Liz Weston: Is the new job the right financial choice?


Millions of American workers are looking for new jobs, even if they call it a “major resignation,” a “major remodel,” or simply a period of change. Salary increases aren’t always the motivation, according to labor experts. Many people want more flexibility, the ability to work remotely, or other non-economic benefits.

Still, money is important, and changing jobs can be a great opportunity to dramatically improve your financial outlook. In addition to the salary provided by the new job, the value of various benefits and other compensations should be considered. Once you have a clear idea of ​​what’s on offer, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.

Add up current rewards

Seth Marikin, a certified financial planner in Charlotte, NC, begins by calculating compensation for her current job or, if she’s unemployed, her recent job. In addition to salaries and bonuses, commissions, profit sharing or stock options, you must include health and life insurance premiums paid by your employer, as well as your company’s contributions to your health savings account and to your severance pay scheme. (These donations are often listed on your payslip, or you can contact the Resources Department.)

Include other perks like cell phone refunds, employee discounts, gym memberships, company daycare, and more, as well as the value of perks you can use in the 1-3 next few years, such as fertility treatments. Or help with tuition fees, suggests Mullikin.

Then think about what you could give up by leaving now. Some benefits, such as stock options, 401 (k) matches, and traditional defined benefit annuities, vest over time. This compensation may not be enough to handcuff you indefinitely to your job, but you may not want to quit large payments prematurely.

“If I leave a company that has nearly vested stock options, should I wait another year? »Said Marikin.

How are the new jobs compared?

Perform similar calculations for the work provided. Add employer contributions to the proposed salary for any perks and other perks you might use. If these benefits are not clearly stated, ask for specific details and figures.

Then see if it’s more valuable. Lazetta Rainey Braxton, CFP in Brooklyn, New York, says current wages may be lower than most other employers if they have worked for the same company for many years. She recommends using sites like to figure out how much a similar job will pay so you can better assess your offer.

Look deeper

The benefits can take very different forms from company to company.

Some employers offer a variety of health insurance plans, but others do not. For example, if your only option is a high-value franchise plan, that’s okay for young and healthy people. Or, if you have significant medical bills and don’t have enough savings to cover your deductions, it can be a disaster. Likewise, plans with a limited network of providers can be expensive if they don’t include a doctor.

Please also inquire about the wait time. Your employer may make you wait up to 90 days for your health insurance coverage, or a year to contribute to your 401 (k). Parents and other vacation policies also have a waiting period.

Company policies regarding vacations are very different, and SMEs may be exempt from laws applicable to large companies. For example, a business with fewer than 50 employees typically does not need to comply with federal family medical leave law. The law grants eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid labor protection leave for long-term care and serious health problems.

Use leverage

Economic considerations must be weighed against all other aspects of future work. Do you have the possibility to progress? Flexible work hours and location? Is the workforce diverse and the culture attractive?

Risk tolerance is also important. You might be willing to accept less pay and fewer profits in exchange for stock options that can someday offer significant rewards. Or, rather than rolling the dice, you can enjoy the opportunity to save for workplace safety and the future.

If your job is attractive but you’re running out of deals, see if you can negotiate a better deal. Negotiation expert Kwame Christian, director of the American Negotiation Institute in Columbus, Ohio, may never hold more weight than you had before officially accepting the expanded proposal. I say I can’t.

Christians are encouraged to negotiate wages and other financial matters before seeking more vacations, flexible hours, or other “creative options” that do not directly cost the employer. ..

“You always want to look for money first,” explains Christian. “Because we know money never runs out, but with these creative options, they hardly ever run out.”

File- This undated file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist on a personal finance website. (NerdWallet via AP, file) {Pull from column 7.12.21}

This column was provided to The Associated Press from the Personal Finance website. NerdWallet .. Contact Liz Weston, a Certified Financial Planner and Columnist at Nerd Wallet. [email protected] Also @lizweston..

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