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1. What will be the net spendable income I receive after all taxes are paid during my retirement?
A: Your net spendable income after taxes will depend on the amount of your pension, Social Security, and other sources in retirement. NPERS and Social Security are subject to state and federal taxes. Your Social Security income will be subject to federal taxes depending on the total amount of your household income. If your gross income is less than $75,000 in the state of Nebraska, your Social Security income will not be subject to state taxes based on today’s tax laws. Remember your NPERS pension does not count toward your gross income. Please consult with your tax professional regarding your specific tax liability in retirement.
2. Have I left enough time to properly research and educate myself on all my irrevocable options?
A: The earlier the better, when it comes to planning for retirement. If you know you are going to retire in the next two to three years, it is recommended you begin your financial plan, fact finding, and pension analysis today. There are many factors to consider and you may need the years before retirement to plan accordingly. However, if you did not plan ahead and are retiring within the year it is helpful to start the planning process in the fall. Many of our clients will turn their paperwork into NPERS in early April to be ready for a June/July 1st retirement date. It is not too late to get help until you have submitted your paperwork to NPERS. Visit with someone who has the knowledge and expertise to lead you.
3. Will I have enough income from NPERS and Social Security if I live longer than the average?
A: One of the biggest worries many of our clients have is will I have enough income if I live longer than expected. With the right planning, you can create a financial plan that will consider the Cost of Living increases you may face. NPERS does have a Cost of Living increase. Social Security also has a cost of living increase, but will it keep up if you only have NPERS and Social Security? If you have 85 points with NPERS and have Social Security, together they should replace your pre-retirement net income as a teacher/administrator, but the Cost of Living increases are a factor. You need to have other investments to access to keep up with inflation. Most of our clients do not touch their IRAs or annuities until they are required to at age (now) 72. Thorough fact finding, pension analysis, and financial planning can help you keep up with inflation.
4. Should I take the Social Security at age 62?
A: If you are wondering whether you should take your Social Security at age 62, please ask yourself the following questions: I. Do I need the income? II. Do I have other sources of income from which I can draw? For instance, do I have a 403(b), annuity, IRA, or other types of saving accounts? III. How good is my health, and what type of life expectancy do I have at this point? IV. Do I have 85 points, and will I receive the full pension? If you have the full pension, maybe you can delay Social Security for a while. If you can delay taking your Social Security, there is a guaranteed return you can receive on your Social Security, but only if you delay it.
5. Will I have enough NPERS, Social Security, and money saved to retire?
A: Worrying about running out of money during retirement is everyone’s fear. It’s a fear that can be calmed if you plan ahead. We cannot answer definitively because we do not know what you have in investments, the size of your pension, your Social Security, your tax rate, the amount of debt, and your budget. Together, we can address all these items and prepare a plan for your retirement. It’s advisable that every educator should retire only after he/she has done the research.