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With Wells Fargo and Kmart Job Losses in the Lehigh Valley, Some 401(k) and Job Offer Evaluation Suggestions

11/09/2017

A Lehigh Valley Wells Fargo call center and Kmart were recently announced to be closing before the end of 2017, leaving hundreds of local residents scrambling for new jobs leading into the holiday season.

It was recently reported that a Bethlehem Wells Fargo call center let its employees know that they had 15 days left to work, according to a WFMZ.com report. (http://www.wfmz.com/news/lehigh-valley/wells-fargo-to-close-bethlehem-call-center-400-employees-cut/639893850) The same day of that announcement, a Kmart located at 4701 Tilghman St. in Whitehall Township was slated to close in mid-November, according to The Morning Call. (http://www.mcall.com/business/retail/mc-biz-kmart-whitehall-sold-to-at-home-20171016-story.html)

While the job search can be difficult and the thought of starting anew can be discouraging, there are a few things to think about when leaving a former job and moving toward another.

Firstly, if you do have a 401(k) with your former employer, you have a few options with what to do with it after you leave your position.

Also, when a person is in the fortunate position to accept a new job position, there may be a few things they may want to evaluate.

Let’s take a look at both subjects.

What To Do With Your 401(k) When You Change Jobs

Changing jobs can be an exciting, rewarding, and sometimes confusing time. Besides heading to a whole new environment, there are also some “house keeping” matters you will probably not think about right away.

One of those involves your 401(k). What can you, do with it when you change jobs?

There are four options to consider.

Leave it where it is: You don’t necessarily have to move your funds from your old employer’s 401(k) plan. They will grow tax deferred. This may not be the option with some 401(k) plans that have $5,000 or less vested since your previous employer may require you to move the funds.

You may prefer the investments offered in the plan and may not incur a fee for leaving it in the play. This may be an option while you look for alternative plans and/or have to wait for a period of time before you can participate in your new employers plan.

Withdraw it: You may choose to cash out the account. However, be mindful that you’ll be reducing your retirement savings and, depending on your age, you’ll have to pay a 10 percent penalty unless you qualify for an exemption.

Roll your money into your new employer's 401(k) plan: If you leave funds in your previous employer’s 401(k) plan, you may be apt to forget about it. Rolling it into your new employer’s plan may allow you to consolidate your retirement funds, making it easier to manage.

Keep in mind that your new employer’s plan may not offer as many investment options or you may find that they don’t meet your needs as well as your previous plan. Also keep in mind, not all employer plan accept rollovers.

Move your funds into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA): This option may allow for more investment choices. No taxes will be incurred if you do a direct rollover. It also allows for consolidating accounts into one location. however, there may be termination fees and usually there is a maintenance or annual fee involved in maintaining an IRA account.

How to Evaluate a Job Offer

Having a job offer is a thrilling moment, but it’s smart to take a tiny step back before agreeing to everything that’s within it.

Let’s go over a few tips that can help you evaluate a job offer and how to negotiate where needed or possible.

Money is important. In fact, it’s probably the most important thing when it comes to accepting a job offer. So, it’s a good idea to take a hard look at the salary offer and take things into consideration such as whether or not you have to drive further, if it is within the parameters of what you expected, etc. If the figures don’t exactly meet what you’re looking for, then it’s time to counter.

Factor in other benefits. It may be the most important part, but money isn’t the only part. A proper compensatory package can help you in ways that a salary can sometimes not.

“Find out details on health and life insurance coverage, vacation, sick time, disability, and other benefit programs. Inquire about how much of the benefits costs are provided by the company, in full, and how much you are expected to contribute.” - The Balance1

What about retirement? Inquiring about the company’s retirement initiatives is of utmost importance. Find out what you can contribute, ask about employer matches elimination periods, vesting schedules and pre-tax savings.2

Is the company a good fit? You should have an opportunity to learn more about the company culture by either meeting othe remployees or spending a bit of time in the office before you accept an offer. It’s important to feel if you’d be a “good fit” for the company before deciding to spend your working days there.

What about not accepting? Ideally, you’ll be happy with the salary or be able to renegotiate if needed and the compensatory packages will suit your needs, as well as the company culture. However, if you feel that the job offer or the company itself isn’t a good fit, do the best thing for yourself and the company and politely decline.

Every job offer is it’s own event where both parties need to find the common and best ground for both sides. Be smart and don’t blindly accept job offers. Take your time, the same way you took your time to brush up that pristine resume.

We wish everyone going through this difficult time all the best. We’re here to help wherever we can at The McLean team of Steel Valley Investment Group.

Contact Steel Valley Investment Group for more information

Before you make any decisions, be sure to contact Steel Valley Investment Group, so we can explain, guide, and listen to your goals. Our goal is to create a financial plan designed to meet the needs of you and your family today while building a bridge to ensure that future generations benefit from the legacy you have worked hard to create.

1 https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-evaluate-a-job-offer-2061399

2 https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/evaluating-a-job-offer

Views expressed are the current opinion of the author, but not necessarily those of Raymond James & Associates, and are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this report was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed.


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