Amid the fast-paced hubbub of life, it’s quite easy to forget the value of your employer’s benefit package while you’re advancing your career and raising your busy family. However, you don’t want to leave employer benefits on the table untouched. Start by checking your workplace retirement plan and also by taking advantage of new employee financial support offerings.
Check Workplace Retirement Plan
First, check on your 401K (or similar) workplace retirement plan offering, such as a 403B or a SIMPLE-IRA so it’s working hard for you. Are you receiving your employer’s maximum matching percentage of your contributions? Some employers match dollar-for-dollar for a set percentage of your contribution, which means to get the maximum employer benefit, you will need to contribute at least that same percentage. Other employers only contribute fifty cents per dollar on your contributions. Whatever your employer offers, increase your contribution amount to capture their maximum match. Making change is one of the simplest ways to increase your overall retirement savings. Do you feel uncertain about increasing your contributions now? Alternatively, increase your contribution percentage before your next salary takes effect. That way you never grow accustomed to having the additional funds in your bank account.
Second, when was the last time you reviewed your accounts performance? If it’s been a few years or your risk tolerance has changed, then it’s time to rebalance your accounts holdings. Take advantage of the available investment advisor services offered by your retirement plan administrator whose names you might recognize Vanguard, Fidelity, TIAA CREF; rather than attempting to go it alone. If you do have your own advisor, be sure to include your workplace plan in your planning process. Discuss your holdings and allocation to ensure overall cohesiveness and that everything is in line with your current plan.
Third, if you’ve switched employers, did you leave behind a retirement account? You’ll want to consolidate your accounts from prior employers into a single account or brand even if you have pre and post tax dollars for simplicity’s sake. You’ll have fewer statements and accounts to track and might enjoy a break on fees because of higher account balances. This suggestion applies both to Generation X, who’ve moved and changed jobs frequently in their career, and also to long-term employers who have not yet moved an old employer’s plan to an IRA or current employer plan.
New Benefit Offering – Financial Support
Take advantage of your employer’s new financial support offerings. The Great Resignation of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the rising costs of inflation, have fueled the need for these educational programs. According to the TIAA’s Financial Wellness Survey of 2022, the need for financial literacy has become imperative, as six in every eight Americans report an increase in stress when it comes to their finances.
Enrolling in an employer-sponsored plan like Brightside or SecureSave focus on alleviating financial stress through education. These support services help employees get themselves in control of their finances rather than their finances controlling them. Through educational programs such as these, employer turn-over rates have been drastically reduced. If your employer does not offer these support services, it’s worth offering a suggestion to HR for next year.
Strengthen your Mental Health
Utilizing your Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) frequently focuses on physical and mental health subjects. However, these plans include benefits that help you partner with a financial consultant. EAP also offers much more than mental health benefits and financial consulting, such as the caregiving of older adults—whether it be emotionally or financially—as well as with finding childcare and navigating divorce. If needed, take advantage of your EAP benefits.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers help you avoid leaving your valuable workplace benefits on the table untouched. Pull up a chair at the table and schedule a conversation today to hear how our team eases your financial stress.