Financial Wellness @ Work

The Value of Your EAP Program

Years ago when I was pregnant, I was a nervous wreck. I did what every pregnant woman should not do. I found every article I could on every worse-case scenario imaginable about daycare.  Read more

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Don’t Leave Any Money On The Table

A few days ago, I was meeting with a friend that just changed jobs. She was excited about the pay, her new co-workers and the shorter commute to work. As she started talking, I mentioned that she should take advantage of all the benefits her company offers and not leave any extra money on the table.  Read more

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My $280 Mistake

I admit it. I goofed. Despite being a financial planner who often helps people with their benefits, I made a mistake with my own. As I was looking at my expenses and taxes for last year, I realized that I could have reduced my taxes by $230. That’s the amount I would have saved if I contributed the $817 I spent on eligible vision and dental expenses last year to my company’s limited-purpose FSA (flexible spending account). Read more

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Your Best Financial Services Provider Might Be Your Employer

It always amazes me how people overlook their employee benefits and will pay out-of-pocket for what they can in some cases, get for free. Years ago, I worked with a couple in which the wife was diagnosed with breast cancer about 5 years ago but thankfully, is in remission. They were trying to get their estate plan in order and had hired their friend’s attorney to help them. Several thousand dollars later, they wondered if they made the right choice. Since I am not an attorney, I would never give legal advice, but I had to admit to them that considering the simplicity of their estate and wishes, they had an amazingly complex plan.  Read more

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How to Thank and Help Our Future Veterans

With Veteran’s Day around the corner, we stop to thank those, past and present, who have served our nation and protected our freedoms. We all know that they volunteer to spend time away from home and family and risk their lives to keep us safe. The tragic stories of service members suffering from PTSD and life altering injuries tear at our hearts. What no one talks about is the financial hardships that many of our service members face.  Read more

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The Changing Landscape of Health Insurance

Now that we are in the midst of open-enrollment season, this is a great time to start looking at how the trends in health insurance may impact you and your family. In the last few weeks, Wal-Mart has announced that they will no longer offer health insurance to certain part-time employees. Other large employers are rolling out new plans that will either charge a steep premium to cover spouses that have coverage available at their employer, or they are not offering coverage to those spouses with their own option at all. In addition to all of this, there is an undeniable trend towards high-deductible health plans paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA)Read more

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Enjoy Labor Day and Put Your Benefits to Work for You

Labor Day weekend is always an enjoyable time in our family’s household as we usually try to get in a trip to the beach, have a cookout, and welcome in the college football season (which is a pretty big deal in our part of the world). Hopefully you and your friends and family have been able to work some fun into the schedule over the long weekend. (If you had to actually clock in at work today, be sure to find some time for rest and relaxation soon to make up for working on the federal holiday.) Read more

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Do You Know the Difference Between an HSA and an FSA?

Fall has arrived, and that means open enrollment is just right around the corner. For many employees, this provides the window of opportunity to sign up for either an HSA or FSA in order to set aside pre-tax dollars for your out-of-pocket healthcare costs.  Not quite sure what the difference is between these 2 types of accounts? Well, you are not alone.  In a recent Fidelity survey, two-thirds of those surveyed said they simply do not understand how an HSA works and “a full 73 percent of respondents said an HSA is pretty much the same thing as a health FSA or were unsure, and the ‘use it or lose it’ provision of FSAs was one of the most commonly misunderstood differences between the account types.”  Read more

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Can Your 401(k) Be Part of Your Emergency Fund?

One of the results from our recent research report that has gotten a lot of attention is that we saw an increase in the number of employees’ accessing their 401(k) balances through loans and hardship withdrawals from about a quarter in 2011 to about a third in 2012. The conventional wisdom is that this means employees need to do a better job with money management and in particular, building an emergency fund of at least 3-6 months of necessary expenses and maybe even more. For someone just starting out, I think this is absolutely true.  Read more

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Financial Finesse’s unbiased financial planning blog wins Gold for "Blog of the Year" in the 2014 Best in Biz Awards!

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