By Jason Kaufman, District Manager, Southeast
This time of year, many workplaces ask us to review our benefits and make any changes necessary for the following year. Aside from your health, dental and vision benefits, employers usually provide the opportunity to save for your future in various ways.
- One employee benefit that can help you save and invest for your future is a health savings account. A Health Savings Account (HSA) pulls money out of your paycheck, pre-tax, and can be used for medical, dental, vision and prescription costs. Got kids? Maybe they need will soon need braces. Prescription costs for an ongoing health issue? Set that money aside before it’s taxed! Accident prone? Prepare for any unforeseen medical bills! Most HSAs provide a debit card to use for easy access to your funds. And you never lose the money; even if you leave that employer, you keep the HSA account until the funds have all been used.
- Most employers offer a 401(k) savings plan and provide a company match incentive for those who choose to use the plan. For example, Marine Credit Union offers a 50% match up to the first 10% employees choose to save. A 401(k) plan is a tax-advantaged retirement plan, meaning the funds you save gain interest, tax-free. You do not pay taxes until you withdraw upon retirement.
- Find little ways to save for yourself or an emergency fund. Instead of buying something (soda, coffee, breakfast sandwich, etc.) every day, cut back to every other day. Let’s say you were spending $5 per day on this item(s), and you put that into a savings account, you would have $910 at the end of the year! Another way is to round up your change on every transaction and put that into a jar, or savings account. Let’s say that amount comes to about $3 per day, you would have an additional $1,095 in a year! Right there that’s over $2K in your emergency fund.