Your OXY (Occidental) 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 OXY (Occidental)? Get the resources you need and expert insights from financial professionals who specialize in helping OXY employees make the most of their compensation package and benefits.

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

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

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

Whether you work in the Oxy headquarters in Houston, Texas, another office location around the country, or work remotely, 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 Oxy 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 an Oxy 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 Oxy 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 Oxy 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 Oxy 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 Oxy 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 Oxy Employees & Executives
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Your Oxy Benefits and Career
  3. Quick Facts & Resources for Oxy Employees
  4. Browse Related Articles

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

Matt Goff & Nick Lyons, CFP® of The Goff Financial Group Answer Questions for Oxy Employees

Matt Goff and Nick Lyons of The Goff Financial Group are based in Houston, Texas, and specialize in offering financial planning services to Oxy employees who work just minutes from their office. With their help, Oxy employees learn how to get the most value from their Oxy benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future.

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

Goff Financial: When it comes to saving for retirement, Oxy has many options available. First, we help Oxy employees understand the potential advantages and risks associated with each benefit. Then, by creating a comprehensive financial plan, we see how each benefit can impact their results. From there, an informed decision can be made on how best to move forward.

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

Goff Financial: To provide truly customized investment management and personalized financial planning, we begin our relationship by gaining a thorough understanding of Oxy employees’ needs. We ask specific questions that go far beyond the retirement benefits at Oxy. The answers to these questions help us better understand the entire financial picture, such as:

  1. Funds and/or assets outside of work plans
  2. Goals and plans surrounding retirement
  3. Social Security benefits and more

Looking at the big picture helps us better define not just their comfort level with risk, but also their capacity for risk. We never want to make investment decisions in a vacuum. Such decisions can ignore important factors like tax impact, company-specific risks, and future potential returns.

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

Goff Financial: The most common points of confusion surrounding Oxy benefits are usually associated with what to do near retirement.

For instance, Oxy employees may not know they have the option to potentially save thousands in taxes through a Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) transfer when rolling over their Oxy 401(k) plan. You only get one chance to use NUA, so it’s usually a good idea to do this type of transaction with the guidance of a qualified financial advisor.

Another common question regarding the Oxy Retirement Pension Plan is, “Should I take the annuity option or the lump sum?” There are many factors to consider here, since each option has potential benefits and drawbacks. Additionally, each option can drastically impact the odds of outliving your assets in retirement. For instance, a common misconception regarding the annuity option is that future payments are insured by Public Benefit and Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Unfortunately, this is not accurate.

Before deciding which option is best for you, we recommend conducting a financial plan to assess how each decision may impact your retirement.

Little is understood about the Oxy Deferred Compensation Plan as well. If you participate in this plan, then careful tax planning in retirement should be done as the timing of other benefits can potentially increase tax liabilities.

Get to Know The Goff Financial Group, Financial Advisors for Oxy Employees:

View The Goff Financial Group’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit their website to learn more.

Q: Beyond Oxy 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., stocks, education savings, health savings)?

Goff Financial: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are another great saving tool. Unlike an FSA, contributions roll over each year. In addition to being excellent emergency funds for unexpected medical expenses, they can also serve as an additional investment vehicle for retirement.

For Oxy employees that enjoy continuous learning, be sure to utilize the Educational Fee Reimbursement program, where you can get reimbursed up to $50,000 for pre-approved courses.

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

Goff Financial: Leaping to another company can be daunting. However, if the new opportunity provides substantial benefits above Oxy’s, it can be worth the effort and risk. However, there are many items to consider before making the decision, such as:

  1. How much vesting in my 401(k) will I give up if I leave?
  2. Will the health insurance benefits be equal to or better than Oxy?
  3. Do I have adequate savings set aside if the new opportunity doesn’t work out?

After leaving Oxy, deciding what to do with existing Oxy benefits should be a top priority. Dealing with these items before starting with a new employer is preferable as beginning a new job can be strenuous, leaving little time to focus on personal financial matters. A financial advisor can help move this process along and ease the burden of figuring these things out.

Q: For Oxy 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?

Goff Financial: For some, shifting from a bi-weekly paycheck to drawing funds from their savings can be a bit of a mental adjustment. However, a solid financial plan can help determine an appropriate withdrawal rate and help soon-to-be retirees gain peace of mind.

While this transition is often focused on financial matters, a commonly overlooked area is how to fill up time in retirement—determining what to do with your upcoming free time before retirement is critical. It is important to stay active and social for both physical and mental health. Volunteering, for instance, may provide mental and physical stimulation.

Q: For Oxy 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?

Goff Financial: Many people never work with a financial advisor before retirement. This is unfortunate as a great financial advisor can provide tremendous value throughout various life stages, not just in retirement.

For people that are considering using a financial advisor for the first time, I highly recommend looking at “fee-only” financial advisors first. A fee-only financial advisory firm has far fewer potential conflicts of interest over traditional financial advisor businesses as fee-only advisors don’t get paid from commissions or fees on products they recommend.

For people on the fence on whether they need a financial advisor or not, I suggest you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. “Do I have the time and/or energy to adequately manage my investment portfolio?”
  2. “Do I have the temperament to make investment decisions based on thorough fundamental analysis and research?”
  3. “Is there a person or company my surviving spouse can trust to take over my investment responsibilities.”

If the answer to any of the questions above is “no”, then working with a financial advisor, or at the very minimum, establishing a relationship with one may be beneficial.

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

Goff Financial: The biggest obstacle for Oxy employees is maximizing retirement benefits to avoid leaving anything on the table. This ranges from 401(k) elections and 401(k) rollovers to how to invest their HSAs, etc. Navigating health insurance when retiring before age 65 can present challenges as well.

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

Goff Financial: Before interviewing advisors, establish your advisor selection requirements in writing. For example, if you need help with your investments, your goal should be to find an investment advisor you can trust with the experience and expertise to meet your needs. To help ensure you are getting the most objective advice possible from your investment advisor, you should require the following:

  1. Specializes in investment management;
  2. Fiduciary duty to put your best interests first;
  3. Fee-only; and
  4. Independent.

Before you start asking an advisor questions, here are some terms you should first familiarize yourself with before contacting any prospective advisor:

  1. Fiduciary duty: A legal requirement to put your best interests first. Not all advisors are fiduciaries.
  2. Fee-only: To eliminate potential conflicts of interest, a fee-only investment advisor is paid only by the client and is not compensated by commissions or fees from financial products.
  3. Independent: An independent advisor works directly for you and is not employed or controlled by any bank, broker, mutual fund, or insurance company.

To help confirm that the advisor is fee-only, ask these “clarification” questions:

  • Do you receive any compensation from any party other than your clients? (YES or NO)
  • Preferred answer if you want a fee-only advisor: “NO, I am only paid by my clients.”
  • Do you have a fiduciary duty to put my best interests first?
  • Preferred answer: YES

Once you’ve established that the advisor is fee-only, you should then shift your focus to uncovering their areas of competency:

  • What is your area of specialization?
  • If your primary need is investment management, look for advisors specializing in managing investments rather than financial planning, tax, or legal advice.
  • You also want an advisor that is very familiar with the Oxy retirement benefits to reduce the possibility of something going wrong.

Do not underestimate how complicated the decision can be to select an advisor. Take your time deciding. Advisor/client relationships are often solidified over years, not weeks or months.

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

Goff Financial: While not all that surprising, many Oxy employees love their employer, which can lead to an emotional attachment to the company stock- and that’s fine. However, for employees that have high concentrations in Oxy stock units, careful planning should be considered to reduce their company-specific allocation over time.

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

Goff Financial: The Oxy Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) and Oxy Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRP) are two plans that highly compensated employees should consider. Both programs provide immediate tax deferral, which is excellent in high-income years. However, there are also drawbacks to participating in these plans, which can be outlined in a comprehensive financial plan.

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

Goff Financial: Retiring can be scary, and most people only retire once. So it is no surprise that the process can cause worry and anxiety. Fortunately, our clients can depend on our years of experience helping people make the transition. There is no better feeling than seeing the joy and excitement on a client’s face when they’ve finally entered the next stage of life. With help and guidance from a qualified financial advisor, retirement doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may seem.

Goff Financial: To learn more about how we serve Oxy employees, please visit Retire from Occidental Petroleum (OXY) Strategies for Retirement (gofffinancial.com) or call us at 713-850-8900.

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Quick Facts & Resources for Oxy Employees

Oxy (Occidental) Quick Facts & ResourcesDetails / Useful Links
Oxy Corporate Headquarters Address5 Greenway Plaza, Suite 110 Houston, Texas 77046-0521 (📍 Google Maps)
Overview of Oxy BenefitsOxy Benefits and Total Rewards
How much do Oxy employees Make?View Oxy Salary Research on Glassdoor
Where can I learn more about careers at Oxy?Visit oxy.com/careers
How many people work for Oxy?Oxy has nearly 12,000 employees worldwide, with nearly 70% in the US (Source: Oxy)
What is the ticker symbol for Oxy stock?The Oxy ticker symbol is OXY.

Facts About the Oxy 401(k) and Retirement PlansDetails
What is the Oxy 401(k) Plan? You’re automatically enrolled in the Oxy 401(k) Plan with a 5% before-tax contribution and a 7% Oxy matching contribution upon hire. You can contribute more of your pay on a before-tax, Roth, and after-tax basis. You are immediately vested in your contributions and Oxy’s matching contribution. The plan offers a broad range of investment funds with varying levels of risk and return. You can also choose a Target Date Fund that offers a diversified investment portfolio and automatically reduces risk as you get closer to retirement.
What is the Oxy Retirement Plan?The Oxy Retirement Plan is funded entirely by Oxy. You’re automatically a participant on your date of hire. Each pay period, Oxy makes cash contributions equal to 7% of your base pay up to the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB) and 12% over the SSWB. You decide how to invest Oxy’s contributions from a broad range of funds with varying levels of risk and return. You can also choose a Target Date Fund that offers a diversified investment portfolio and automatically reduces risk as you get closer to retirement. You are fully vested in the Retirement Plan after you have worked at Oxy for three years.
Source: Oxy.com

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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.