When you think about the compensation you receive from your employer, your salary is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But your employee benefits can often make up a substantial amount of the value that you receive, especially if you work in tech. You should review your benefits to make sure you understand everything that is available to you. If you don’t know what your benefits are and how they work, then you probably aren’t using them to their full advantage.
Some of the major things you need to look at when you review your employee benefits are:
Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.
These provide you with a tax-advantaged way of saving for medical expenses. HSAs are especially valuable because the unused balance can rollover from year to year, so you could accumulate a sizable amount of tax-free medical savings.
This is a big one. Equity compensation is common for tech employees and there are several types, so make sure you understand what you have. If you plan correctly these can be a significant boost to your income. The key is that you need to plan ahead because you have some choices to make regarding when you exercise them, and whether to hold the stock. If you don’t deliberately plan ahead, you will almost certainly leave money on the table, or pay more in taxes than you have to.
It’s no secret that student loans are a major factor for many people and often a source of financial strain. Did you know that it’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to offer student loan repayment benefits?
Good companies also know investing in their employees’ development is important. Many offer tuition reimbursement for things like graduate degrees or advanced credentials.
Your employer may offer discounts on certain expenses, either by covering a portion of the cost, or because they have worked out a deal with the provider. For example, you may be able to get a discount on your gym membership by participating in a wellness program.
It’s a good idea to review your health insurance every year to make sure you have the coverage you need. If you do this during open enrollment, you can update your plan choices if necessary.
The same thing goes for other insurance, like long-term care and disability coverage. Make sure you’re checking regularly to see if your employer updated or dropped coverage.
And don’t forget to think about how life insurance fits into your financial plan. Do you have enough coverage so that the people who rely on you aren’t left in an unnecessary bind if something happens to you? Do you have the right beneficiaries listed? It only takes a few minutes to check!
Each employer is different and offers a unique set of benefits. You should do a quick check at least once a year to ensure you’re maximizing benefits available to you. The ones we just discussed are only common examples. You may have others, and some may be surprising. For example, many companies cover a portion of adoption costs.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team! We’re happy to help you navigate your employee benefits this season as part of your financial plan.