The topic on the Finance Flash Go podcast today is an important one! It’s all about an overlooked but very important aspect of your contract negotiation.
Learn your benefits, they are part of your salary!
Another overlooked aspect of contract negotiation is making sure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits offered by your employer. Your benefits package makes the difference in tens of thousands of dollars but most people don’t even learn about them until after signing the contract. Ask to speak with a benefits representative during your interview or on the phone.
Find out what tax protected retirement accounts are offered and specifically if the employer offers a match. Let’s say the employer will contribute up to $22,800 to a retirement account like mine. That’s $22,800 additional money that will grow tax free via compound interest that is basically a part of your contract. As an aside, make certain that you contribute enough to your retirement account to trigger the employer match. Failing to do so is leaving money at the negotiating table.
Also find out if your employer offers a Health Savings Account (HSA). I won’t go into detail about HSAs here, but in brief, it is one of the very few triple tax free investment vehicles and is a nice advantage if they have one (my employer does not).
Learn if your employer offers group malpractice, disability, or life insurance and how much it covers. This will reduce or eliminate the need to buy expensive individual policies on your own dime. The malpractice insurance that my group offers is so strong that I did not need an individual policy. The life insurance, however, was minimal and no group disability is offered so I did purchase these on my own.
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