If I remain with the company for the duration of the vesting schedule, is there any way I can lose the benefit of my option?
Yes. You could mistakenly let the options expire without exercising them. You do not have your vested options for life: they have a term (usually 10 years). In addition, some companies have adopted provisions in their plan documents or grant agreements that require employees to forfeit outstanding options or surrender their option gains if they leave to work for a competitor. These provisions are sometimes referred to as noncompetes or clawbacks.