Retirement Planning Tips

20+ Years from Retirement

Set up your myMERS Account and use the Financial Fitness Tool

Your myMERS account offers one-stop access to view your MERS plan information, add or change plan beneficiaries, make investment changes, update your contact information and much more. It also offers Financial Fitness – a customized tool that allows to you create financial goals and track your progress, add financial accounts from other sources to help you build and stick to a budget, manage debt and more. Setting up your account is easy and the best way to manage your MERS retirement account(s).

Take Advantage of Educational Opportunities

Most financial institutions offer educational opportunities for its members, and MERS is no different. MERS offers numerous events throughout the year focusing on topics such as financial wellness, retirement planning and MERS plan overviews. Additionally, we offer a Video Library of our previously recorded webinars, our CentsAbility blog filled with financial tips and information and customized benefit education offered through your employer virtually or in-person. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn, ask questions and prepare yourself for life after employment.

Start or Continuing Saving for Retirement

If you’re more than 20 years away from retirement, you may be asking yourself if you really need to start saving now to fund your post-employment years. The answer is YES! Life expectancy continues to rise and you may live in excess of 30 years in retirement – that’s a lot of years to fund! The good news, by starting early, small actions can have a big impact on your retirement savings.

Check out this CentsAbility article for tips on saving when time is on your side.

Make a Budget…and stick to it

One of the most important financial steps you can take at this time in your life is to have a budget. Not only will this help you to better understand where your money goes each month, it will also help you clearly see your spending habits and address savings gaps.

But, having a budget is only helpful if you stick to it and review it often. Financial Fitness offers a budgeting tool that can help you see your full financial picture and track your spending. Looking for other resources? This Financial Goals Worksheet can help you get started. Need help budgeting for success? Check out this CentsAbility blog article.

Manage Debt

It is not unusual for people in this phase of life to have debt – whether it’s a mortgage, car payment, student loans, credit cards or a combination of those things. The most important thing is to have a plan to pay it off.

Use your budget to determine how much you can afford to put toward your debt payments each month, and see if there are any areas you can reduce expenses to accelerate debt payoff.

Check out more tips to manage and eliminate debt here and here.

Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is money that’s been set aside to cover any of life’s unexpected events. This money will allow you to live comfortably for a few months should you happen to lose your job or if something unexpected comes up that will cost a fair chunk of money to cover.

Check out more tips to build your emergency fund here.

Make Sure You’re Covered

It’s important to ensure you have applicable insurance policies such as health, auto and homeowners or renters. In addition, life insurance – for you, your spouse and any dependents – can be invaluable in the event of an unfortunate emergency. Many workplaces offer group life insurance options, but if that isn’t available for you, it is recommended that you consult your insurance provider or a financial planner to see what your options are.

Check out this Quick Bite Webinar for more information on the types of insurances available and what coverage you may want to consider.

Designate and Keep your Beneficiaries Current

You may have designated beneficiaries for your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and similar assets when you opened your account(s), or you may not have. To ensure that your assets will be distributed as you intend, double check to ensure you’ve made those designations and periodically review them to make sure they are current and correct.

For more information on adding or updating beneficiaries to your MERS plan(s), click here.