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The end of 2021 is now less than two months away. While we all have plenty on our to-do lists -- especially for the holidays -- there’s one more thing we should all take the time to do, review our employee benefits.
The end of the year is typically open enrollment season for employee benefits. Reading through that giant stack of information might not sound like that much fun, but it’s important to make sure you’re maximizing every possible financial incentive you can.
That means reviewing each of the following:
Make sure and be aware of any new plans or changes to your current plan. Also, are you taking full advantage of your employer matching program? Especially when you’re young, this is a must.
Take a look at every health insurance option in your family. Is there a way to get a lower deductible? Do you expect to have surgery or more visits to the doctor this year? If you have kids, is your plan the best one for them to be on or is your spouse’s a better option. You should also look for things like whether or not you qualify for a health savings account.
While these might not seem essential, they can be very valuable, especially as we age or as our families grow. Consider if you’ll need them next year and look at all options.
Money contributed to FSAs is tax-deductible and can be used tax-free for medical expenses. Just be sure you use the funds you deposit, because it disappears at the end of each year. The maximum annual contribution for 2022 will be $2,850.
Money contributed to this account is also tax-deductible and can be used tax-free for childcare expenses. This is also a “use it or lose it” account meaning the funds disappear at the end of the year.
As far as the maximum annual contribution goes, the ARPA increased the dependent limit for calendar year 2021 to $10,500. Unless Congress decides to extend this, the limit will revert to $5,000 for the 2022 calendar year.
If you have a voluntary term life insurance policy through your employer, at least take a look at whether or not a private policy would cost less. Typically, an annual renewable term policy will end up costing you more in a few years' time. That’s why, if you need coverage beyond that, contact your insurance professional to get quotes.
Many companies offer a variety of other perks, including gym membership, transportation reimbursement, and education assistance, just to name a few. Make sure you know all of the benefits available to you and figure out how to take advantage of them to make your life better!
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