Employee Benefits: Could you save money?
By: David Smyth, September 17, 2020
Labor Day typically cues up the start of the fall work season at the Family Financial Partners office, as we review the performance of financial plans and portfolios for our client families. In addition, this is the time when we review employee benefits with our client families, as many of you are receiving your renewal packets. If you're self-employed and think this newsletter isn't for you, simply skip down to where you see "self-employed" in bold.
When it comes to employee benefits, I know the majority of you simply check all the same boxes as last year and forget about it, unless something drastic has happened, such as a marriage or new baby. Of course, if one thing can be said about 2020, it's that drastic things have happened. I know people who thought they'd won Pandemic Bingo with the hurricane and murder hornets, but now with wildfire-causing gender reveal parties and fire tornadoes (yes, that's a real thing), your bingo odds are good in this round. And this is all before the election folks. That's right. You still have to pick a candidate. :)
But back to benefits. There are a lot of changes happening all around us, and I know in talking to many of you that some are worried about losing your jobs, or your company going under altogether. Others are stressed out (like me) with trying to teach our kids and not let them fall behind in school. Or, perhaps you're simply stressed because of missing family events such as weddings, the birth of grandkids, or, at the other end of the circle of life, saying goodbye at a family funeral. It's been a tough and trying time, I know.
For those of you still working, my suggestion is that when you do receive that benefits package, don't just click the same ole, same ole. Pick up the phone and call us, or email us a copy of your options. Let us look through them with you and make sure you take advantage of what your employer provides, as well as review any group coverages that may cost extra but could be a better cost than what you'd get in the open market.
Keep in mind also that age 50 is often the pivot point when it can become more cost effective to go to the open market. If you're over 50 and are in good health, we can often beat group coverage costs on disability, life insurance and long-term care. Please re-read that last sentence. It's true - we might be able to help you secure better coverage at a lower cost.
Our goal in doing this, from a financial planning standpoint, is not to make you benefits-poor. We want to make sure you and your spouse are covered properly and maintain the ability to work, earn an income, and walk the earth. We want to make sure there's a proper plan in place to protect you and your loved ones. At this point, we know we're not all going to die tomorrow. But the one thing I can guarantee you is that we all will die at some point. Our goal is to make sure you have a customized plan in place so you can live life today, knowing you're taken care of. That way, when someone tries to sell you one product or another, you can confidently say, "No thanks, I have a plan in place and everything is taken care of," instead of wondering if the product was something you might need. We want you to have the peace of mind to enjoy life now, not set you up for further questions.
Lastly, if you're self-employed and you made it this far, congratulations! Just because you work for yourself or a small group where benefits aren't an option doesn't mean you're off the hook. An annual review of how you're insured, whether that's basic life and health, business, home and auto, or a more complex solution, it needs to be reviewed so there are no surprises.
Regardless of whether you work for a company or yourself, a benefits and coverage review is a must-do so you can have peace of mind as we transition from the back-to-work season into OMG Wal-Mart has Christmas trees! You've got about 10 days, so let's get going. Call us now.