Personal Finance 101 – Your Benefits Package At Work: The Extras

One of the most overlooked parts of an overall financial plan is the benefits package you receive from your employer.   Last week I reviewed the area of disability insurance and how to best protect your overall income.    Depending on the size of the company where you are employed, you will find many different types of unique benefits.   Each of these benefits can be easy to gloss over come open enrollment season, but analyzing your overall budget and how these benefits fit in with your plan can be paramount to reaching overall success.  Here are handful extra benefits you may have that should be examined.

  1. Legal Plan – A basic legal plan through your employee benefits package can cover many items including legal consultations, wills (including certain types of trusts), living wills, powers of attorneys, deeds, and potentially more based upon the type of overall plan.   If you carefully consider the years you may need these types of legal services, it could save you a bunch of money than potentially high attorney costs.
  2. Long Term Care Plan- Most people only think about purchasing long term care insurance once they turn the age of 50.  However, many large and medium size employers now offer a group long-term care insurance plan.  Many of these plans will allow you to enroll as early as 19 years of age, and these policies can cover both nursing home and home health care costs not typically covered by your medical policy.   Some these plans will guarantee insurability.   The most important item to look into is to see whether the group policy is portable, so if you leave your employer you can take the policy with you.
  3. Pet Insurance- With overall pet care costs rising, this can be a very important piece of insurance to own.  With this type of insurance, you can be eligible to receive discounts on vaccinations, routine care, treatments, or surgery through the insurance carrier offered by your employer.  On many of these plans you can cover cats, dogs, birds, and even exotic pets.   Once again, this is an important calculation to analyze to determine how much out of pocket costs you are spending versus what the insurance costs and overall savings would mean to your bottom line.
  4. Educational Reimbursements- Many employers will offer programs to reimburse employees for advancing their education.   Reading the fine print of these policies is incredibly important.  Usually, the programs you take must be related toward your work performed with the company.   Some of these programs will allow you to get financial education or credits toward higher degrees like an MBA.   Make sure to see whether the program covers tuition, books, or both.
  5. Your Company Mall- Often, large organizations will have some type of company mall that allows for employees discounts on items such as travel, clothing, books, and much more.   Many employees don’t take the time to research these programs, and end up spending more money when they make purchases on these items.

Your benefits package is such a large part of your overall compensation plan.   When you search for a new position, make sure to closely analyze both your cash and non-cash compensation so you can maximize what goes in your pocket.

Go to www.oxygenfinancial.net to request a consultation to figure out if you have chosen the right benefits from your employer.  If you are a small business owner, we can set up a benefit plan for your employees.

Written by:

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®

Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc

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About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Hey!

My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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