It's open enrollment time again, and PaycheckCity is ready to help you optimize your benefits package. Chances are, if you've been employed for a few years, it's been a while since you've reviewed your health and retirement benefits. Now is the time to start researching. There are a lot of details to consider, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Begin early. Investigate your health benefit choices, and give yourself time to weigh options. Be aware of policy changes, and talk to your HR department if you have questions. The online calculators found at paycheckcity.com let you examine different scenarios affecting your take-home pay.
- Evaluate your past choices. 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, think about switching your health coverage to a high-deductible policy that will reduce premiums. Also 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.
- Health insurance is not the only one you should be investigating. Look into life and disability coverage also. Disability insurance can be critical, especially for generally healthy people, since the chance of suffering a debilitating injury is much higher than the risk of death. A good rule of thumb - insure 60% of your pay for disability. Many employers now offer long-term care protection also, and the younger you start paying in, the less expensive it will be.
- 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.
- If possible, increase the amount of money you put into your 401(k) style retirement plans to take full advantage of employer matching funds. PaycheckCity.com calculators help you to understand how 401(k) changes can impact your net pay.
- Tweak your portfolio. With this volatile market, make sure you have a healthy mix of investments. Re-evaluate your 401(k) at least once a year to ensure the investments you hold are appropriate.
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.