Changing Jobs? 3 Benefits Questions to Ask Before You Do

If you plan on changing jobs more than once throughout your career, you’ll likely face a challenge — not all of your benefits, like life insurance or retirement plans, will follow you from one job to the next. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you think about your career path and your financial future.

1. Is my employer’s life insurance sufficient?

Life insurance may not feel like a priority when you’re young, but having this benefit can help protect your loved ones if the unexpected happens. Life insurance can assist with any outstanding bills, such as a mortgage, car payments, or credit card debt, as well as funeral costs.

Many employers offer life insurance coverage, but the policy may not be portable if you change jobs. You may want to look into an individual life insurance policy to match or supplement the coverage you may have through work, taking into consideration any student loan debt you may have, or other possible future expenses, like a mortgage payment.

2. Do I need a separate retirement fund?

Retirement might seem far away, but saving money now can help to secure your financial future. Just as your employer sponsored life insurance plan might not follow you when you change jobs, you may lose certain unvested retirement benefits once you leave one job for another. But you may be eligible to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement account on your own, including Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or Solo 401ks, where you can contribute a portion of your earnings. Speak with a financial professional to find out what type of account is right for you.

3. What should I do about disability insurance?

You might not consider disability insurance coverage a top priority either, especially since most people don’t anticipate they’ll need it in their lifetime. But think of disability insurance as insurance for your paycheck — in case the unexpected happens. The amount of coverage you need depends on your individual circumstances, so you should find out if your potential new employer offers disability coverage, and consider purchasing an individual policy to supplement it as needed.

There’s a lot to think about if you’re planning a career change. By asking these questions, you’ll be better prepared to navigate financial challenges, both now and in the future.