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Retirement Corner

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The Blindside

Did the downturn in the market blindside your retirement plans?  Since March 2009 the market rallied somewhat.  If you stayed invested and kept contributing, you are quite likely above where you were before the downturn.  But if you moved your assets to the sidelines, or you just haven’t been able to overcome the set back yet, it may be time to make some choices.

Step 1: Assess where you are right now, not where you were before the market turn.  Don’t be afraid to enlist help—representatives and consultants from the approved UT Retirement Program providers stand ready to help you.

Step 2: See where you are on Social Security and your mandatory retirement plans.

Step 3: See how you can protect your capital while still allowing for growth.  Check with TRS or your ORP provider regarding your base income and whether that will cover essential expenses like housing, food, or long-term care insurance.   My Retirement Outlook, located at http://www.utretirement.utsystem.edu/savingtools.htm is a valuable tool that can help you determine what your retirement income might be, compared to what you will likely need.

Step 4: See where you can cut expenses.  This can both a) free up money that can be immediately channeled into retirement savings; and b) give you a lower cost of living, which in turn lowers how much you need to maintain that cost of living.  To see ideas for savings, please visit the UTRetirement Educate Me page at: http://www.utretirement.utsystem.edu/educate.htm.

Step 5: If worse comes to worst, you may wish to consider delaying retirement.  Even a one- or two-year delay can make a difference in the amount of funds and benefits you can continue to build. 

To learn more about your retirement savings opportunities, or to contact a provider, please visit our website at www.utretirement.utsystem.edu

Article courtesy of VALIC, REALlife 2011