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  • Writer's pictureJim Carlson

Navigating Financial Waters: What to Consider When Starting a New Job

Ship navigating the financial waters

Starting a new job is an exciting yet challenging time. While you're busy learning the ropes and integrating into a new work environment, it's crucial not to overlook the financial implications of this life transition. This blog post aims to guide you through the myriad of financial considerations you should be aware of as you embark on this new journey.

Retirement Plans & Deferred Compensation

401(k) Plans

If you have a 401(k) with your former employer, you have several options. You can leave it as is, roll it over into your new employer's plan, or transfer it to an IRA. Consult our "Should I Roll Over My Dormant Traditional 401(k)?" flowchart to make an informed decision.

Employer Match

Once you're eligible to enroll in your new employer's retirement plan, consider contributing at least enough to receive the full employer match, if offered. This is essentially "free money" that can significantly boost your retirement savings.

Equity Compensation

Unvested and Vested Stock Options

If you have unvested stock options with your former employer, you may lose these when you leave. For vested stock options, review the exercise periods and consider your options carefully. If you were terminated for cause, be aware that your vested stock options might be canceled.

Cash Flow & Budgeting

Income Changes

Has your income changed substantially? If so, this will impact your ability to reach your financial goals and your ability to save. Update your cash flow planning accordingly.

Employer Perks

Account for any new or lost employer perks like cellular benefits, health and wellness incentives, and professional development programs. Adjust your budget for additional commuting, home office, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Employer-Provided Benefits

Health Insurance

Will your health insurance coverage change? Make sure to coordinate insurance coverage to avoid any gaps. Check if your current healthcare providers are still in-network.

FSA and HSA Accounts

If you contributed to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) with your former employer, make sure to spend all the funds before you leave. Consider contributing to your new employer's FSA or Health Savings Account (HSA) if available.

Tax Planning

Withholding and Estimated Payments

Review your withholding options and consider making estimated income tax payments if your income has changed significantly. Keep in mind that severance pay and unemployment benefits are taxable.


Starting a new job comes with a plethora of financial considerations. From retirement plans to tax planning, each aspect requires careful thought and planning. At Carlson Planning Company, we're here to guide you through these significant life transitions and help you make informed decisions that align with your financial goals.


Carlson Planning Company, LLC is an investment advisor registered and domiciled in Massachusetts. Advisory services are offered through Carlson Planning Company, LLC; an investment advisory firm registered and domiciled in Massachusetts. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by our firm in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or pursuant to an applicable state exemption. For information concerning the status or disciplinary history of a broker-dealer, investment advisor, or their representatives, a consumer should contact their state securities administrator.


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