Jesse Gelsomini in the Houston Chronicle: To Get Some Real Deals, Study Your Flex Funds, 401(k) Plans


Most of us are focused on bargains this time of year. But we're so caught up on the deals for big-screen televisions and entertainment systems that we may fail to take advantage of the deals we can get at work.

Many companies offer an array of benefits that carry tax savings that can easily amount to much more than anyone will ever save on a new TV. I figure my family saves thousands of dollars each year by taking advantage of our flexible spending accounts and 401(k) program...

The federal government also imposes restrictions; flex spending accounts can't be used for cosmetic surgery, over-the-counter drugs without a doctor's prescription (except insulin) or health club dues.

"The tax savings are wonderful," said Jesse Gelsomini, an employment lawyer who specializes in employee benefits at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston.

But Gelsomini gets calls from clients asking what they can do because one of their employees ended the year with a big balance.

Excerpted from the Houston Chronicle, December 5, 2013. To view full article, click here.

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