Financial Fitness for Retirement

Another Southern California summer is here! With the season comes an increase in physical fitness. Whether going for walks on breaks or hitting the gym after work, many SBCERA Members are making exercise part of their routine and are seeing positive results.

Much like exercising for physical fitness, staying financially fit and preparing for retirement requires consistent habits, setting goals and appreciating your gains. With many of you committing to an active lifestyle this summer, what better time to also boost your retirement readiness?

As SBCERA Members, your retirement plans are ahead of many Americans thanks to your participation in a defined benefit plan, which will provide a lifetime monthly benefit once you retire. Yet even if you feel in good shape for the future, it may help to consider some additional exercises to take your long-term financial fitness to the next level.

Bulking up
If you are looking to add some retirement muscle to supplement your future SBCERA benefit, you may consider beginning (or increasing) contributions to a deferred compensation plan such as a 401(k) or 457(b), which you can draw from in retirement. These plans are not administered by or coordinated with SBCERA. To see if your employer offers a deferred compensation plan and matching contributions, please contact your human resources department. You may also wish to consider investment objectives and risks with the plan provider.

Getting lean and mean
Another workout in preparation for retirement is to burn the fat from your budget. Reducing excess spending can create room in your budget for future retirement expenses such as health insurance, medications and unexpected home repairs, as well as enjoyable recreation like travel and hobbies. One option is to try living on your projected retirement income for several months, in order to acclimate your lifestyle for retirement. Placing your budget on a diet is hard, but it can truly prove its effectiveness over time.

Building power and durability
Through aging and experiencing illness, the chance of becoming unable to handle personal business and financial affairs increases. You and your loved ones can prepare as best as possible for such a situation by completing a Durable Power of Attorney form, which authorizes someone you know and trust – known as your Attorney-in-Fact – to carry out specific responsibilities according to your wishes should you become incapacitated. While you can create a Durable Power of Attorney for other real or personal property, such as a house or 401(k) accounts, it is not guaranteed to have the appropriate language to apply to your SBCERA retirement benefits. To specifically address your SBCERA retirement affairs, you can complete SBCERA’s Special Durable Power of Attorney (POA) form, located in MemberDirect or at www.SBCERA.org/Forms.

Professional training
To enhance your retirement knowledge and preparation, you can set an appointment with an SBCERA Retirement Specialist to discuss your SBCERA options and benefits. Additionally, you may wish to contact other qualified professionals for a more holistic view of your finances. A tax advisor may help find ways to reduce your tax burden, an attorney may help you create a living trust and will, and a financial planner may help you strategize for the future.

You got this!
As you work to achieve and maintain financial fitness for retirement, we will be here to cheer you on, help you successfully navigate your membership, and connect you to additional retirement resources when possible.

SBCERA has and will continue to provide retirement stability by successfully managing investments and administering benefits efficiently. Through our mission, combined with your discipline and effort, you can experience all the best that retirement has to offer.