Earlier this month we discussed how small business owners can reap the benefits from offering benefits. This week we want to discuss how you, the employee can get the most from those benefits. Health insurance and a 401k plan are a couple common perks that employers use to attract new employees, but there may be more that you aren’t taking full advantage of.
Max out your contributions to your company’s 401k retirement plan, or at the very least contribute enough to get the company’s match. Many employers offer to match 401(k) savings up to a certain percentage of your income if you do the same; a typical match is 3% of your income. This is free money from your employer! Your 401k is funded with pre-tax dollars, making it a great way to bring down your tax rate. You can contribute up to $18,000 per year, or $24,000 if you’re 50 or older.
Health Savings Plan (HSA)
This is another plan that you should consider maxing out as well if your employer offers it. The plan is funded with pre-tax dollars and the money can be used to pay for out of pocket medical expenses. Any funds you don’t use can be rolled over to the following year or even invested to save for future health expenses in retirement.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
If your company doesn’t offer an HSA, look into a FSA. You can contribute up to $2,550 in pre-tax dollars for out of pocket medical expenses, and an additional $5,000 for dependent care expenses.
Disability insurance coverage provides income protection, up to 70% of your salary, if you are not able to work. You typically get a chance to enroll in this coverage when you start working for a company. If you’re maxing out your pre-tax dollar contributions with the other benefits your employer offers, consider paying your disability insurance premium with after-tax dollars. By doing this, the benefits you receive will be tax-free. If you pay with pre-tax dollars, or your employer pays for your coverage, the benefits you receive will be taxable.
Maximizing your contributions to all of these will help you save and reduce your tax bill each year.
About Oakstone Law, PL
Oakstone Law PL was founded by Bob Kleinknecht. A member of the Florida Family Trust Company Subcommittee, the Estate Tax & Trust Planning (ETTP) Committee and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law (RPPTL) Section of the Florida Bar, Kleinknecht has 15 years’ experience.
Prior to founding Oakstone law, he spent more than eight years serving as a personal, in-house estate, tax and charitable planning attorney for a Forbes 400 family in New York and Florida. Before that he was an estate planning and estate settlement attorney with prominent firms in Boston and Washington, D.C. after beginning his career with a boutique firm in Naples, Florida.
Licensed in Florida and Massachusetts, Kleinknecht has developed a practice model that eliminates billing by the hour and offers a streamlined, customized client process supported by technology, security and a personal approach.