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Your Google Benefits & Career: Financial Planning for Employees and Executives

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

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

Whether you’re a new Google 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 Google benefits available to you?

✅If you’re thinking about leaving Google 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 Google Benefits and Compensation Package

Throughout the year, Google 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 Google who specialize in helping Google employees make the most of their income and benefits.

Whether you work in the Google headquarters in Mountain View, 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 Google 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.

Should you hire a Google specialist financial advisor or an advisor close to home?

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who specializes in serving Google employees.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live.

This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with Google employees is a better fit to help with your unique needs.

💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who work with Google employees to help them make smart decisions to get the most value from their compensation and benefits, reduce their money stress, and prepare for a comfortable retirement.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions not yet answered? Use the form below to submit questions anonymously and watch this article for updates with answers to your questions. You can also reach out to the financial advisors below to set up an introductory call or contact them with your questions by email.


💸 Smart Money Insights for Google Employees & Executives

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for Google Employees & Executives
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Your Google Benefits and Career
  3. Quick Facts & Resources for Google Employees
  4. Browse Related Articles

Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for Google Employees & Executives

In this section, you’ll learn how you can make the most of your Google employee benefits and gain valuable tips from financial advisors who specialize in working with Google employees and executives.

Get to Know:

✅ Kaleb Paddock, CFP® (Parker, Colorado) | ✅ Rebecca Conner, CPA, CFP® (Austin, Texas)

Answers to Employee Questions with Kaleb Paddock, CFP®

Kaleb Paddock is a financial advisor based in Parker, Colorado, who specializes in offering financial planning services to Google employees. Kaleb helps his clients get the most value from their Google benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future.

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

Kaleb: I help Google employees optimize their employee benefits by analyzing which benefits would help them reach their financial goals best. For example, Google offers the ability to contribute “after-tax” 401(k) contributions, which can then be converted within the 401(k) Plan to Roth contributions. For employees looking to incorporate this strategy into their financial planning, I help them figure out if it makes sense and how much to contribute towards this special feature (very few plans offer after-tax contributions or in-plan conversions).

Q: When you first speak with a Google 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?

Kaleb: I ask how long they have been with the company and whether they receive stock compensation as part of their income. I’ll ask whether they have a spouse who is also working for a technology company so we can compare employee benefits and mix & match the best combination of employee benefits between the two companies. I’ll also ask whether they are enjoying their work or looking for another job or company to switch roles or career path.

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

Kaleb: I think the after-tax 401(k) contributions feature with the ability to convert in-plan to Roth is incredibly powerful and not utilized as much as it could be by employees. While there is a vocal group of employees who use it and proclaim its great benefit, many employees aren’t sure exactly how it works or how it matters to them personally to reach their own financial goals. Or they are simply too busy or don’t have a personal interest to research the benefit even if they have heard it exists from co-workers.

Q: Beyond Google 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)?

Kaleb: Yes, some of the health insurance plans offer generous employer contributions for Health Savings Accounts, so we explore whether those kinds of high deductible health plans would make sense. For stock compensation, we create mental frameworks to help decide ahead of time how much stock to hold, how much stock to sell, and how much to earmark for paying taxes since most employees are under-withholding taxes because of the stock vesting they experience throughout the year.

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

Kaleb: I recommend they assess how much unvested stock they have remaining. This can be used in negotiations with a new company to clearly state in a factual manner how much stock-based income they would potentially be walking away from to take another job. I recommend they assess their total employee benefits package to understand if the new job is equivalent in all the income, benefits, and total compensation. We work together to compare the two and figure out what makes the most sense or where the employee could negotiate to make the offer more equivalent or more appealing.

Q: For Google 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?

Kaleb: We work together to create cash flow models so that ideally employees can re-create their net income from a salaried job from their investments or other sources of income. For some, this means continuing to work freelance or self-employed on passion projects to supplement their investment income. Either way, we create a customized game plan that makes sense and is reasonable.

Q: For Google 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?

Kaleb: Consider if you feel you have the time, temperament, and talent to continue running your own finances with no professional input. If you feel interested in getting professional expertise, ask which of those three (time, temperament, talent) you feel is most uncomfortable for you, and find a professional financial planner who can fill that void the best.

Get to Know Kaleb Paddock, Financial Advisor for Google Employees:

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

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

Kaleb: The most common financial planning challenge I see with Google employees is optimizing all of their company benefits and feeling confident they are taking advantage of everything offered to them. Another common challenge is managing their stock compensation as they vest in new shares. Employees often get blindsided by the taxes on their stock compensation and don’t know how to think about holding or selling their shares over time.

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

Kaleb: Ask financial advisors how they get paid. The compensation model of the advisor will be a clue as to how much expertise and value you are going to get out of the relationship. On balance, hourly pricing, project-based pricing, and flat price models will focus more on optimizing your employer benefits, tax planning, and creating a customized plan for you and your ideas than asset management pricing models where the advisor is gunning to manage your financial accounts rather than focus on all the other valuable planning areas that you have questions about.

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

Kaleb: The most surprising thing that comes up in our initial meeting is that employees don’t realize they can get professional financial planning advice for a transparent fixed price, without asset management. Most assume that all financial advisors want to take all their money and manage it for a percentage (1%-2%) of the account values, without any real professional value beyond focusing on investment conversations.

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

Kaleb: For highly compensated employees and executives at Google, the conversation around what to do with the stock based compensation and utilizing strategies like 10(b)(5)-1 plans becomes more valuable and essential. The conversations around tax planning become more and more valuable also.

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

Kaleb: There was one time when I first started working with an employee at Google and they were quite skeptical that a professional financial advisor could offer any real value to them. In our first meeting, we were able to create over $10,000 of real dollar value through optimizing their benefits and paying less in taxes.

Needless to say, they were floored and shocked at what they didn’t know, using the phrase, “I guess I don’t know what I don’t know.” This was memorable not only because the employee was so happy, but because it highlighted the value of real, professional financial planning advice that goes beyond investment management.


Answers to Employee Questions with Rebecca Conner, CPA, CFP®

Based in Austin, Texas, where Google has over 1,500 employees, Rebecca Conner regularly guides tech professionals on a path to early retirement or a work-optional lifestyle. As the founder of SeedSafe Financial, Rebecca specializes in serving Google employees and executives who want to grow their wealth and free up their time to feel in control of their lives.

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

Rebecca: Each Googler has different values and passions, so we work with them to build a fulfilling life and incorporate employee benefits into that equation.

Googlers have an amazing 401(k) plan and match. If they are planning to be in the workforce for a while, leaning into the good match on contributions and after-tax 401(k) may be an amazing benefit to make retirement age look all the better financially.

There is also a medical plan option (the high deductible health plan or “HDHP”) that allows a Googler to open an HSA and receive an employer contribution as an additional boost. Relatively healthy Googlers can win big in saving for future medical emergencies through this structure.

It’s not just about retirement and future medical expenses, though. Google also offers wonderful benefits for growing families through a dependent care FSA, life insurance, and disability insurance.

Q: When you first speak with a Google 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?

Rebecca: What is your most fulfilling life? How long do you hope to stay with Google? What will your next adventure look like? What would you like to do for your family? How well do you feel you understand your stock compensation? Do you have an idea of what taxes you will owe with your total compensation package? What is the biggest thing we can do to help you?

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

Rebecca: Googlers have a choice in custodian (between 2 major banks) for their GSUs, and this could be helpful when preparing to purchase a home, need a line of credit against their investments, etc. Not many companies offer a choice and so understanding what your mid-term needs are and how that custodian can help you further those goals may make a huge difference.

Get to Know Rebecca Conner, Financial Advisor for Google Employees:

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

Q: Beyond Google 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)?

Rebecca: Stock compensation is always a fun topic for us :). Each year, total compensation is updated to give Googlers an idea of what the next few years may look like. This allows us to use higher earning years to fund particular goals vs. an ‘if you just invest X each year’ approach. We work together to make sure enough is on the side for paying taxes and then see how we can take steps today with stock compensation to make a huge impact later.

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

Rebecca: Googlers should consider stock cliffs when compensation will dramatically change due to a grant dropping off, any first-year bonus that may need to be repaid, and whether they are prepared with enough emergency savings if making a move to a smaller tech company.

Many of our larger tech clients dream of getting to the point where they have the flexibility to follow their passion and take a position in a startup at a lower salary. For these individuals, we recommend understanding the differences between GSUs and stock options.

Another consideration is health insurance. Health insurance will end at month-end of your employment. Knowing you have another job starting in a few weeks vs. a few days may leave you open to a medical emergency if coverage is not continuous. Make sure you know your policies here as well.

Finally, 401(k) employee contributions and HSA contributions are a sum game across employers. If you contribute the maximum to the Google 401(k) and then move to a new employer, you will need to wait until the next year to start contributing to the new 401(k). Unfortunately, many tech companies do not track this across employers and so you will need to track this yourself.

Q: For Google 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?

Rebecca: Great question! Many of our tech professional clients look to make work optional around age 50 to age 55. This means a time of needing taxable investments and medical coverage. We work with our clients to understand COBRA and health exchange options years in advance, so we have a good year of emergency savings ready for the first big moment of this next phase in life.

Then, it’s really about seeing how you can lean into your values and passions while keeping the finances in mind. Some of our clients go on to create their own startups or decide on writing a book, woodworking, etc. ‘Retiring’ isn’t about sitting around :). These different adventures may require other capital amounts (aka lots of cash) to get going, so we make sure we understand what will be going out the door for this as well.

Next, we review the current risk allocations of investments and decide how to dial it down for long-term success.

If the employee was contributing to the deferred compensation plan, then terminating their employment may trigger monthly payments to help soften the blow of no official paycheck. If they were not contributing to this, we will help them structure their own automatic transfer to their checking account on a monthly basis to help them see how they are doing spending-wise compared to what we planned for.

Checking in on how this feels and how things are going is always important. So many emotions will come up in the first year or two out of traditional work, so making finances streamlined and clear is key.

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Quick Facts & Resources for Google Employees

Google Quick Facts & ResourcesDetails / Useful Links
Google Corporate Headquarters Address1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 (📍 Google Maps)
Overview of Google BenefitsCareers.Google.com/Benefits
How much do Google employees Make?View Google Salary Research on Glassdoor
Where can I learn more about careers at Google?Visit Careers.Google.com
How many people work for Google?Google has over 156,000 employees worldwide (Source: Statista)
What is the ticker symbol for Google stock?Google’s ticker symbols are GOOG and GOOGL, and today, represent equity ownership in Google’s parent company, Alphabet. GOOG shares have no voting rights, while GOOGL shares do.

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Your Google Benefits or Career?




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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.