Health Savings Accounts vs. Flexible Spending Accounts? Which is Better?

Funny piggybank standing on clipboard with documentWhat is the difference between a health savings account (HSA) and a flexible spending account (FSA)? Is one better than the other?

Both allow you to save money tax-free for out-of-pocket medical expenses such as prescription drugs, eye glasses, etc. and the money you save is not part of your taxable income. However, there are some key differences:

Flexible spending accounts:
Contributions to a flexible spending account are deducted from your paycheck, pre-tax, with a maximum individual contribution of $2,600 per year. If you do not spend all of the money in your FSA by the end of the year, you may lose the remaining balance. Because of this, you must estimate the amount you will need for the entire year, which can be hard to predict. An advantage of an FSA is that your full balance for the year will be available January 1st, even before the monthly contributions are made.

Health savings accounts:
A health savings account will allow you to store away more money than an FSA, and your unused funds will carry over year-to-year. You can also take your HSA with you if you leave your job, and enjoy tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses (there are some penalties if funds are used for other purposes). The downside of this system is that in order to contribute to an HSA, you must have a high annual deductible (at least $1,300 for individual coverage). For a list of administrators, visit

The best option for you will depend on a few factors – if you are self-employed with a high insurance deductible, will be changing jobs, or have unpredictable health-care costs, then an HSA could be a good option. However, if you will be paying for more predictable costs like contact lenses and copays for regular medication, then an FSA might be the way to go. Ultimately, it comes down to your financial situation, health, and job status, as well as the plans that your company may offer.

(Adapted from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, June 2017)

Turn Your Goals Into Reality

Goals blog photo.jpgYou can spend time trying to right the past…but more time will pass than you’ll get right.

Taking simple actions each day will right more wrongs and get you further ahead. By simply writing out three steps to achieve each goal, you will turn your goals into reality.

Do you know the steps?

Want to Make More Money?

"Jobs" on wooden block and magnifying glass on newspaper backgroundJob…that might not be the right word for it. Instead of thinking about it as another job, consider getting a second source or third source of income. I can see how this might be a weird idea. But, in the future, creating a second or third source of income is very possible even without disrupting your life.

Consider this – the wealthiest people in the world have an average of ten sources of income. Yet, the majority of middle class Americans have only one source of income. Do you see the discrepancy? Why do the rich get richer? Because they have more sources of income.

With the ability to market a product that you don’t manufacture or even keep an inventory of, making money has gotten easier. For example, just search “product drop shipping.” You’ll find many companies who manufacture a product and will sell it to you at wholesale prices, and in many cases, will even ship the product to the end customer. All you have to do is sell it.

If I have sparked your interest and you would like to learn more, contact me to set up a time to talk further about creating multiple sources of income.

How Do I Know What Investments to Make?

Handwriting Old Way or New Way with marker on visual screenPeople constantly ask me, “What companies should I invest in?” Our world is ever-changing and that means your investment strategy should change too. Check out my latest video for some tips on how to stay current with your investments.

What’s the Point of Retiring?

Retirement vs workIt’s a question I’ve started asking myself. Sure, I’m 47 years old. I’m not set to retire for a while by society’s standards, but why should I stop doing what I enjoy? Many people hate working 9 to 5 and can’t wait to retire. But, I love my job! I love getting up each morning and serving the needs of others.

I recently read an article about a man who has three jobs. Three! His first job? Wall Street trader. Second, music producer (and a Grammy winner at that) and third, real estate. He went on to say he had interests other than just being a Wall Street trader and didn’t see the point of not pursuing things he loved. Made all the sense in the world to me.

The point is, if you have other interests pursue them. Just because you have a good, well-paying job doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after other ideas or things you’re interested in. So, how do you pursue a side hustle? Call me and I will give you some ideas.

It’s your life…live it the way you want to.

Where Did All My Money Go?

Man with no money. Businessman holding empty walletDo you ever get paid and then wonder, “where did all my money go?” In his latest video, Trent discusses the “cash is king” financial method. By using this method, often times  you are able to lower your monthly expenses and have more money in savings.

Why is it so Hard to Achieve Your Life Vision?

Goal without a plan is just a wishWhy is achieving your life vision so hard? Here are three reasons:

  1. Life Vision: You don’t have one. Most people and business owners I meet don’t have a written statement of their life vision. If it isn’t written, it doesn’t exist. Write it down.
  2. Strategy: You may have a written version of your life vision, but you have no strategy to achieve it. There is no working plan to achieve your end goals. So, you just exist. Thrive instead!
  3. Accountability: You aren’t accountable to anyone. Without accountability, you just float through life.

You may be saying, “I’m satisfied with how things are.” That’s fine. But for others, we want more out of life. I work with people who need help achieving their vision. Together, we work to identify your life vision, implement a strategy, and review your progress on a regular basis. As a result, you become accountable for your actions or lack thereof. This process equals results – life results. 

Contact me today to get started on the path to achieving your life vision.

Three Things I Learned from the Death of My Sister

Dying Rose on the Snow BackgroundIt’s the call you don’t want to get. ‘Trent…you need to get to Atlanta. Shay has taken a turn for the worse.’

I was in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport about to board a plane to New Orleans for Christmas when I got the call from my dad. Shay had fought sarcoma cancer for 12 years. In a way she had the upper hand….she knew her chances to live to be an old woman were slim. So, she lived everyday like it was her last.

After her death we spent three days before her funeral helping my brother-in-law put the pieces together. Here are a few things I learned during that time:

  • Passwords: Shay ran the family finances. She had all of the passwords to all of the accounts…in her head. In the end, my brother-in-law was able to gain access to the bank and other accounts, but it took a lot of time and effort. Make sure your partner, or another person you trust, knows how to access all of the accounts in your absence.
  • Have one place for important documents: Having your life insurance policies, wills, trusts, and another important documents in one place prevents your loved ones from having to search through boxes, drawers, and other places in your home or office. A home safe or a safety deposit box are great places to store important documents.
  • Have a will: This will make sure your wishes after death are carried out. Shay had a will, but it didn’t include where she wanted to be buried or how she wanted the ceremony to go. Include all of your wishes in your will.

It’s been 808 days since Shay passed (from the day I wrote this). She was a great person. I miss her. But, I believe God had a plan for her. Shay’s personality blew up a room! She was strong, knew what she wanted, and fought until she got it. She was always the loudest person in the room and stood strong in her beliefs. Shay left a positive mark on this world. We could all apply a little of her life to ours. We can also learn a lot from her death.

If I can be of help to you, please feel free to reach out to me at

Love like today is your last,