Job change checklist
Starting a new job is an exciting time! If you’re in the midst of such a change, you need to do more than manage your new career — you need to manage a new set of financial decisions as well.
What to do before you leave your old job
See your full financial picture:
- List all monthly income and expenses to get a clearer image of your financial life.
Review your benefits package
- Determine when your former employer’s insurance coverage will elapse.
- Which benefits need to be replaced, such as health, disability or life insurance?
- Which benefits can be kept or transferred, such as a workplace savings plan?
- When benefits such as health, disability or life insurance will cease and how COBRA insurance can help fill a gap in coverage between your old and new job.
Talk to human resources
- What compensation, if any, you are entitled to, including back pay, vacation days, sick pay or future distributions?
- Find out how much time you have to exercise any vested stock options.
- Save all documents relating to your separation from the employer.
What to do when you start your new job
Understand your new employer’s benefit options:
- Enroll in your new workplace savings plan as soon as possible, take full advantage of any employer match, and, if possible, increase your contribution to the maximum allowed.
- Choose the health insurance coverage option that best meets your health care needs.
- Review life and disability insurance coverage to ensure that you have adequate protection.
- Review the beneficiary designations on your insurance policies and retirement accounts.
Organize your new financial pieces
- Request direct deposit to maintain continuity of payroll deposits.
- Estimate your federal and state income tax liabilities. If you or your spouse had more than one employer and your total wages and compensation were over the wage base limit for the year ($127,200 for 2017), too much social security tax may have been withheld. You can claim a credit for this on line 69 of your Form 1040. Note that if any one employer withheld too much, the employer should make the adjustment on your behalf. If they do not, you should file Form 843 to claim a refund.
- Reassess your long-term savings and retirement plan.
- Update your employer contact information with service providers who require a daytime phone number.
If you’re considering a job change or have changed jobs, Lenox Advisors can help. We have the background, experience and extensive network to guide you past potential pitfalls while identifying unique opportunities. No matter what strategies we recommend, they will be part of a larger financial plan — one that you lead, based on your goals and your situation.