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northwesternmutual.com – scam! 5 underrated benefits to seek out when job hunting

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Job seekers can get caught up in salary as the be-all and end-all when choosing their next gig. But the truth is, a new job can come with underrated benefits that create an attractive total compensation package. Some of these benefits may not be as easily quantifiable, but the satisfaction and security they provide can often make up for a lower salary.

If you’re actively job hunting, here are 5 underrated benefits to seek out.

1. Great Insurance Options

Health insurance can be one of the biggest expenses for working adults. An employer that offers to pay for all or a fraction of coverage or offers great plan options is a huge draw. In addition, look for health insurance add-ons like health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA). These kinds of accounts can provide investment and savings options to help you pay for medical expenses for years to come.

2. Employer-Sponsored Life Insurance

Some job seekers may overlook the value of benefits like life insurance or disability coverage. But the reality is, these benefits can be a great start to financial security. While many employer-sponsored life insurance plans are for smaller amounts ($50,000 is common), it’s still a free benefit that provides some financial protection for loved ones. If the coverage doesn’t seem enough, buying additional term life insurance is always an option.

3. Retiremet Plans with a Match

Some companies that offer retirement plans like a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 incentivize employees to save by matching up to a certain amount. Commonly, employers may match up to a certain percentage of your income. That means contributing enough to the plan to get the match is almost free money.

What’s more, the fact that a company even offers a retirement plan that enables you to put away pre-tax money is a benefit in and of itself. Access to these plans makes saving for retirement easier and more tax-efficient; the match is the cherry on top.

4. Budget for Training or Education

Development and career growth often top the list of goals for employees. So companies that offer money to go toward continuing education or training courses can directly impact those goals. This kind of benefit is truly a win/win. The employee gets to further their own career while also benefitting the employer with better job performance.

5. Wellness Programs

Corporate wellness programs can come in all shapes and sizes. Some may include smoking cessation, weight loss, or financial incentives, like a discount on health insurance for completing certain tasks, like getting an annual physical. Don’t be afraid to ask potential employers about the success of their wellness program, including how many employees participate. If there’s a strong network of employees using the benefit, that can indicate you’d get value from it too.

The Bottom Line

Salary matters for job seekers, but it’s not the only benefit. It’s important to weigh salary with other more underrated benefits like a great insurance package, employer-sponsored life insurance, retirement plans with a match, a training budget, and wellness programs. These other benefits can help create a total compensation package that will make you happier as an employee and encourage you to stick around for the long haul.

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Finance Advice 2021