I did not come to the world of work properly prepared to take full advantage of compensation and benefit opportunities available to me. While taught to work hard, live honestly, and tithe, the same emphasis was not placed on saving; and there was never a word about investing or creating wealth. The basic goal was to own a home and have enough money to pay bills – not bad, but way too simple. I now know you can’t know what you don’t know. I LEFT A LOT OF MONEY ON THE TABLE IN THE EARLY YEARS, AND A LOT LESS AS YEARS WENT BY. It is my hope we leave not one cent on the table, and secure a legacy of financial literacy and freedom for ourselves, and our children.
The salary you earn may be just a fraction of your total compensation and benefit package. Do you know what is in your package? Are you tracking only dollars included in your salary?
Although rising costs are narrowing the wide range of options employers offer, many employers, especially large ones, still have valuable compensation and benefit packages. This is not done out of the goodness of their hearts. This is strictly business, done to attract and retain talented employees.
KNOW THE VALUE OF YOUR TOTAL COMPENSATION AND BENEFIT PACKAGE. This will help you accurately evaluate the job you have; and if you ever go looking for another job, know the value of the total package you are trying to replace. Do the math!
When comparing one company to another, make comparisons beyond salary. Is there “runway” – room for growth in the company? Are there bonuses tied to performance? Ask about insurance (health, life, disability) and the portion of premiums paid by the company. What about retirement plans? Savings Plans? Is there a company-matching program (which is a really good thing)? How much paid vacation? Is there tuition reimbursement to help continue your education? Are you allowed to pay for any benefits with pre-tax dollars?
WHILE FEW OF US WILL GET RICH WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE, MORE OF US CAN GET MORE FOR THE WORK WE DO. TOO MANY OF US LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE. Stop putting those company compensation and benefit brochures in a drawer. Study them! Attend meetings about benefits, saving, investing, and retirement planning.
Once you know more, do more! Take it to the next level and pass it on.
Salary may be only a fraction of the valuation of your job. Know and take advantage of the total compensation and benefit package available to you.
When you earn a dollar, save a dime (at minimum). Consider investing beyond what you save.
Do your own research and talk to experts.
Pass on what you learn to your children, family and friends.
Leave nothing on the table!