Adviser Investments: An Adviser You Can Talk To

Make the Most of Your Google Employee Benefits


The expert financial planners at Adviser have the inside track on all that Google offers.

And we can help you dig into this bevy of Google employee benefits so you and your family can enjoy the perks, plan for your future and meet your financial goals. It’s what we do.

We know it seems complicated. That’s why we work with Google employees like you to help build a successful plan that pays for itself many times over. We’ll offer some details below.

TL;DR:
Your job keeps you busy. You might not have time to track your Google employee benefits and stock options—and if you’re not an expert on financial planning, you’re likely leaving a lot of money on the table. We’re here to help.

We’ll start with three things you can’t learn by Googling…

We can help!

We have years of broad experience helping Google employees like you with their compensation and benefits.

Managing Google Stock Options (GSUs)

A GSU is a Google stock option that entitles you to Alphabet Inc. capital stock. One GSU equals one share of Google stock; however, your certificate isn’t worth anything until your GSUs vest, which occurs according to Google’s stock vesting schedule.

How Google Stock Options Really Work

  • Let’s say you were hired in January 2022.
  • As part of your offer, you received 48 shares of GSUs.
  • If the stock price was $1,000, that’s $48,000!
  • But you didn’t get those shares as soon as you walked in the door. Instead, they will vest monthly for the next four years, with a 12-month initial “cliff”—meaning you get your first 12 shares after a year at Google and one additional share monthly for the next three years.
  • That $48,000 is a very nice part of your comp. But there’s more to it than that, especially when taxes enter the picture. And that’s where we can help.

Taxes and Google Stock Options

You pay taxes upon vesting based on the current fair market value (FMV) of your shares. Google automatically withholds 22% of the vested amount for your taxes. This may not cover your entire tax liability.

You pay ordinary income tax (short-term tax rate) on the difference between FMV when you received the share versus when you sell it at vesting ($2,000/share in the example below).

If you wait to sell, your GSUs may go up in price (here to $10,000/share), but you pay long-term capital gains taxes on the profit, which is a lower tax rate.

Tip: Google stock options provide a significant opportunity for wealth building, but they are a potential tax disaster if managed poorly.

Maximizing Your Google 401(k) Employee Benefits

Tip: If you’re married, think about consolidating your retirement savings to maximize your Google match. Your partner can instead direct equal money toward your shared day-to-day or monthly spending.

Google is an industry leader when it comes to matching contributions to your 401(k). Don’t leave that free money on the table.

Google matches 100% on the first $3,000 you contribute to your 401(k). After that, they provide a 50% match on your contributions up to $19,000.

That’s thousands of extra dollars each year going into your 401(k) to compound with no tax liability until you reach retirement age.

Google offers immediate vesting of its contribution to your 401(k)—you retain the full amount even if you leave the company.

Traditional IRAs…

 

  • Contributions made before taxes
  • Savings compound tax-deferred
  • Withdrawals taxed as normal income
  • Employer match and profit-sharing (also tax-deferred)

The Roth IRA Advantage…

 

  • Pay taxes up front
  • Money grows tax-free
  • No tax on withdrawals
  • No required withdrawal age

Don’t Miss the Mega Backdoor Roth

And then there’s the “mega Roth” option…

This option lets you contribute nearly five times the annual limit of a traditional Roth IRA—that’s a powerful way to start a tax-free nest egg.

Your contributions to a traditional 401(k) are pre-tax up to $20,500 ($27,000 if you’re age 50-plus). With Google’s “mega backdoor” Roth option, you can add after-tax contributions up to $40,500, including what the company matches—then roll that excess amount into a Roth IRA, where your assets can grow and be withdrawn tax-free.

Tip: This investment tool allows after-tax contributions to your 401(k) account to make up the difference between your 401(k) contributions, Google’s 401(k) match and the IRS’ annual contribution limit.

We’re Not Kidding When We Say “Mega”

The IRS permits you to contribute a maximum of $61,000 to your 401(k) across the traditional (pre-tax) + Roth + Google match + after-tax contributions. This $61,000 isn’t just growing tax-deferred—those earnings can be accessed tax-free when you want them during retirement. The mega backdoor Roth IRA is a valuable planning opportunity for high-income earners like you. Let us help you max out your earnings!

Adviser: Your Google Employee Benefits Resource

Rick Winters

Vice President, Portfolio Executive

Years of expertise working with Google employees on compensation and benefits

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®

Accredited Wealth Management Advisor®

Michael Dillaire

 Financial Planner

Specialist in executive compensation and stock options

Equity Compensation Associate designee

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

 

A Team of Professionals Working for Googlers Like You

Financial Planning
Employee Stock Optimization
Benefits Maximization
Charitable Giving
401(k) Insight
Holistic Wealth Management

Contact Us Today! We Can Help.

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All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information, and it should not be relied upon as such. Adviser Investments, LLC (“Adviser”) is not affiliated with Google LLC. Our team of advisers regularly works with Google LLC. employees and receives updates on their employer benefit programs. This marketing piece is not sponsored by Google LLC. Adviser is a registered investment adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Adviser and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensing.

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