Don’t be fooled by great benefits in a compensation package. When negotiating salary always take the cash and let the benefits go. Benefits are overrated!
If you think I am a short-term thinker, because I don’t believe in benefits, I’m not. Why do I think this way? As a business owner I know the costs of these great benefits. Do you know what? In most cases you can purchase your own benefits a lot cheaper than what the company is charging you. It’s true.
I remember when I wanted to start my consulting business and everyone was trying to scare me about going into business for myself. They would say, “It’s expensive to pay for your own benefits” or “You can’t get the best medical plans” or “What are you going to do about a retirement plan?” and the stories were endless. And I believed it, until I started looking into it. What did I find? I found out that benefits are very overrated!
I called around the different health insurance companies for a medical plan and guess what? I was paying well over $250 a month (This was over 18 years ago) with my employer’s plan, taken out of my check each month automatically. When I called as a self-employed person with the identical coverage it was $99 a month! Same plan. No kidding.
So that was my health plan, now I needed to figure out my retirement situation, because my employer’s plan was so great, right? Wrong! I called and inquired about the different retirement options for the self-employed and guess what? The self-employed pension plans (SEP) were just as good, if not better than what was available with my employer’s plan, plus I had more flexibility.
The truth is you can purchase whatever you need, in the way of benefits, on your own. Plus you will have more flexibility and the freedom to choose whatever you need for your family. I remember when I used to work for a big corporation and every time I wanted to change things, take money out, or whatever I wanted to do with my benefit package the company would always ask me “why?” and it used to drive me crazy! I always wanted to say, “Because I want to and it’s my money!” but I never did, I would just come up with some excuse.
So whenever you’re negotiating salary always let the benefits go and take the cash. If you have the option to work as a contractor under a 1099 agreement (That’s when you get paid the gross amount and have to pay your own taxes and benefits) take it! Think freedom. The more freedom you have the better. So forget benefits take the cash! I hope this helps.
Good luck to you!
Tags: Salary Questions