Financial Corner: Open Enrollment Choices Can Have Big Financial Impact

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It’s that time of year again, where, if you work for a medium-to-large employer, you’ve got some decisions to make because it’s open enrollment time. Of course, depending on your situation, you may have been working remotely for a while, but, even so, you will likely have the opportunity to review your benefits package and make changes. And you’ll want to make the right moves, because your choices can have a big financial impact on your life.

So, take a close look at these key areas of your benefits program:

  • What to Know About Health Insurance Renewals Resourcing EdgeHealth insurance – Think about your health care needs over the coming year – will you or someone in your family be coping with a chronic illness or facing a surgery? Will you need to at least consider testing and possible treatment for COVID-19? In any case, make sure you’re choosing the right plan for your needs. And pay close attention to any changes in your health insurance, such as whether the plan’s provider networks have changed – you may want to make sure your own doctor is still in-network. Also, check to see if you can reduce your health care premiums by taking part in a wellness program or health-risk assessment.

  • Life insurance – Your employer may offer a group life insurance policy for free, or for a small amount. It’s probably worth your while to take this coverage, but it may not be enough for your needs. If you only had this group policy, but your family situation has recently changed through marriage or the addition of a new child, you may well need to add some private insurance.

  • Disability insurance – In addition to offering group life insurance, your employer may provide short-term disability insurance as an employee benefit. Like group insurance, this disability coverage may not cost you anything, but it may not be adequate – typically, short-term disability only replaces part of your income for three to six months. And while you may never need to miss work for an extended period of time, you never can tell – after all, more than one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. You may want to consider purchasing your own long-term disability policy on top of the coverage offered by your employer.

  • employee retirement plansRetirement plan – You can probably make changes to your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan at any time, but why not look at it now, when you’re reviewing all your benefits? If you can afford to increase your contributions, you probably should, because a 401(k), with its tax advantages and ease of contribution through paycheck deductions, is a great way to save for retirement. At a minimum, put in enough to earn your employer’s match. You’ll also want to review your 401(k)’s investment mix. Is it still providing you with significant growth potential within the context of your individual risk tolerance? Over time, you may need to make some adjustments, either because an investment is underperforming or because you’re getting close to retirement and you need to reduce your risk exposure. In any case, it’s a good idea to check up on your 401(k)’s investments at least once a year.

Your employee benefits are an important part of your overall financial picture – so do what you can to get the most from them.


 

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Bio of Local Resident John-Paul:

John PaulHi, my name is John-Paul Tancona and I’m a financial advisor with Edward Jones. I have over 19 years of experience in this industry, working with both institutional and retail investors.

John PaulI earned my bachelor’s degree at Villanova University in 2000 and immediately started my years journey into the world of finance. My first 13 years were spent working at high profile wealth management firms covering large institutional investors. Recently, I joined Edward Jones and changed my focus to educating and empowering individual investors so they can achieve all of their financial goals.

We believe in working with investors one on one, either at your local Edward Jones office or conveniently at your kitchen table. We want to find out what is most important to you and your family so we can take you through our established process and partner together for life.

Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for your children or grandchildren’s college education or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop personalized solutions tailored specifically to help you achieve your goals.

I live in Sparta with my wife, Julieann, and two children: Dominic (10) and Daniel (7).

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I look forward to answering your financial questions and concerns. Please contact me to discuss your options so you can make informed decisions about your unique financial situation.   

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