Checklist: How to prepare for a job change

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 A woman confidently looks out a window on the first day of her new job.

Changing jobs can be both exciting and daunting. And it will probably have financial implications.

As you take this exciting leap, you can count on our financial advisors to assist you in overcoming any financial obstacles you face along the way. During this exciting new chapter in your life, your goals may change. That’s why we’ll always be available to talk with you and offer customized solutions to help you reach them.

Considering a career change? This checklist can help you prepare.

Review your financial situation

  • Save six months' worth of living expenses for emergencies.
  • Review your budget and increase the amount allocated to saving and investing, if possible. Use our investment calculator to see the potential outcomes of different investing scenarios.
  • Develop a monthly budget to help stay on track toward your goals.

Evaluate financial considerations

  • Consider establishing direct deposit for your paychecks.
  • Participate in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). Sign up for payroll deduction so it's automatic. Invest at least enough to earn an employer match, if applicable.
  • If you're relocating for a new position:
    • Determine who will pay relocation expenses.
    • Consider differences in the cost of living.
    • Determine whether you will rent or buy a home.
    • Consider transportation costs to your new job. Will you need a new car? How long is your commute?

Understand your benefits

  • Understand coverage and eligibility requirements for health insurance.
  • Learn your options for health savings accounts, if available.
  • Discuss disability insurance needs and eligibility for individual coverage, if applicable.
  • Enroll in appropriate benefits and cancel any overlapping coverage, if necessary.
  • If you don't qualify for insurance right away, consider the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, COBRA continuation coverage, private medical insurance or enrolling in your spouse's plan (if available).

Evaluate your investment strategy

  • Review your investment strategy and new financial situation with your financial advisor.
  • Set up systematic investing (automatic contributions) to investment accounts.
  • Evaluate your options for money in your previous employer's retirement plan, such as a 401(k), pension or stock options, and consider consolidating your accounts by rolling over your 401(k) or 403(b) from your previous employer.
  • If you're earning more, discuss increasing contributions to retirement or college savings or general investment plans.

Consider income tax implications

  • Discuss the following with your tax professional:
    • Tax bracket changes
    • Relocation and job-hunting expenses
    • Capital gains on a home sale
    • Severance and unused vacation pay and unemployment compensation

Assess your estate plans

  • Review your existing life insurance coverage to ensure it meets your current needs. Make sure your beneficiaries are up-to-date, too.
  • Work with an estate-planning attorney to consider whether the following would be appropriate for your situation:
    • Will
    • Living will
    • Durable power of attorney
    • Health care power of attorney
    • Trust

Start working with a dedicated financial advisor

Edward Jones financial advisors are dedicated to creating a personalized investing strategy based on your situation and your financial goals.

Choose yours today.