403(b) and 457(b)

When OPERS members get close to retirement our discussion with them concerns 5 key topics regarding their supplemental retirement accounts.

  1. Are you paying fees and not getting service?  You may not have not heard from your company representative for far too long, or you have had so many different representatives that you have lost count.  If you are paying someone fees each year to handle your account then you should also feel that they are there to help you.
  2. What is the purpose of this account?  Are you planning to withdraw money yearly from this account to supplement your STRS pension check, or is this a second level of savings you want to have available in case you need it?  Is it your desire to leave this account to your family once you have passed away?  Your answer is important in determining #3 below.
  3. Do you have an investment strategy?  Do you know if you are conservative, aggressive, or somewhere in between?  Do your investments actually reflect it?  The investments you picked years ago may not suit you today.
  4. How does this account coordinate with OPERS?  If you are planning to withdraw from this account regularly, how much can you take out each year without running out of money?  Should you wait to take distributions or begin them immediately?  How will your taxes be affected?
  5. Should you consolidate?  Are there opportunities to consolidate accounts to simplify your financial life?  Does it make sense from a fee standpoint?  Is it possible to better track what is really happening if just one account is involved?

If you have not asked yourself these questions before, it is important that you do before retirement.  Give us a call if this feels like a conversation you should be having.

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