Make the Most of Your Pretax Deductions

Don’t set it and forget it when it comes to pretax contributions. The money that comes out of your paycheck before taxes can work for you, but only if you manage it properly. Many employees mismanage or underutilize the pretax deduction programs that employers offer, says Joe Holberg, founder and CEO of Holberg Financial, so it’s important to learn as much as you can about your options. “The first major step is to know what is available to you. This is when you read the nitty-gritty paperwork, reach out to the HR person and figure out what portions of the pretax opportunities make sense for you.” Follow this checklist to get the most out of your pretax deductions. HSAs You can get a health savings account only if you have a high-deductible health plan — but once you open the account, it sticks with you even if you change jobs. …

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5 Benefits You Might Not Know You Have (or Know How to Use)

5 Benefits You Might Not Know You Have (or Know How to Use)

It’s easy to zone out on benefits communications, especially when it’s not open-enrollment time. After all, you’ve filled out your health insurance forms, so what else do you need to know? Turns out, quite a bit. Chances are your employer offers benefits that you might not know about, or know how to use to your best advantage. “Employees must do more than pay attention once a year at an open-enrollment meeting,” says Chris Costello, principal and founder of CBG Benefits. “They should actively look for these details in their Plan Summary documents. They should log on to their employee portal or health insurance carrier’s website to see what’s listed. By taking that action, they’ll be able to experience financial savings, achieve wellness goals and fully utilize their employee benefits program.” You can start by considering these five benefits you may be missing out on. 1. Discounts Some companies offer discounts …

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It Pays to Educate Yourself About Retirement Savings

It Pays to Educate Yourself About Retirement Savings

When it comes to saving for retirement, you are your own best guide and advocate. Only you know what you want your retirement to look like, so you have to take responsibility for saving the money you need to make it happen just as you envision. A University of Michigan study found the average 401(k) account has one trade every four years, which researchers dubbed “inattentive” management. “The difference between a well-invested account and one that’s not can be substantial, as much as 2% or more per year according to some studies,” says Celia Rafalko, a financial planner and CEO of Piedmont Independent Fiduciaries. If you want to accumulate enough money by the time you’re ready to quit working, you need to educate yourself about retirement savings and avoid falling into a pattern of inattentive management. Consider tapping these sources of information. Your HR Department Your company’s human resources team …

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