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Understand Your Employee Benefits

adults young adults

You can be an employee or a business owner. One of the many benefits of being an employee is the employee benefits. Beyond salaries and wages, most mid-sized organizations offer an array of work benefits to attract and retain top talent. You'll need these benefits to live and plan for the future.

Shop Around!

Before taking any job. Understand the benefits. You can compare benefits before you even apply for a job. You should compare benefits when applying to one or more jobs. This is very important and you need to think about it. The Pay, The work, The people, the Benefits, and the commute. These all create a balance that will help you pick the job that is for you. Don't ever think you are lucky for even getting a job offer. You can usually see the benefits on the company's website or reviews on other sites like glassdoor.com,  First time? Ask any adult what they've learned about benefits from various jobs.

Do you have a spouse? Their Health Insurance might be better. Did you know you can combine your Dental and their Dental coverage?  

Health Insurance

You are only covered by your parent's health insurance until you are 26.  And it can be very expensive to buy independently. It is at least easier than it was 10 years ago, Among the most crucial benefits offered by employers is health insurance coverage. Employers usually cover a significant portion of the premiums or even offer different plan options to suit individual needs. Evaluate the network of doctors, your portion of the coverage, the co-pays, and the deductibles. What are the prices for Family, Spouse, or Single plans?

Paid Time Off

Beyond a standard vacation policy, some companies offer additional paid time off for personal days, volunteer work, or even "wellness days." Recognizing the importance of downtime for mental and physical health, these policies contribute to a healthier work-life balance. More than 2 weeks? Does it carry over to the next year? Do you get Personal Days? Sick Days? These are common and expected.

Retirement Plans

Employers that offer retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) contributions or pension programs, provide employees with tools to help save for the future. Matching contributions or financial education programs can further enhance the effectiveness of these benefits. This is critical. You need to start saving for your future years now. Waiting only makes it more difficult. Don't think you don't need this until you are 30.

Dental Insurance

You only get one set of teeth. Everyone has a different situation. But do not ignore your teeth. You should at least get a cleaning and checkup once a year. Most plans only cover up to $1000 total, but it is well worth it.  Don't ignore your teeth and mouth. Ask anyone over 50 how important this is.

Vision Insurance

This is also different for everyone, But if you wear glasses or contacts, or are nearing that phase, you know how expensive eyewear can be. You also need to keep aware of your vision health.  Be grateful you don't have eye cancer or some other serious condition. It is not just for the vision impaired. You get a physical for the rest of your body once a year, don't you? We often take for our vision granted. Consider if you will benefit from vision coverage. It is usually fairly inexpensive.

Flexible Work Arrangements

The traditional 9-to-5 workday is becoming a thing of the past as more employers embrace flexible work arrangements. Options such as remote work, flexible hours, and compressed workweeks allow employees to better balance their professional and personal lives. This flexibility can contribute to increased job satisfaction and overall well-being.

Life Insurance

Are there people who depend on you and your income? Then you need life insurance. At the very least you want to cover burial expenses if you are single and living with Mom and Dad. There should be some basic Life Insurance options at work.

Disability Insurance

What if you are disabled through some accident? How will you work and pay for food, housing, and health coverage? These are real things you need to consider. You'll need to understand the difference between Short-Term Disability (6-8 weeks out of work) and Long Term Disability (More than 8 weeks and Long Term). 

Tuition Reimbursement

This is a fantastic benefit if you are in a field where further education will help you increase your salary and move further ahead. There are usually restrictions here, but it is still something worth considering.

Professional Development

Investing in employees' professional growth benefits both the individual and the company. Workplaces that offer professional development opportunities, such as workshops, training sessions, and mentorship programs, create an environment where employees can continuously enhance their skills and stay engaged in their roles.

Health and Wellness Programs

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Many employers understand this and offer comprehensive health and wellness programs as part of their benefits package. This can include gym memberships, wellness workshops, and access to healthcare resources. Some companies even provide mental health support, recognizing the importance of holistic well-being.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Life comes with its share of challenges, and employee assistance programs are designed to help individuals navigate personal difficulties. These programs may offer counseling services, legal assistance, and other resources to support employees during challenging times.

Summary

In the competitive job market, the presence of comprehensive work benefits is a testament to a company's commitment to its team members' success and satisfaction. These are all benefits you'll need in your twenties and beyond. Before you get excited about any potential job, ask what benefits they have. If they are offended or not willing to talk about it, then you know how much they'll care about you when you simply call in sick one day. Be good to yourself!

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