Pre-Retirement: Are We There Yet? - United Benefits

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Determining Retirement Qualifications

Monthly Annuity Pension

Your FERS or CSRS monthly annuity is also referred to as your pension. It’s the first of three paychecks that make up your retirement income. Your pension is determined by your paycheck and years of service and starts when you retire.

When Can I Start Full Retirement?

To be eligible for full retirement, you need at least five years of service at age 62, 20 years of service at age 60, or 30 years of service once you have met your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). The MRA is based on your birth year.

Thrift Savings Plan: Guaranteed Lifetime Income

Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is the second paycheck that makes up your retirement income, and it’s the one you have the most control over. You can start withdrawing funds from your TSP any time after your reach age 59 and 6 months. If you leave federal service or retire before age 59 and 6 months, you can start withdrawals 31 days after your federal service ends.

Social Security: Monthly Lifetime Income

Social security is the last paycheck that makes up your retirement income. Most people can start social security at the age of 62. If you are a widow or widower, you can start social security at the age of 60. If you are disabled, you can start at any age.

The minimum retirement age for social security is based on your birth year.

If you draw social security before you meet your minimum retirement age, there are income limits for how much you can make before the money is withheld from your social security check. Those limits are updated periodically by the federal government.

Estimate Your Income Going into Retirement

Everyone’s scenario going into retirement is different. The age at which you’d like to retire, your birth year, your salary, and how much you’ve saved in your TSP are all major factors in estimating your retirement income. United Benefits Retirement Specialists are here to help you with your retirement strategy. Based on your goals for yourself and your family, our experts will help your run the necessary calculations to estimate your retirement income.

Why Do I Need Protected Retirement Accounts?

High Rates of Inflation

Inflation is a killer of retirement income. Historically, the cost of goods doubles every 20 years. However, we are currently experiencing high rates of inflation. At the current rate of 10%, the cost of goods will double in 10 years.

Uncertain Markets

Your FERS monthly annuity and Social Security are protected by the regular cost of living adjustments (COLAs). Your TSP is not. The only way to protect your TSP balance is to place the funds into a protected account. Within the TSP program, the only protected account is the G Fund, which places your funds into government securities. However, by placing your money in the G Fund, you are unlikely to have a rate of return that can keep up with inflation. If inflation is higher than the rate of return, your buying power will diminish over time.

Fixed Index Annuities

Fixed index annuities are the answer to protecting your money while maintaining a high rate of return. In an FIA, the money in the account can increase with market rates but won’t decrease if the market takes a downturn. If you pass away before withdrawing all of your principles, the remaining principle will go to your beneficiary. Once your turn it into a guaranteed lifetime income and start withdrawals, payments will never stop. In fact, payments will increase until you and/or your spouse passes away.

Completing Retirement Paperwork

United Benefits Retirement Specialists will help you complete all retirement paperwork and/or navigate the GRB Platform for free as a service to federal employees and their families. We can help with:

  • FERS or CSRS retirement applications
  • Transferring your TSP funds to a guaranteed lifetime income
  • Setting up Social Security
  • Estimating your retirement income (monthly annuity/pension, Social Security, and TSP)
  • Determining eligibility for retirement
  • Deferred Pension (retirement before MRA)
  • Military buyback calculations
  • Special Provisions

Get in Touch

Ready to start the countdown to retirement? Get in touch with a United Benefits Retirement Specialist for a free one-on-one retirement review to ensure that you are maximizing your benefits and will have a smooth transition into retirement. Fill out the form below to get started.

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