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If you’ve graduated from college and are starting your job search, you likely know what salary you’d like to make. However, you may not know what employee benefits to look for. Learning the value and types of employee benefits offered will provide you with a more accurate measure of a job offer.

Health insurance

This is the most common benefit offered by employers. Medical bills that need to be paid after a major illness or hospital stay can empty your bank account faster than you think. When reviewing your benefit offer, find out how long you must be employed before your coverage begins. It can be immediate or as long as three months. If you have a partner or children, find out if they can be covered as well. Also determine whether dental and vision coverage are included. Dental work and eyeglasses can also take a huge bite out of any budget.

Retirement plan

Ask if a potential employer offers a retirement plan and if the employer makes matching contributions. Many employers match contributions you make to a 401(k), up to a certain percentage of your salary. This “free” money is yours to keep for retirement, as long as you stay with the employer long enough to become fully vested. That time frame can be anywhere from right away up to a few years.

Disability insurance

This is great for new employees who don’t have sick time or vacation days accumulated to use in the event of a sudden illness or injury. Most disability insurance policies typically pay up to 60% of your salary while you’re unable to work. Benefits may pay out up to a cap, or in a maximum monthly payout. Consider employer-offered disability coverage as a good start and supplement with more insurance, if needed. If you’re not sure how much coverage you may need, contact an insurance advisor for additional guidance.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

FSAs allow you to save pre-tax dollars to pay for medical expenses not covered by health insurance. This reduces your taxable income and helps you budget for medical expenses.

Starting a new job is also a great time to put together a budget to help track your new income and expenses. Compass, our complimentary money management service, can help you create a budget with ease.

The advice provided is for informational purposes only. Contact a financial advisor for additional guidance. 

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