- Wrapping up our series on employee benefits
- How some employers are helping with adoption costs
- What health and wellness benefits are and how they can help
- Save on hotels, car rentals, office supplies, and phone service
- Quote of the lesson from Henry David Thoreau
On today’s lesson we are wrapping up our series we’ve done on looking at employee benefits by focusing on some obscure benefits that not every company offers or that you even think about as a benefit.
Now when it comes to child care there are different federal, state, and local programs out there for child care. But we’re talking about today is child care provided by the employer.
There is a program called the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) that offers tax favored status when your employer either reimburses the employee, pays the provider directly, or offers a day care center on site.
The most common way is money is put into a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) which the employee then uses to pay for dependent care. Currently the tax code is written that employees don’t pay taxes on this money up to $5,000 per year.
The more and more I research this topic, the more I realize that some form of adoption assistance is becoming more common. There are also a growing number of folks who want to adopt, so this seems to be a win-win situation.
Now like all benefits, this will vary by employer but how most adoption assistance plans work is the employer will reimburse, up to a certain dollar amount, for the cost of an adoption. This can include the payment of fees including court cost and legal fees, foreign adoption fee, and medical care for the mother.
There are also programs that help get you in contact with adoption agencies and support groups as well as adoptions for children with special needs.
Health and Wellness programs
There are a lot of different examples that fall under the umbrella of Health and Wellness. They can range from things that encourage exercise and good health such as providing a physical work out center in the office and encouraging employees to joins smoking cessation programs.
Or it can also including providing programs for health monitoring, alternative modes of transportation to work, to getting in touch with a counselor.
The thing is to look and see if any of these programs work for you or fit a need and they might be able to encouraging you to join an activity that promotes your health or wellness.
Employee discounts for services
This is something you might not think of as an employee benefit, but employers, especially large ones work with a lot of other vendors to provide services. That leads to these vendors giving the employees some discounts on some of those services.
So check and see if your employer partners with any other business. Some of these discount services include discounts on
- Car rental
- Airline travel
- New car purchase
- Phone provider
I know through my employer, we receive a 20% discount off of our data on our phone plan each month.
I also got a discount on the closing cost of my mortgage through an employee program.
These things aren’t going to make you a millionaire but they are ways to save money on stuff you are already consuming or are going to consume in the future.
Overall my hope with this series is to encourage you to take the time and look through your employer benefits and see if there is anything you are missing out on that can either save you money or enrich your life.
Depending on your situation you might be leaving hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the table by simply not taking the time to look at your benefits.
To send in your questions email me at Jon@JWFinancialCoaching.com
Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Jeff Goins’ new book titled Real Artists Don’t Starve
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
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