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Investing Specialists

A Checklist for Open Enrollment Season

If you're signing up for employer-provided benefits, don't just re-up for last year's choices; read this first.

One of the best aspects of full-time employment is being eligible for employer-provided benefits: health insurance, participation in a 401(k) plan, and so on.

But as grateful as you may be to have access to those benefits, registering for them can be a bit unnerving, too. The terminology may be unfamiliar unless you work in HR, and the menu is apt to change, at least a little, from year to year. The fact that you can typically adjust your benefits only during open enrollment season in the last few months of the year, before coverage begins for the following year, just adds to the unease. If you choose wrong, you're stuck with your benefits elections until next year. I'm sure I'm not the only one who makes benefits elections, reviews them, and reviews them again before finally hitting "OK" and then printing out the screen shot for good measure.

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