HSAs: An off-label prescription for retirement saving

October 5, 2017


From 2006 to 2016, Health Savings Account (HSA) holdings ballooned from $1.7 billion to $37.0 billion in assets.1 HSAs are a fast-growing, tax-advantaged savings option for investors that can help them cover medical costs or save for retirement. This research paper details how.

Use this paper to:

  • Discover the what, why, and how of HSAs' tax benefits.
  • Compare the tax breaks offered by HSAs with those offered by employer plans, 529 plans, and other taxable savings accounts.
  • Examine the ways the favored tax status of HSAs can boost long-term savings compared with IRAs and other taxable savings accounts.

1 The Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust, 2016. Employer Health Benefits 2016 Annual Survey. Menlo Park, Calif.: Henery J. Kaiser Family Foundation; and Chicago, Ill.: Health Research & Educational Trust.

Part of Vanguard's Financial Planning Perspectives research series

Financial advice is more nuanced than ever because clients seek individual attention that caters to their unique circumstances. Financial Planning Perspectives is a series of research-based publications that offers sophisticated planning concepts explained in a way that balances theory and practice.



  • All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal.


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