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Open Enrollment for Employee Benefits

October 10, 2023

I hope my articles have been helpful for you over the last year and a half. It is my desire that you can make some progress in your own personal financial plan. Many have shared with me that they don’t believe they have enough income or assets to have a financial plan or a planner.

Please, don’t let your notions of financial planning get in the way of putting a basic financial plan together. If you are employed, chances are that you have the foundation for starting a healthy plan.

For most employees, October is Open Enrollment for your employee benefits. Most employers offer benefits such as health insurance and a retirement plan. Often, the employer may include a match on a percentage of your contribution. Other options can include life and disability insurance.

It’s not your employer’s responsibility to develop and implement your financial plan, that is your responsibility. However, most employers offer benefits to assist with this.

Employer benefits are not designed to fulfill all your financial planning details, but as you can see many employers offer a way to get started in every area except paying down debt.

As you enter Open Enrollment, identify the gap between what your employer can provide and what your goals call for. An important note attaching the benefits to your lifetime goal is portability. All this means “can it go with me” to my next job or retirement.

Your contributions in your retirement plan are always yours and follow you. Provided you’ve met vesting requirements it is likely that all the company’s match will also follow you.

Insurance is a different story. Health Insurance (and Life and Disability insurance most likely) will not follow you. For example, let’s say you have placed all your life insurance in the group life plan and leave that employer. Then shortly after leaving, you discover you have contracted a serious illness that might be terminal.  Since you discovered after you left the company that life insurance most likely won’t go with you. This may put you in a situation that does not benefit your beneficiaries.

Please take advantage of your employer’s benefits as it blends with your plan and seek a professional to help with the gaps. As always, feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.