No matter if you’re in your early 20s, about to retire or are already retired, planning is key to ensuring you achieve financial security during retirement. Start planning today.
In Your 20s
- Establish a budget
- Keep track of your expenses to see how much you spend
- Learn to pay yourself first
- Work toward saving three to six months of pay as an emergency fund
- Avoid Credit Card Debt
- Take advantage of benefits provided by your employer, such as short-term and long-term insurance, health care benefits, dental plans and retirement plans.
- With as little as $20 a month, start a retirement savings plan by enrolling in the WRS’ 457 Plan
- Establish a log in to your Online Pension Account and 457 plan.
- Check Your Progress and keep beneficiary and address information up to date
In Your 30s
- Use the Retirement Goal Setting Calculator to see if you are saving enough to reach your goals.
- Evaluate current and future insurance needs.
- Attend Retirement Education seminars in person and through our online videos.
- Sign up for online 457 statements and review your annual pension statement online.
- Review your credit report – Request one at AnnualCreditReport.com.
In Your 40s
- Calculate what your pension income might be at retirement using the Pension Benefit Calculator.
- Evaluate and track savings goals using Retirement Goal Setting Calculator.
- Evaluate your investment strategies which may change as you get closer to retirement.
- Find out how increasing your pre-tax contribution to the WRS 457 would affect your take home pay. You can review the additional savings you gain each pay period by saving pre-tax dollars.
- Increase your contributions to your 457 plan.
- Review your beneficiary designation by accessing your accounts on-line.
In Your 50s
- In the year you become 50 years of age, you can save more in your 457 plan using 50 Catch-Up and later take advantage of Special Catch Up. Contact the Plan for more information.
- Learn about pension benefit payout options.
- Attend the “Retirement Strategies” seminar designed for employees within 10 years of retirement.
- Review your Social Security information and potential benefit by signing in at https://www.ssa.gov/
- Begin visualizing what retirement will look like for you.
- Evaluate current and future insurance needs and learn about long-term care insurance.
- Read the book What Color Is Your Retirement Parachute by John Nelson
In Your 60s
- Attend a Social Security seminar
- Build a hypothetical retirement budget and practice living within that budget before you retire.
- Attend the “Living in Retirement Workshop” and learn about 3 stages of retirement and how to manage your resources in each stage.
- Estimate how long you may live in retirement and how you will use your retirement savings.
- Make yourself familiar with retiree health insurance options, including Medicare.
- Consider a final deferral to the WRS 457 Deferred Compensation. If your employer pays you for unused accrued leave when you retire, whether sick leave, vacation leave, or both, you may make a final deferral of accrued leave pay (up to the annual limit) by returning a completed Final Deferral of Accrued Leave Election Form to the plan prior to your last work day.
- Review beneficiary information and make necessary changes by logging into your accounts on line or contact the plan for paper beneficiary designation forms.
- Apply for your WRS pension benefits online, after you have ended employment.
In Your 70s
- Apply for social security if you have not yet applied. Social Security benefits do not increase after age 70.
- In the year you become 70 ½ and are no longer working you are required to start taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from your 457 Plan, as well as from any additional accounts you own requiring an RMD, such as a 401k and 403b plans and Traditional IRA’s. Contact WRS for an RMD form.
- Use a budget and adjust expenses to match your retirement income.
- Check to make sure your investments strategy is appropriate for your needs and risk level.
- Attend the “Living in Retirement Workshop” to get updated information.
- Review beneficiary information and make necessary changes by logging into your accounts on line or contact the plan for a beneficiary designation form.
- Make sure you are receiving annual 1099-R incoming reporting forms each year you are receiving Pension payments or Deferred Compensation distribution payments.