical expenses.

The 2017 maximums for annual contributions to HSAs are $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for a family. Money in the account grows tax deferred, so an HSA serves as a type of savings account to pay future health care expenses.

For more information, see http://njaes.rutgers.edu/healthfinance/health-savings-accounts.asp.

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What is the minimum and maximum number of hours one can work before being considered part time?

The United States Department of Labor, through the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), does not define full-time or part-time employment: www.dol.gov/compliance/topics/wages-other-full-time.htm. It is a matter left to agreement between employee and employer.

Whether an employee is considered full time or part time does not change the application of the FLSA. Also, FLSA does not limit the number of hours per day or per week that employees aged 16 years and older can be required to work: www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/013.htm.…

My husband died earlier this year and I suddenly have to take care of managing our finances. How do I get started?

In all relationships, there is naturally some division of labor that is negotiated. When one partner in the relationship dies, the other is left to take care of all of the responsibilities. This can be overwhelming.

The nature of the responsibilities range from household management to handling the finances to taking care of the children to car care. You may decide that it’s too much to manage on your own and will want to hire professional help for some of …

How can I organize my personal and financial papers in case of an emergency?

Organizing your personal and financial documents in case of emergency is a smart thing to do. Having these documents organized and available will help get your finances on track in the event of a crisis such as a death in the family or recovery following a natural disaster.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit at http://www.operationhope.org/images/uploads/Files/effak2.pdf is an excellent tool to get your papers in order.

You may also want to create a “Grab ‘n’ Go” box that is portable, …

Communicate Your Advance Directives for Health Care

grandparents and grandchild, a smiling couple

If you had a serious accident or illness that caused permanent loss of mental capacity, leaving you unable to tell your doctor which medical treatments you did or did not want, would your loved ones know what to do? Who would make these decisions for you? If you couldn’t make your wishes known, how could you make sure they were respected?

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t taken time to complete or discuss documents known as advance directives …

Organize Your Important Household Papers: Introduction

Man with stacks of paper

One of life’s most important lessons is distinguishing what is trivial from what is not. While we’re tempted to lump our personal documents among life’s petty details, their significance can be major. How quickly could we access our birth certificates, immunization records, wills, vehicular titles, or even three-month-old credit card statements? Did we file them away and, if so, where? How long would it take to find—or replace—them?

A systematic plan for keeping track of important papers can save hours …

Emergency Cash Reserve

Emergency Cash Reserve

Setting aside money to meet unexpected expenses provides a financial safety net and allows you to take advantage of financial opportunities as they arise. Most experts recommend an emergency fund equal to 3 to 6 months living expenses; however, you do not need to set aside this total amount in a low-yielding passbook, certificate of deposit, or money market account. The amount of your emergency fund depends upon your age, health, job outlook, and personal financial situation …