Planning for retirement just got easier

Published: Oct. 16, 2018 at 9:08 AM CDT
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No matter your age, once you start working you should be thinking about your retirement.

It's National Retirement Security Week, this week is intended to raise awareness about how critical it is to save and plan for retirement and encourage employees and retirees to take full advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans.

There are many Wyoming leaders that play a role in establishing this spotlight on retirement: Senator Mike Enzi sponsors the Senate Resolution, Governor Mead proclaims it Retirement Week in Wyoming, and we have 26 state legislators who have signed on as supporters.

The Wyoming Retirement System sponsors a communications campaign during the week.

All the materials are on there website and also on Facebook. Check out the 2 minute videos designed for early career, mid career or late career. They liken planning for retirement to gardening, so they are easy to relate to. They hit on the concepts you need to focus on at each career stage:

For early career -- regular contributions with small increases of just $5 per year

For mid-career – establish an emergency fund so you can prevent other needs from eating away at your retirement savings;

For late career – understand how your different retirement income sources come together

The email and FB campaign is featuring the theme “Power of Three” which refers to the 3 sources of retirement income our members have – Social Security, WRS pension and personal savings through the WRS 457 Plan.

In addition, they have other great materials, like calculators and field notes, on the website that inspire people to take small steps toward better retirement outcomes.

WRS manages the pensions for most public employees in Wyoming, including State employees, school district employees, law enforcement, judges, fire fighters, and local government employees.

WRS also administers a 457 deferred compensation plan, where employees can invest part of their salary for retirement – like a 401(k) for government employees.

If you work in the private sector, be sure to check into your employer-sponsored retirement plan and contribute to it. If you don’t have an employer plan, you can consider setting up an individual retirement account, also known as an IRA.

On Oct 17 the Wyoming Retirement System is holding educational seminars at 9, 12:15 and 4:30.

Seminars will be in Cheyenne at the Qwest Building Lower Level Room 30 and also livestreamed so people can participate remotely.

The presenter is George Eason, who is both a certified retirement counselor and a Social Security advisor. Attend in-person or go to their website to find the livestream links.

The late afternoon seminar at 4:30 goes over the basics of Social Security and prepares you with questions to ask when talking to SS. This seminar is relevant for anyone who wants to bone up on SS.

They are encouraging all of WRS members, as well as everyone else, to take an hour of time this week and do some planning for your retirement. If you are already saving, it’s a good time to increase your contribution by even just $5 per month.

For more information check out the interview from the morning show.