Making the Best Decision About Your Benefits

A new job on the horizon means that change is headed your way, and setting yourself up for success as early as possible is crucial to your future. While a potential new job can offer a lot to look forward to — a bigger paycheck, a great culture or new opportunities for professional development — benefits play a significant role in terms of compensation. Benefits packages help recruit and retain employees, but these perks aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Before you say yes to your next offer, give those benefits a closer look.

Why investigate your benefits?

Since benefits are an important component in the job hunt, why not give them the same scrutiny you’d give a new paycheck or a potential employer? When examining the benefits attached to a job offer, you’ll get a better idea of how you’ll fare financially in this new position. Take the time to research the specific benefits offered as well as the financial impact each part of the benefits package brings.

Start with the big picture

Get a complete overview of an employer’s benefits package. Benefit offerings will vary, but you can expect to see some, if not all, of the following:

  • medical, dental and vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • paid leave benefits, including paid holidays
  • wellness benefits
  • 401(k) match
  • employee stock purchase plan
  • life insurance
  • pet insurance

Crunch the numbers

Once you know what’s offered, it’s time to break out that calculator. Some benefits will be free, and some will be services you’ll pay for. These payments are usually deducted straight from your paycheck, which makes knowing the real cost all the more important.

Health plans

When determining the value of a health plan, it’s important to examine the plan in relation to your average medical expenses. Estimate possible costs by computing how much you would spend under the employer’s health plan in a relatively healthy year and a year with higher-than-average medical expenses. Don’t forget to take into account expenses for medications or routine medical supplies. Insurance isn’t just for people! Some employers offer pet insurance, allowing you to calculate the same potential costs or savings of pet-related expenses.

Saving for the future today

Other common benefits are designed to facilitate saving for retirement or future needs. A recent study from Fidelity Investments found that employees who participate in both 401(k) and stock purchase plans tend to save at a higher overall rate than those employees who participate in only one of those programs. Paycom, for example, not only offers the benefits mentioned earlier in this article, they also provide a variety of ways to save for the future, including matching 401(k) plans, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), retirement counseling and discounted stock-purchase plans. When determining the value of compensation and benefits plans, don’t forget to account for these programs as well. You need to ensure you’re saving enough and know the amount coming out of your check each pay period.

The best way to set yourself up for future success is to start planning as early as possible. By thoroughly assessing the benefits connected to a new job offer, you’ll be able to make the best possible decision to meet your personal and professional goals.

How are your preparations coming? If you’re looking for a way to get off on the right foot with your future-building, consider applying for a position at Paycom!