It is the eating season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, when there will be plenty of food and leftovers. I love the day after Thanksgiving because I can make a huge turkey sandwich on sourdough bread with guacamole. As we approach the end of the year, you might have corporate leftovers that need your attention. It's essential to check your benefit options so you're not leaving anything on the table.
Here is a list of popular benefits to check before the end of the year.
- Retirement plan. Check your year-to-date contributions to ensure you're maximizing your retirement plan assets. The government allows you to contribute $20,500 if you're under 50 and another $6,500 if you're over. If you are going to fall short of the maximum amount, you can increase your contributions between now and the end of the year.
- Match the match. A common benefit that employees and plan participants often miss is the employer retirement match. If your employer offers a 5% match, you should deposit at least 5% of your compensation to the plan – match the match because it is free money.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA). A flexible spending account is a use-it-or-lose-it benefit. If you still have funds in your FSA, you must use them before the end of the year because most of the assets do not roll over to 2023. The current contribution limit is $2,850, and the maximum carryover amount is $570.
- Health Savings Account (HSA). You can contribute to a health savings account if your employer offers a high-deductible medical plan. An individual can deposit $3,650 annually, and a family can add $7,300. If you're 55 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000. Unlike a flexible spending account, you can roll over and keep your health savings account benefits. An added benefit to a health savings account is that at age 65, you can use it to fund your retirement.
- Employee Stock Purchase Plan. If you work for a publicly traded company, they may offer an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP), allowing you to contribute up to $25,000. If you participate in an ESPP, you can purchase your stock at a discount, usually up to 15%.
- Vacation Days. Most employees do not take all their vacation days, so check your benefits page to see if you still have any days remaining. Several ski resorts are now open, so take advantage of early powder days and bluebird skies.
- Education Benefits. Some companies offer tuition reimbursement or credits for attending school or participating in certificate programs.
It's worth a few minutes to check your benefits page to ensure you don't leave any leftovers behind. You can also contact your HR department for further information.
Leftovers make you feel good twice. First, when you put it away, you feel thrifty and intelligent; "I'm saving food!" Then a month later, when blue hair is growing out of the ham, and you throw it away, you feel really intelligent: "I'm saving my life!" ~ George Carlin
November 19, 2022
Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM's custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.
Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren't suitable for every investor.