I have seen a lot of people over the years leave a lot of money on the table by not taking advantage of all of the benefits that their employer was offering them. Your total compensation could be more than just your wages if your company offers additional benefits. The three most common mistakes I seen as the following:
- Not investing in the company’s 401k that provides a match. Take the free money. Any account that can offer a match on funds cannot be turned down. Sign up as soon as you are eligible to participate. Chances are you should be contributing more than the match to meet your retirement goals. I still have never met someone who saved too much money for retirement (Darn, I guess I will have to go to Hawaii 2X a year now).
- Maximize contributions to the ESPP Plan (Employee stock purchase plan). This plan allows you to purchase stock at a discount to fair market value. You don’t even have to like the stock, just the gain that you will receive.
- Prepaid legal-if you currently do not have any estate planning documents. A lot of major companies offer prepaid legal for a monthly fee. This fee typically allows you to meet with an attorney to have an estate plan drawn up including a Living Trust, Will, Medical, and Durable Powers of Attorney. The best part is that the total cost is typically just a year’s worth of monthly fees. This is typically a fraction of the cost of meeting with an attorney on your own. Check your plan for cancellation policies.
This material is for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.