Setting Yourself Up for Success into Retirement

Retirement doesn’t always require age, but it does require extensive planning. As you consider your retirement options, one of the first steps you should take is to learn how to better manage your finances. Begin with a visit to MyMoney.gov, take a financial literacy course, or read an effective personal finance book to learn some money managing habits and techniques.

As people approach the end of their full-time careers, some plan to diversify their income, either through second jobs, personal businesses, 401Ks or other investments. If you plan to continue working or earn an ongoing income into your later years, you may want to consider different kinds of saving and investment choices. Contrary to popular belief, 401Ks are not always the best option, but saving or investing is always a smart choice.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), half of the households age 65-74 have no retirement savings and are fully reliant on Social Security to support them post-retirement. However, with over 50 percent of the population soon to be age 65 or older in the U.S., the strain on the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be significant.

To alleviate these concerns, MyMoney.gov highlights some useful tips that will help you plan for your financial future:

  • Start saving, form a savings habit, and pay yourself first
  • Open and keep an account at a bank or credit union that meets your needs
  • Track your savings and investments, and monitor what you own
  • Plan for short-term and long-term goals
  • Build up emergency savings for unexpected events
  • Consult with a qualified professional on investments and other key financial matters
  • Save for retirement, children’s education and other major expenses

If you are working for the Federal government and are looking to retire with full benefits, you are required to have worked a certain number of years of service to meet eligibility. You can find information on Federal retirement benefits in full detail on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website.

Some of the most common retirement questions to consider when looking for full benefits from the government are the following:

  • What is the minimum age I can retire for full benefits? Currently, retirement age for full benefits is 66 for people born in 1943-1954, and it will rise to 67 for those born later.
  • When can you retire from the Federal government? If an employee retires with anywhere between 10 to 30 years of service, the benefit is reduced by five percent for every year under the age of 62. However, if the employee has at least 20 years of service, the benefit does not start until age 60.
  • At what age can I start collecting Social Security benefits? Workers can begin receiving benefits at age 62, but benefits will be greater after the full retirement age (currently 66) or later.

MyMoney.gov provides other specific resources on their website. In addition, you can find more retirement benefits information on Benefits.gov; use the Benefit Finder—a free, confidential questionnaire that can help you identify benefits you may be eligible to receive based on your current situation.  

 

 

Social Security Retirement