Searching for a New Job? 5 Benefits to Look Out For

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Key points

  • In today's labor market, there are plenty of jobs to be had.
  • It pays to pursue a job that will offer a solid set of workplace benefits, like health benefits and paid leave.

These days, workers are quitting their jobs in droves and seeking out better offers. If you're not thrilled with your current job, you may be interested in getting a new one -- one that pays better and comes with a schedule that works better for you.

But remember, your salary is only a piece of your total compensation package. It's also important to go after a job that offers a nice benefits package. In fact, the following benefits ranked highly on workers' list of priorities in a recent MetLife study, and they're perks you should aim for as well.

1. Health insurance

A good health insurance plan could make medical care easier to come by and pay for. Some employers subsidize workers' health insurance premiums in full, while others offer a partial subsidy.

You may also have different plan choices to select from. Pay attention to what insurance you're offered when seeking out a new job -- and make sure you're eligible for it right away upon getting hired.

2. A retirement plan

It's common for workplaces to offer a 401(k) plan for retirement savings purposes. If you find a new job that doesn't offer one, you can always save for retirement in an IRA instead. But companies that offer 401(k)s commonly match worker contributions to some degree, which translates into free money for your senior years.

3. Paid leave

Paid time off can be an important component of maintaining your mental and physical health. You may want to seek out a company with a generous paid leave policy for things like illness and maternity/paternity.

4. A health savings account

Some health insurance plans come with a high enough deductible that renders participants eligible for a health savings account (HSA). An HSA lets you save money for healthcare in a tax-advantaged manner. HSA contributions are made with tax-free dollars. Put $1,000 into an HSA, and the IRS won't tax $1,000 of your earnings.

HSA funds can also be invested, so they grow into a larger sum. And those funds never expire, so there's no pressure to use your money by the end of a given calendar year.

5. A flexible spending account

Though not every health insurance plan is compatible with an HSA, flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are open to anyone with healthcare costs. Like an HSA, an FSA lets you set aside pre-tax dollars for medical costs, only unlike an HSA, you must deplete your balance by the time your plan year ends or risk losing it. Still, it pays to use an FSA over a regular savings account for healthcare expenses due to the tax savings alone.

FSAs also have a dependent care component. If you pay for childcare, you can set aside pre-tax funds to cover your costs.

You may have a certain salary in mind when seeking out a new job. But don't forget to go after the benefits that can save you money, help you meet different goals, and generally improve your quality of life.

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