DTE Energy employees have access to a robust benefits package. Many people do not know all the benefits available to them, or how to identify the best options. It’s the time of year again to select your DTE (or other) workplace benefits. Here are some tidbits we have learned over the years.
Consider Purchasing Additional Life Insurance
We often recommend increasing your life insurance by a factor of 1 to 2 times, especially in the year before you retire. Buying this additional life insurance could mean that DTE will increase your retiree coverage. As an additional benefit, you could participate in the MetLife Legal Will Preparation program, which could provide a discount on estate planning preparation. In some cases, it makes more sense to buy your own term insurance rather than purchasing additional insurance from the group term policy.
When evaluating your life insurance needs, an important factor to consider is your spouse’s survivor pension. Do you know what they would receive if you passed away tomorrow, and how that would affect their remaining years? Your life insurance coverage can affect how and when you and your spouse will draw on all of your other income streams after retirement.
Utilize Your Health Benefits
In addition to life insurance, you can also purchase additional disability coverage and consider increasing your contribution to your health savings account (HSA). Disability insurance tends to be inexpensive and is often the most cost-effective way to provide critical coverage. You can contribute up to $3,600 per year to your HSA for single coverage or $7,200 per year for family coverage. (1) You can use the funds for current out-of-pocket expenses or as a savings vehicle for future expenses. Since HSA contributions come from pre-tax dollars, you can extend the purchasing power of this portion of your income.
Maximize Your 401(k) Match
If you are not taking full advantage of 401(k) matching, you are leaving free money on the table. DTE Energy will contribute to your retirement as long as you are contributing. We find that most employees receive a 6% match from DTE if they contribute 8%. However, depending on your income level, you may run up against the IRS limit, which is $19,500 for 2021. If you are 50 or older, you can make an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions. (2) We also recommend exploring the possibility of making after-tax 401(k) contributions, as this can create additional tax-saving strategies.
We’re Here to Help
Many of my clients are DTE employees, and I am familiar with the company’s distinctive benefit packages. Depending on when you joined DTE Energy, you may have access to different options. If you were part of MichCon (MCN), you may receive a special “severance” check when you retire. If you receive a pension, there are pros and cons to taking the lump-sum option versus the annuity option. Your retirement plan will help you better understand how these individual components fit.
Everyone’s situation is different and needs to be individually investigated. I can help you explore and determine your best options. If you’d like to discuss how I can help you get the most value from your DTE Energy benefits package, let’s connect soon. And if you do not work for DTE but your open enrollment is coming we can review your options and get you up to speed. Call (248) 220-4321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. You can also schedule a meeting by visiting www.calendly.com/cwmrob/initial.
Robert Moore is senior partner, financial planner, investment advisor, and co-owner of Center for Wealth Management, an independent, fee-based wealth management company based in Troy, MI. With more than 15 years of experience, Rob provides customized advice and solutions that are in the clients’ best interest. He strives to always go above and beyond his clients’ expectations, helping them retire with more security than they had before, and invest their time and energy in what’s most important to them. Rob specializes in working with DTE Energy employees, helping them maximize their benefits so they can reduce taxes, prepare for retirement, and protect their families through a comprehensive planning process. Rob graduated from Michigan State University and holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designations.
Rob is known as a diehard family man who enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Jill, his daughter, Brookelyn, and his son, Brayden. When he’s not working, you can find him playing basketball once a week, squeezing in a round of golf, and watching college football and basketball with friends and family. He is passionate about enriching the lives of others through his church involvement and service at a community addiction program. Learn more about Rob by connecting with him on LinkedIn.