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ASRS Retirement Prep Meetings: What Information is Covered?

If you find yourself getting close to retirement but have a lot of questions, don’t worry – you’re just like most members! In fact, we developed our series of retirement meetings specifically to answers all of the most common questions people have while on the road to retirement. Our “Route 3” and “Route 4” meetings are specifically aimed at those who may be at the end of their career. But how do you know which meeting is right for you?

Here we’ll take a deeper look at our Route 3: Destination in Sight member meeting, which is available as both a live presentation and an online webinar.  Unlike the “Route 4: Next Exit – Retirement” meeting, which is designed for members who will be retiring within six months, the Route 3 meeting is tailored to our late-career members who are still about three years away from retirement. Even our members who are unsure of their retirement date will benefit from learning all about their retirement benefit and options.

We begin the Route 3 meeting with a brief description of our status as a defined benefit plan, followed by a detailed explanation of how we calculate each member’s guaranteed lifetime benefit.  You will learn the significance of your credited service and your average monthly salary as an active member.  You will also see what it means to reach Normal Retirement and why this milestone is important for calculating your retirement benefit.  Then, the meeting will give a comprehensive explanation of the seven different annuity options from which the member must choose.  With detailed explanations and examples, the member will be better prepared to choose the option that is best for them and their beneficiaries. Please note that, while some of this information may be touched on in our Route 4 meetings, we go into much more detail in our Route 3 meetings. If your availability permits it, we highly suggest going to both!

Route 3 also gives members a lot of information to help them think about the financial factors they may face in retirement, to help make sure they are prepared for the realities of their lives once they are retired from public service. We then review service purchase options so that members can explore the possibility of increasing their credited service so as to enhance their retirement benefit and/or retire faster. After illustrating the timelines regarding application and payment, we show members how they are empowered to take charge of their account and their retirement by using their myASRS secure account.  Finally, we highlight some of the many resources available on our public website, including our videos and interactive eLearnings.

The dates and times of our Route 3 (and route 4) meetings are available on the Member Education page (under the Members tab) of our website. To register for a meeting, simply log in to your myASRS secure account and click on the Member Meetings link on the left side of the screen. Live meetings are available in our Phoenix and Tucson offices, while the webinars can be accessed online through your computer or other device. We hope you choose to attend a Route 3 meeting soon!

Written by Richard Musto, Member Education

Published in Expanding Your Financial Horizons digital newsletter May 2019

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