It's an exciting – and daunting – time, as well as a great opportunity to start investing in yourself, your future goals, and even retirement, while also looking out for your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
- First things first: You’re now able to get your own insurance! What’s more, you may no longer be able to use someone else’s medical, vision or dental plan, so even more reason to get your own. Make sure you understand what your employer offers, so you can take advantage of getting these benefits through work.
- Try to fund your 401(k). Max it out if you can and learn to live without the extra money in your paycheck. The sooner you start, the larger your retirement nest egg will grow.
- Don’t forget to help supplement your health insurance, especially if your medical plan option has a high deductible. No matter your age, serious illnesses or accidents are still a possibility, and you definitely want to be able to help pay the cost if your health insurance does not pay for it in full. Also, don’t forget to look into and take advantage of wellness incentives that will reward you - $$$ - for keeping up with preventive care.
- Next, get some life insurance. This benefit can protect anyone or anything you choose – a loved one, family members, or a charity or non-profit associated with a cause you care about – should something happen to you. The sooner you get it, the better – either through your employer or a financial representative. Either way, life insurance is easier to get when you’re younger and in good health.
Perhaps you’re thinking about purchasing a house or condo for yourself, or with a partner – and even filling that space by having a family or fur babies. Carefully assess your benefit options and expand them to accommodate this new life stage.
- If you have a family, don't forget life and disability insurance. Together with health insurance, they're the three essential components of an effective protection plan. And short term disability insurance can be used to help cover maternity leave.
- With out-of-pocket medical costs continuing to rise, strongly consider supplemental health insurance. Coverage is available in case of serious illness, accidents, hospitalization, or cancer and provides a cash payment to help cover unexpected expenses your health insurance doesn't cover. You can use it any way you choose — to help pay deductibles, for transportation during treatment, even childcare. If you can, add any dependents to your coverage for greater protection.
- Pet wellness may also be something you consider to cover the everyday expenses in keeping your fur family members healthy and well.
As time progresses and life throws its curveballs, you may find the change is that you feel clearer and more confident in your path. You may now be looking to see how you can better support the things and people in your life you love. What's important now is staying ahead of the curve.
- Saving for retirement, as well as keeping your health, life and disability insurance, remain your primary considerations.
- You may also want to consider looking into long-term care insurance options.
- Make sure you have coverage that can cover expenses that medical insurance might not, by exploring critical Illness and hospital indemnity (another way to say hospital stay) coverage. Remember, these types of insurance help ensure your hard-earned savings don’t get wiped out by an unexpected health emergency and provide you with a direct cash payment you can use to help cover the cost of medical and non-medical related expenses, such as transportation and childcare.
There is still a lot of life to live – what do you want to experience? Maybe you are headed into retirement and plan to travel or shifting into consulting or part-time gigs. While it may be a time for reflection and recognition – applaud yourself for how far you’ve come – you may also want to reprioritize and look more closely at the legacy you’d like to leave.
- Re-evaluate your budget and take stock of your retirement savings and whether you need to continue building your nest egg.
- Confirm beneficiaries on your life insurance and 401(k) accounts, and if you haven't, draw up a will to identify how your assets would be distributed.
- Social Security will become an option, and you have to decide when to start collecting. By waiting longer, you can maximize your monthly payments.
- Review to make sure you have the right level of protection in place. Consider supplemental health coverages for out-of-pocket expenses and life insurance to leave a legacy to individuals or things your care about.
This guide can help you decide which insurance coverage options are most important for your personal situation. Find out which benefits your employer offers, so you can begin looking at options and feel ready when open enrollment begins. Take advantage of your workplace benefits today.