Pearls of Wisdom
Retirement Little Pearls of Wisdom
Read the Harper College Retirement Booklet
Read the Harper College Retirement Booklet. Even though it was published in 2008 it contains some good information. Some of the information in it was used on this page but in less detail.
View Retirement Videos
Helpful Videos can be found at the SURS site. Topics include but are not limited to:
- Things you need to know before you retire
- Money Purchase Factor Changes
- Reciprocal Act Video
Create a Plan for Your Retirement Finances
“Initially, hiring a financial planner gave me the peace of mind that we could retire early, have enough money to live on till past 90 and still leave the kids and grandkids a little something.” If hiring a Financial Advisor seems too expensive there are many free financial planning tools on the Web and in Excel templates.
Sign-up to Have Federal Taxes Deducted
Sign-up to have federal taxes deducted from retirement benefits, pensions or Social Security. “With the long list of things that need to be done to finish decades of a career I overlooked checking a box indicating to take out federal income taxes. Paying one year’s worth of federal taxes at once was not fun!”
Investigate Harper’s Benefits
Don’t lose out on benefits. Investigate what benefits Harper provides you (refer to your employee contract for eligibility requirements and contact HR) such as but not limited to:
- Unused and Unpaid Sick Leave
- Vacation leave
- Tuition Waivers
- Retiree/Employee Discounts
- Health insurance reimbursement benefits
- Continuation of Life Insurance
Don’t Under-estimate the Cost of Living
Don’t under-estimate the cost of living. You may need your income to be sufficient for a long time, and remember to account for inflation. People are living longer than before. For example:
Don’t File for Social Security too Early or too Late
Social Security benefits are reduced if you file for benefits before your full retirement age. Monthly Social Security benefits can be increased by delaying when you take your benefits.
Sign-up for Medicare Easy Pay Early
It can take up to 6-8 weeks for your automatic deductions to start. Until your automatic deductions start, you’ll need to pay your premiums another way. This is especially important if you are not yet collecting Social Security or are not eligible to collect Social Security. Be aware that Medicare payments are not directly deducted from your Social Security benefits until you start collecting. This is also important if you are out of the country when the initial Medicare payment is due. It may be more difficult to navigate the paperwork and the process while outside of the US. Sign-up for Medicare Easy Pay here.
Medical/Healthcare Expenses Tips
Complete the College Insurance Program Participation Form
Complete the College Insurance Program Participation Election Form found in the College Insurance Information packet even if you are not planning on using the College Insurance Program.
Don’t Underestimate Health Care Expenses
Don’t underestimate health care expenses. The SURS.org site contains the current College Insurance Plan Fiscal Year Benefits Choice Handbook Booklet. View the current Handbook to determine plans offered and your monthly contributions (premiums) for your specific situation. The plan includes health, dental and vision coverage. Premiums change each year on July 1.
Avoid a Medicare Penalty
You must sign up for Medicare at least three months before turning age 65 even if you don’t plan to receive monthly benefits. You may pay 10% more for each full 12-month period you could have had Part B but didn’t take it. In most cases, you’ll pay this late enrollment penalty each time you pay your premiums, for as long as you have Part B. The penalty increases the longer that you go without Part B coverage.
- Typical 65-year-olds today will live to age 83;
- One in four 65-year-olds will live to age 90; and
- One in ten 65 year-olds will live to be 95.
Lifestyle / Wellness
Learn New Hobbies
Learn new hobbies before retiring if possible. It makes the transition easier.