What benefits does your employer offer? More importantly, which benefits should you sign up for?
Whether you’re starting a new job or taking a second look at your benefits for an existing job, realize that benefits paid for by your employer are a significant source of your pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employer-paid benefits account are approximately 1/3 of your total compensation, and that number is even higher for government employees.
On a salary of “just” $45,000, that means you’d be throwing away approximately fifteen thousand dollars by not taking advantage of your benefits at work.
So how do you take advantage of your employer’s benefits?
Tax breaks for middle and lower income families can be found all throughout the tax code, but too few people know what tax savings they can actually claim.
As a starting point, recognize that tax breaks aren’t about avoiding taxes or not paying your fair share. Tax breaks are about Uncle Sam giving you a discount on what’s good for our society as a whole in addition to helping you and your family out. That’s why some of the best and most common tax savings opportunities give you discounts on what you spend on your children, your home, college education, health insurance and medical payments, donations to charities and churches, and saving for retirement.
But, you can’t claim the right tax breaks unless you know what they are.
Like becoming a couple, having a baby makes for some of the biggest financial changes you’ll ever face in life. Part of that is because children are expensive: having a child can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, and raising children can cost many times that much. But having children also fundamentally changes the way you live, from whether and how you continue to work outside the home to how you spend your time and money on a daily basis.
Who needs life insurance, anyway? Contrary to what most life insurance companies and some financial advisors will tell you, the answer is NOT everyone.
Life insurance can be a fantastic way to replace your income for your family if you pass pre-maturely, as well as to cover funeral and burial expenses, or to pay off debt at your passing. But what if nobody depends upon your income, you won’t be needing an expensive funeral, and you aren’t leaving your family with large amounts of debt they’re unable to pay off? That’s the situation I found myself in. And if that’s you, you may not actually need life insurance at this point in your life.