My new job at the library started today. I had a meeting with human resources to get all my benefit info sorted out. It’s amazing how excited I got over benefits – I guess I’ve gotten very used to having to make my own benefits (one of the non-perks of self-employment), and getting them from an employer again is pretty damn exciting. So what do I get? Well, there’s dental, which we haven’t had since we became self-employed. They’ll take about $50/month out of my check for that, but it’s better coverage and less expensive than what we could get on our own. And we get a reimbursement for health coverage, so we’re bumping our health insurance up to an HSA with better coverage than what we have now. And there’s a 457 retirement plan. I opted to put 30% of my pre-tax pay into the 457. That’s a lot, but we’re trying to save all the extra money I’ll make by getting this promotion. And putting it into a retirement account before I get paid is a good way to make sure we actually do save it. The promotion is giving me a 45% pay raise, so if we put 30% of the total into the retirement fund, I still end up with just about the same amount in my paycheck, give or take a bit for the dental coverage and health reimbursement.
Most people probably wouldn’t consider a 457 with no employer match to be a stellar benefit. Just goes to show how excited you can get about something that you haven’t had for several years! All we’ve had for the last few years is our IRAs, so it’s nice to have another pre-tax account. And we’ll also be able to set up an HSA this year and have another place to stick pre-tax money. Whether we’ll be able to max out the IRAs and the HSA is yet to be seen, but just having the accounts there is a nice feeling. And seeing their little numbers grow is a good motivator for squeezing some extra money out of the budget to add to them.