Don’t Make These Open Enrollment Mistakes-FCP009

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”

— Oscar Wilde

In today’s episode we’ll talk about some of the key mistakes people make during their employers open enrollment season. And, in the Fun Money segment we’ll discuss how being smart and buying used can save you BIG MONEY!

As always, the show notes along with any links and additional resources for this episode can be found financialclaritypartners.com/FCP009.

Tis The Season

It’s open enrollment season, that time of year when many people have to make important decisions about their employer-provided health care, insurance and other important benefits. In order to get the most from your benefits it is vitally important that you take some time to fully understand your options and make the best choices you can for you and your family.

Unfortunately many people “sleepwalk” through their company’s open enrollment and end up making some mistakes along the way that could cost them a lot of money! Now I know that all of you smart listeners of this podcast don’t want to gain “experience” as Oscar Wilde says by making mistakes so I’m going to help you out by discussing some key mistakes that are often made during open enrollment so that you will be aware of what “not to do”.

Common Mistakes

Here are 10 common mistakes that many people make during open enrollment:

  1. Ignoring Employer Communications-Check your mail, email for important open enrollment information. Don’t ignore any communications because it could cost you you BIG BUCKS!
  2. Miscalculating Your Healthcare Needs
  3. Focusing On Lowest Premium- The best choice might not always be the “cheapest”.
  4. Being Passive About Enrollment-Don’t just auto renew with last years options, they might not apply to your current situation
  5. Not Using A Flex Spending Account (FSA)
  6. Saying Nay To Your HSA
  7. Assuming You’re Too Healthy For The Wellness Program
  8. Passing On Disability Insurance
  9. Not Giving Enough Life To Life Insurancel
  10. Ignoring The 401(k)-Use open enrollment to double-check your 401(k) and make sure you are taking advantage of this important benefit

Those are some of the common mistakes that people make during open enrollment. Remember, the choices you make now will apply for the next year. The exception would be if you have a “qualifying event” such as:

  • Marriage
  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Birth
  • Adoption

If any those events apply/happen to you during the year then you typically have the opportunity to adjust your benefits based on those occurrences. Outside of that what you choose now will stick with you for the next year, so choose wisely!

It’s Your Money

As with anything else in life, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something related to your open enrollment choices. Your HR or benefits person should have the resources to get you the answers you need. Remember, it’s your money so make sure you are spending it as best you can!

The Fun Money Segment-Save BIG MONEY by Buying Used

Purchasing the tools and equipment you need to pursue your passions can cost a lot of money. One of the best ways to reduce that cost is to buy used whenever possible. Here are some tips to buying used “smart”:

  • Research what you want
  • Know a realistic price
  • Be careful of “too good to be true” pricing
  • Purchase only from reputable sellers
  • Stay safe when buying from strangers

Contact And Connect

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Remember, I’m always looking for feedback, comments and suggestions on how I can make this podcast better. Just email me at mark@financialclaritypartners.com with your ideas, comments and suggestions.

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Twitter: @PlanWithClarity or @MarkSinderson

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