Often times when we start a new job we complete many forms in the first few days/weeks related to the employee benefits offered by our new employer, such as, Savings Plan contributions, Medical Insurance Plans, Group Life Insurance, etc.  As a financial planner (and someone who recently started a new job!), I am aware of the quick decisions that need to be made and the complexity of those decisions.  Most people approach these decisions with a “set it and forget it” attitude but you can save a lot of money and heartache by reviewing the available options on a yearly basis.  Some of the key decisions are:

1.     401k/403b contributions – Are you contributing the $17,500 max for 2013? If you are 50 or older in 2013, then the max is $23,000.  Are you taking full advantage of the company match?

2.     Deferred Compensation – Are you eligible? Does your employer offer a match?  Have you reviewed the payout elections? What are the risks?

3.     Medical Insurance – Do you have the best plan for yourself and your family?  If you have a high deductible health plan, are you contributing to a Health Savings Account?

4.     Flex Spending Account – the limit for 2013 is $2,500

5.     Flex Spending for Dependent Care – the limit for 2013 is $6,000

6.     Life Insurance – Should you increase the amount?

7.     Disability or Long-Term care Insurance – Does your employer offer it?

8.     Excess Liability Insurance – Does your employer offer it?

These are just a handful of the important decisions we can assist with to ensure you understand each available option and potentially save you money next April.

As many of you are already aware, I had been out of the office due to the sudden illness and passing of my mother in December.  After the emotional struggle of losing a loved one, I was once again sidelined with back pain and subsequent surgery which helped immensely, but is an ongoing challenge.

I would like to thank clients/friends who proved incredibly patient, understanding and supportive.  We have always said we have the privilege to work with some of the greatest people; this experience has only proven this true beyond belief.

To the wonderful team members at Lighthouse, I can’t thank you enough for rallying around me during my time away and in recovery.  The extent of your support has been truly amazing and I am forever grateful to you.

The importance of financial planning, goal setting, and especially the sometimes lost notion of “life is not a destination, but a journey” has been reconfirmed to me hundreds of times over. With my new found respect for family, health, and time, I look forward to and value the opportunity of partnering with you to ensure you make the most of your journey.

We all have struggles in life, but as mom was fond of saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff”.

Thank You,

Luke Carey