According to a recent Ameri- can Association of Retired Persons (AARP) survey, 58 percent of New Yorkers age 50 and older say they will delay their retirement due to the national recession. Of those, 43 percent said they would delay retirement for five or more years and 16 percent said they expect never to retire.*
The findings mirror those of a recent Associated Press www.LifeGoesStrong.com poll, in which more than half the respondents indicated they lost money during the 2008 and 2009 downturns. Many who were affected said that was why they are delaying their retirement.
Will you have enough money to retire? When making your decision about retirement, be sure to ask yourself the following important questions:
Q: What will my retirement income be?
A: Experts believe you will need approximately 70 to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living once you stop working. If you haven't already done so, now may be a good time to start checking your finances and developing a plan for when you retire.
For starters, read your plan booklet, available on our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire. Then use our retirement benefit calculator, at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/members/projecting-your-pension.htm, to give you an idea of what your pension could be. Remember, benefit projections are based entirely on the information you provide.
Next, when you're within 18 months of retirement eligibility, submit a Request for Estimate (RS6030) form. An estimate will explain the approximate monthly amounts you can expect to receive under our available retirement options.
The Social Security Administration's website, at www.ssa.gov, has several online tools available for you to help you determine the best time to start receiving your benefit. Be sure to obtain a free, personal earnings statement that estimates your future benefit from the agency, as well.
Also, don't forget to consider other sources of income, such as savings, investments and proceeds from a Deferred Compensation Plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), to make up the difference between the income you'll need and what your pension and Social Security will provide.
Q: What will my post-retirement expenses be?
A: Once you have an idea regarding what your retirement income will be, do an assessment of how you spend your money each month. Do you send your shirts out to the laundry? Is your mortgage paid off? Do you eat at restaurants a lot? Include periodic expenses, such as car insurance or property and school taxes. Take into account how inflation will impact your savings and future costs. And, since we do not administer health insurance programs for retirees, contact your health benefits administrator to get information concerning the coverage available for you and your family, and how much you must pay.
Q: How can I get more information?
A: Read our booklet, Straight Talk about Financial Planning for Your Retirement, available on our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/publications/vo1845.htm.
*The AARP survey may be found at http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/cs/elec/new_york_voices_of_50_.pdf
Every month state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System, provides information on the system, which delivers retirement benefits to many NYSUT School-Related Professionals and other support staff. If you are an ERS member with a question of general interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For immediate assistance, contact the ERS Call Center toll-free at 866-805-0990, or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District area.