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Your Intel Benefits & Career: Financial Planning for Employees & Executives

Do you work at Intel? Get the resources you need and expert insights from financial professionals who specialize in helping Intel employees make the most of their compensation package and benefits.

Whether you’re a new Intel employee or you’ve moved up the ranks into a management or executive leadership role over a multi-year career, it’s important to make smart money moves with your income and employee benefits. For example:

✅ Do you know the right moves to make to get the greatest value from the Intel benefits available to you?

✅If you’re thinking about leaving Intel for another job or planning to retire from the company in a few years, are you taking the right steps today to ensure you will receive all of the compensation and benefits that you’ve earned?

Get the Most Value from Your Intel Benefits and Compensation Package

Throughout the year, Intel provides its employees and executives with updates about their benefits ranging from health insurance and health savings plans to retirement plans like a 401(k), deferred compensation plans, and stock options. While the company offers many useful resources and access to knowledgeable staff who can assist with questions, you’ll also find financial professionals not affiliated with Intel who specialize in helping Intel employees make the most of their income and benefits.

Whether you work in the Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California, another office location around the country, or remotely from home, you may have questions about your compensation package and benefits better suited for a financial professional who can offer unbiased advice and guidance.

For example, sensitive topics like discussing the steps you should take before quitting your job at Intel to work elsewhere, protecting yourself in advance of a corporate layoff, or deciding when you should plan to retire are all conversations that may be more comfortable with a trusted financial advisor.

Q&A: Financial Planning Tips For Intel Employees & Executives

Answers to Intel Employee Questions with Emily Rassam and Richard Archer (Archer Investment Management)

With a focus on serving professionals in the technology industry, the financial advisors at Archer Investment Management help their clients get the most value from their benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas, respectively, Emily Rassam and Richard Archer specialize in offering financial planning services to Intel employees.

Q: As a financial advisor with experience helping Intel employees save for their retirement, how do you help them make the most of their employee benefits?

Emily: At Archer Investment Management, we specialize in working with mid-career technology professionals. We have several Intel employees as clients and are familiar with the company’s employee benefit plans, retirement plans, equity compensation packages, and ancillary benefits.

More importantly, we are acutely aware of the financial planning needs of technology professionals and how their Intel benefits fit into an overall financial plan, including long-term planning, goal setting, tax planning, and estate planning. We start by building a financial personality profile and risk tolerance assessment to understand your relationship with money and your comfort level with risk.

Q: When you first speak with an Intel employee, what questions do you like to ask to better understand their unique circumstances and determine how you can best help them achieve their goals?

Richard: Our detailed onboarding process includes conversations about your life goals, how your finances play a role in maximizing happiness, and what it means to be intentional with money. We gather information about your benefits and compensation package, spending plan, short-term and long-term goals, taxes, estate plans, and insurance. This detailed planning process allows us to build a comprehensive picture of your financial life and how each piece of the puzzle fits together. You cannot make recommendations without examining the whole picture.

Q: Is there a particular benefit available to Intel employees you feel isn’t as well utilized or understood by employees as it should be?

Richard: I see two important benefits that often deserve more attention.

(1) The Intel Sabbatical program gives employees the option of four weeks off at the four-year mark of employment or eight weeks off at seven years of employment – at full pay!

(2) The opportunity to do a Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion with after-tax 401(k) dollars is regularly underutilized. Employees often focus on contributing to their pre-tax or Roth 401(k) without realizing the power of after-tax contributions that can be converted to a Roth as soon as the contribution is made. The Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion strategy can be a way to fast-track your journey to financial independence.

Q: Beyond Intel employee benefits for retirement savings, are there other types of benefits offered by the company that you find valuable to discuss with your clients (e.g., stock, education savings, health savings)?

Emily: Intel offers an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) within which they can receive a 15% discount on Intel stock.

In addition to new parents (mothers and fathers) being able to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off, new parents can work a part-time schedule for up to four weeks in return for full pay.

Q: For Intel employees thinking about leaving the company to accept a job elsewhere, what actions do you recommend they take before resigning and shortly thereafter?

Emily: Your matched 401(k) dollars are 100% vested from day one. However, you may have received Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) that are unvested. Look carefully at the dates on your grants and vesting schedules to determine when each RSU grant vests; this may impact your timing to leave Intel – you don’t want to leave any money on the table!

Get to Know Emily Rassam Financial Advisors for Intel Employees:

Emily Rassam

View Emily’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit her website to learn more.

Q: For Intel employees approaching retirement age, how do you recommend they prepare to make the transition from living off their salary to relying upon other sources of income?

Richard: Our detailed retirement planning process includes:  

  • A spending strategy tailored to your income goals
  • Social Security timing recommendations
  • Coordination of health care benefits
  • Discussion around how your spending will change throughout retirement
  • Stress-testing your retirement projection with many what-if scenarios
  • Timing your exit to maximize any unvested RSUs

Q: For Intel employees who have managed their finances on their own to this point, what would you suggest they consider to help them decide if they should begin working with a financial advisor at this stage in their lives?

Emily: There are many online tools and calculators. Where we find Intel employees get stuck is understanding how to prioritize goals and seeing the big picture.

We help Intel employees organize their financial lives and provide accountability for reaching goals. Understanding whether you should use surplus dollars to pay down debt, save towards a short-term goal, or work towards a long-term aspiration (such as retirement or college education savings) can be challenging.

For Intel employees planning with a spouse or partner, an advisor helps facilitate difficult conversations and moves the ball forward in your planning process.

Q: What are some of the unique financial planning challenges you commonly see among your clients who are Intel employees, and how do you help them overcome these obstacles?

Richard: One common obstacle we find is knowing when to diversify away from the concentration risk of holding a high percentage of your net worth in one company’s shares. Many of our Intel employee clients struggle with selling positions; it requires coaching, recognizing natural human biases, an evaluation of the risks, and careful diversification away from an outsized position.

Q: What questions do you recommend Intel employees ask financial advisors they’re considering hiring to help them decide if they’re a good fit?

Richard: If you were granted incentive stock options (ISOs) or RSUs, be sure to work with an advisor who understands how to incorporate those into your overall picture. Seek an advisor who can model the alternative minimum tax (AMT), understands the rules around qualifying and disqualifying dispositions, and knows how and when to diversify away from sizeable single stock positions, if appropriate.

Get to Know Richard Archer, Financial Advisor for Intel Employees:

Richard Archer

View Richard’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

Q: Is there anything that comes up frequently in your initial meeting with Intel employees that surprises you?

Richard: Employees don’t always understand the full realm of benefits – both big and small – available to them. Be sure to carefully review the benefits available to you! For some employees, this may be the first time they have received RSUs, and they often need our guidance to fully understand how that affects their taxes and the full cash flow picture. We enjoy helping people with strategies to ensure they fully benefit from their entire compensation package.

Q: For highly compensated Intel employees and executives, are there any special benefits you believe it’s important to take into consideration when preparing their financial plan?

Emily: The Intel Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP), ‘SERPLUS,’ is available to employees at Level 10 or higher. This enables employees to save and invest up to 75% of their annual cash bonus/commissions and up to 60% of their salary. Contributions to the DCP reduce your annual taxable income. Additionally, Intel matches up to 5% of ‘excess Pay’ going into the SERPLUS Plan. By reviewing the full picture of your salary, bonus, and equity compensation, we can identify key strategies to help you maximize the DCP benefit.

Q: Is there a particularly memorable experience or a moment you recall with a client who worked at Intel when you realized they have unique opportunities and circumstances when it comes to their financial planning needs?

Emily: One of our clients recently accepted a higher-level position at Intel, and she was unfamiliar with both the after-tax savings via a Mega Backdoor Roth Conversion strategy and DCP. We reviewed the plan documents and guided her through all the enrollments so that she fully maximized all savings and cash flow opportunities. We enjoy this ‘out of the box’ and strategic long-term thinking when a client has so many wonderful benefits available!