Chances are it's been a while since you've reviewed your health and retirement benefits. There are a lot of details to consider, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start early. Investigate your health benefit options, and give yourself time to analyze each plan. Be aware of policy changes, and contact your HR department if you have questions. Have you been paying for services you didn't really use? Try to estimate how much coverage you'll need next year, and consider trimming your options down to the services you use most.
- Consider higher deductibles. If you're young and healthy, you may want to switch your health coverage to a high-deductible policy that will reduce premiums. Ask your HR department if Health Savings Accounts are available. They combine lower premiums and higher deductibles with an investment fund to pay for future health-related costs.
- Look into life and disability coverage also. Disability insurance is critical, especially for generally healthy people, where the chance of suffering a debilitating injury is higher than the risk of death. A good rule of thumb - insure 60% of your pay for disability. In addition, long-term care protection is also important since we are now living longer.
- Check into Flexible-Spending Accounts if they are available to you. They can divert money from your paycheck to meet various unreimbursed health costs, pre-tax.
- Re-evaluate your retirement plan. Use the calculators on PaycheckCity to review the impact of 401k adjustments on your take-home pay.
These free resources should not be taken as tax or legal advice. Content provided is intended as general information. Tax regulations and laws change and the impact of laws can vary. Consult a tax advisor, CPA or lawyer for guidance on your specific situation.