We all look forward to a long, happy and financially secure retirement. But as you plan ahead for retirement, “how long?” is an important question to ask.
Longer Life Span, Longer Retirement
People are living longer. A 55-year-old man can expect to live for another 27 years, to about 82. A 55-year-old woman can expect to live for another 30 ½ years. These figures, derived from the Social Security life expectancy calculator, are only averages. They don’t take into account such factors as your health, lifestyle or family medical history.
Here are some other statistics that are worth pondering as you plan for retirement: more than 37,000 current NYSLRS retirees are over 85, and more than 3,400 have passed the 95 mark. In fact, in the State fiscal year that ended in March 2020, 375 NYSLRS’ retirees were 101 or older. Considering that many public employees retire at 55, it’s possible that a fair percentage of them could have retirements that last 45 years or more.
Making Your Savings Last
As you plan for a long retirement, you need to ask yourself, will I have enough money to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for decades to come?
Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) members who retired in fiscal year 2020 are receiving an average monthly pension of $2,656. The average Social Security benefit for a retired worker was $1,544, as of December 2020.
Your retirement savings are also crucial assets that can supplement your pension and Social Security. Savings are a hedge against inflation, can help in an emergency and provide flexibility over a long retirement.
If you have no retirement savings, it is never too late to start. An easy way to get started is through the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan, a retirement savings program created for New York State employees and employees of participating public agencies. If you’re a municipal employee, ask your employer if you’re eligible for the Deferred Compensation Plan or another retirement savings plan. (The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan is not affiliated with NYSLRS.)
After you retire, you’ll need to manage your retirement savings wisely to ensure your money lasts. You may find this savings withdrawal calculator helpful.
NYSLRS is Here for You
Your NYSLRS pension is a lifetime benefit that will provide monthly payments throughout your retirement. Get a head start on your retirement planning by getting a pension estimate. Most members can get an estimate by using our online benefit calculator.
It is time to consider updating the COLA.
Why don’t you increase the bases upon which colas are bases. You can submit a bill on your own to do it and shepherd it through the Legislature. You can even base is on 100 of the inflation rate instead of only 1/2 the inflation rate up until $18,000.