If you work for a company that has an HR department, please book an appointment to see them right now. Don't put it off. The HR person is your new BFF. I'm waiting for you. This is important. Write an e-mail or text to yourself right now. Did you do it? OK, good.
Here are the things that you need to talk to them about. It'll be so good for you to go.
1. Disability Insurance. Most companies have basic insurance that you chose when you started working, but make sure that it is enough. You want to make sure that you're covered. As part of the working Middle Class, your truest asset is your income, not your home or car. You want to make sure that you replace it if something goes wrong.
Check with the HR person to make sure you're covered. Get more insurance if needed; you should reassess this as your life status changes too.
If you don't have insurance from work you should look into getting some to protect your family. Your HR person will have options. Most worker's compensation only covers work-related accidents. The government only covers you so much too. Employment Insurance only covers you for 15 weeks and the Canadian Pension Plan average monthly disability payment is around $840 and that depends on how much you've contributed over your working years and that you're younger than 65.
2. Life Insurance: Generally life insurance is used to replace your salary for your family. As we discussed above in Figure 9, typically you want to replace 60-75% of your salary for a certain period of time. Life insurance covered by your employer generally only covers one or two times your salary so make sure that you take that into your full life calculation.
3. Benefits. Are there any benefits that you aren't using? Some companies let you move your money from benefits that you'd never use (like prescription glasses) to benefits that you would use (like a day off or more massages). I love massages so that would be my vote. Make sure that you are taking full advantage of your benefits plan. And again, as your family status changes, you may want to make adjustments.
4. Employer Matching Contributions. This is one of the best ways to get free money. We all need to become a Millionaire in Retirement so be sure to put this on the list to discuss with HR. It's a great way to build up your retirement portfolio before your pay cheque even reaches your hands (or account).
5. Take a coffee. HR people are normally the happiest people at the company so be sure to be nice to them and they'll be nice right back. Pop in every few weeks to see if there are any new programs on the horizon.
Remember to protect your biggest asset - your income. It is easy to miss all of the hidden gems of benefits that your HR department would have. These five areas could provide some large value to your retirement, your health, and your family in the long run. Make sure you take full advantage of ALL of them.
Have a fantastic visit with your friendly neighborhood HR person!
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