Tag Archives: retirement plan

5 EASY TIPS TO IMPROVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE

If you’re a working adult between the ages of 25 and 50, this might be the right article for you.

We live in a world where more and more people find themselves working in roles that could be considered “always on the job”. Studies have shown that a poor life-work balance can result in higher levels of stress, lower productivity in the workplace, and general unhappiness. Workers around the world have constant battles with the question “can I have it all?”; and leaders who care seem to struggle to provide practical solutions. How can we, then, achieve and maintain a balance between our personal lives and work?

To help entrepreneurs, managers, and employees strike the right stability, here are five tips to achieve and maintain life-work balance.

1. Recognise and share your goals and needs.

Developing good communication skills is essential for every social aspect of our lives. Identify what truly matters to you and communicate it to people around you. Don’t hide your feelings and expect other people to guess what you are looking for or what makes you happy. Let your employers know if you are going through family or personal issues; an understanding manager will always be open to listening and finding the most efficient solution for everyone. Always remember that by communicating effectively and having earnest discussions with your employer together you’ll be able to find the right balance.

2. Set boundaries.

After 5 pm, learn to leave work at work. Any task, whether it’s emails or messages pending after the closing hour, write them down, so you don’t forget then shut down your computer and leave it all for the next day. For instance, in France, a law has been passed that bans employees from checking work-related messages after 6 pm. This shows that they understand the need for people to achieve a work-life balance.

Set a time for yourself to be productive at work and don’t exceed the time set. When done, drop whatever you are doing and relax or find something that makes you happy, that way you can find closure and have balance.

3. Time Management

No matter how much time you spend at work, the real issue is how much you get done while you’re at work. Choosing to manage your time effectively is the starting point of overcoming mental blocks to time management. Monitor how you spend your work hours in a week and learn how to distribute your tasks more efficiently throughout the day. Maximise every second, minute and hour. Plan and structure your time so as to achieve a balanced life.

4. Get Social!

Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but feeling lonely for a long time can have a negative effect on your mental health. It’s important to have at least one fun activity to look forward to during the week. Get involved in the community by signing up for a cooking class, yoga events or a workshop; go for a walk in your local park, visit new places such as cafes or museums and arrange weekly dinner with friends or family. That way you can relax while doing something fun outside of the work environment.

5. Always pace yourself.

Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. In order to live a full and enjoyable life, it is important to understand how to pace yourself. Setting realistic goals can help, such as leaving the office earlier at least two nights per week. This requires self-awareness, and once you improve it, you are going to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Are you taking full advantage of your employee benefits program?

Employee benefits are often used as a draw card to secure the most talented employees. A good employee benefits package includes a health, dental, and vision insurance. Any company worth its salt should also offer a solid retirement plan, life, and disability coverage. However, you may have the best plan but not be fully aware of its benefits. Here’s what to look for when choosing a plan, and how to get the most out of your employee benefits program.

Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

Choose an employee with health insurance benefits that cover maternity costs if you plan on starting a family, general checkups, pediatric care, mental health services, hospitalization, emergency services, free preventative care, as well as prescription medication. Your insurance may cover pre-existing medical conditions, so utilize that too here.

If you have good dental health, save by choosing a cheaper basic plan which includes general restorative and preventative services. Comprehensive dental cover is usually reserved for orthodontist services, so if you have that, feel free to use it. If a loved one needs dental care, be sure to add dependents to your plan. You also have the option to choose disabled dependents.

Your network of providers for vision insurance may include some of the most reputable professionals, so peruse the list thoroughly to select the best one. Choose a network with surgeons who can perform corrective procedures such as LASIK, if there’s a possibility you may be needing it.

Your 401 (k) Retirement Plan

If your employer offers a 401 (k) retirement plan, you should take advantage and invest a portion of your paycheck to the plan. It’s advisable to not accept the default savings rate when you are first employed. The default is usually 3 percent, but would usually not be enough to maintain your expenses and lifestyle upon retirement. Aim to save a higher percentage every year, and strive towards achieving a match to increase your balance. Stay at the company until you are vested in order to retain your match. If you do change employers and there’s a 401(k) balance, do not withdraw the money prematurely, as you will be penalized. Talk to us about options for rolling over your 401 (k) into another investment plan.

In some cases, we tend to overlook the benefits that are available for us. If you have these benefits as a part of your employment, make sure you take full advantage of them.