Salary and Benefits Basics

In today’s scenario when the escalating prices are touching the sky, it becomes essential that your salary is able to provide you a satisfactory life in which all your basic necessities and a little more than that are comfortably met. But this actually does not happen. The salary structure progresses on a snail’s pace while the prices of commodities scale new heights. The question is what an individual should do in such a situation. The answer is the perks or the benefits that a company offers with the basic salary. The perks that are supplemented with the basic salary are a source of relief. A job that offers a basic salary of $90,000 per annum without any bonus should be discarded for a job that fetches you $84,000 with monthly benefits.

These perks are significant not just for the money factor but for the important aspects that they account for during our life. For instance the dental insurance takes care for all the expenses related to dental problems that the employee confronts after joining the company. Thus, perks lend the employee a more or less carefree life. They provide him with the biggest assistance i.e. financial and that too in some of the most expensive areas. Hence, perks are unbelievably significant.

But all the companies and businesses do not offer these benefits. Moreover, the kinds of benefits vary from workplace to workplace. Like the bank employees are benefited with medical assistance, travel perks during vacations, insurance etc. Whereas many a multinational companies and corporations provide perks on daily basis that primarily include the expense of food and commutation charges.

Some of the chiefly significant and common benefits are listed below-

o 401(k) plan–is meant to relieve the employee from the burden of taxation by the government. This plan is too fruitful in the long run for it enables the employee to make good stabilized savings throughout his job. This benefit is available only to those working in the private and not the government sector.

o 403(b) plan–is also of tremendous helps in saving money for retirement that is purged of all taxation but only till the time of its withdrawal. For once an individual retires and starts using the money from the 403(b) account, the income through it will be subject to regular taxation. There are certain other differences also between the 401(k) and 403 (b) plans. The 403(b) plan is meant for those who are employed under as per the IRS definition of businesses that are organized and working specifically for the religious, charitable, public safety testing, scientific, literary or educational purposes. Besides this the 401(k) pan allows investment in stocks while the 403(b) does not.

o Insurance facility- many employers bestow their employees with the insurance benefits. These benefits are extremely useful during the period when the employee is incapable to work and needs financial aid by sitting at home. Some companies offer full insurance coverage to their employees while there are others that provide with a comparatively limited coverage to the new recruitments. This coverage however gradually increases with the working years of the worker. Under the insurance facility are also included insurances like- disability insurance, dental insurance, short and long term disability etc.

o Healthcare benefits are included in the compensation package. There are various healthcare packages with different scope. The usual health care plans are HMOs, PPOs, and POSs.

o Vacation packages are also offered annually by some companies. In this benefit the company provides you with a certain amount of money that you can utilize in holidaying with your family. In case a trip is not on your itinerary, the money can act as a saving, as per the rules of the company.

o The Severance Package is active under the situation when the individual loses his job without any of his fault. This is not just extremely helpful to the employee but also saves any kind of legal action against the employer.

Series 6 Test – Get a Series 6 License

The Series 6 is an FINRA license held by tens of thousands of individuals. Many mutual fund and investment companies require this license for their agents and brokers.

The Series 6 exam is a multiple choice test of 100 questions. The test focuses on securities types such as: Common and preferred stock, corporate and government securities, taxation, customer accounts, SEC/FINRA rules, mutual funds, annuities, and variable insurance products.

The Series 6 is given on computer at select testing centers throughout the country for those that have been registered and been approved to sit for the exam. 70% is the passing grade and you will be notified of your pass or fail once the computer exam has concluded. A company must sponsor you for the test. This would be the company that hires you as a trainee.

The exam normally takes 4-6 weeks of home study time to prepare. If you fail the exam, you must wait 30 days to re-test. The key to passing this exam is studying each section and taking the chapter exams after each section. The last 2 weeks of your study time should be focused on taking and passing the practice final exams and reading the correct answer explanations given. Your goal is to achieve scores near 80% on the practice tests. As I said, 70% is the actual passing grade needed on the real test, but you want to increase your margin of error before sitting for the Series 6.

When the test is over, you can review your answer choices on questions you “marked for review” before you end the exam. This test feature is helpful on questions you were unsure of and wish to go over them again. You don’t want to change too many. I believe in the old test saying: “your first guess is usually your best guess”. Sometimes students look at past questions at the end because they had spent too much time on the question earlier and they just “guessed”, hoping to have another look at it later. That is a good way to use the changing answers feature. You have 135 minutes to complete the exam. That is usually plenty of time. You want to practice your timing while studying at home.

Know Your Financial Comfort Level

Despite the high degree of discomfort discussing financial issues, asking for help before a financial crisis strikes will help you in the long run. In many societal circles, discussions about money are considered taboo. It is not generally appropriate to begin sentences with, “I hear that you and the Mrs. are having financial troubles”.

Credit counseling organizations have the opportunity to educate a wide variety of people through, both one on one counseling and public seminars. It is noticeable that socioeconomic boundaries are nearly non-existent when looking at the lack of financial knowledge and discipline. Just because an individual has a six-figure salary does not mean that they are more financially savvy than someone who makes less than thirty thousand per year is. In fact, in some instances it can be quite the opposite.

Credit counselors work with individuals who receive high paying salaries, yet have struggled for years trying to pull their finances together. Motivated by pride and the belief that someone with a graduate degree doesn’t need help managing money, these individuals can just as easily dig deeper into debt. Though this is not the theme across the board, it is prevalent in numerous situations. The lesson learned is that a financial crisis can come at all income levels. Learn the danger signs of a financial crisis before it strikes and know that you are not alone – there is financial education available.