An important part of a successful retirement is planning for it along the way.
While the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System strives to ensure retirement security for its members, it’s important for our members to know when to retire. OPERS has a section of its website devoted to this topic. The “Learn, Plan, Act” pages can help you make an informed decision when to retire, and they offer assistance along the way.
The OPERS Retirement Planner allows you to estimate pension and health care costs at different prospective times of retirement.
It’s also important for OPERS members to continually improve their financial literacy. We’ve found several online resources that are helpful for members wish to learn about the financial issues that will be important when they retire. Some offer quizzes that you can take online; others stick with advice and commentary that members might find helpful. Here they are, with descriptions of each and links to them:
- AARP Retirement Planning Quiz: The retirement organization offers many resources for people who have not yet retired. One of the planning tools is a quiz tied to the “RICP Retirement Income Literacy Survey,” as published by the American College of Financial Services. (RICP stands for Retirement Income Certified Professional.) The quiz covers topics such as stocks and bonds, Roth IRAs and protecting against inflation. Many of the questions are technical in nature regarding financial planning.
- Choose to Save: “Ballpark E$timate” The Choose to Save program, developed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, is a public service that promotes early saving for retirement. The Ballpark E$timate tool helps users estimate how much money they’ll need to have for “a comfortable retirement.” It’s a little bit tricky for public employees who also have contributed to Social Security, but it’s easy to customize the criteria.
- Kiplinger: “Are You Ready to Retire?” This personal adviser says, “If you’re 50 or older, it’s time to start thinking about your exit strategy from the workaday world.” The 10-question quiz covers topics of investment inflation, demographics and health care.
- The Wall Street Journal: “Think You’re Ready to Retire? Grab a Pencil.” The newspaper in 2013 published this 20-question quiz titled with the subhead that “your later years may not be as good as you hope.” That is, unless you bone up on a bevy of retirement-related topics that the quiz covers. Those topics include how much money you’ll need in retirement, national statistics on retirement and health care, and thoughts by workers on when they’ll retire. To access this survey, it’s best to cut and paste the title into the google.com search engine.
- CNN Money: Will You Be Ready for Retirement? This quiz can be tailored to your age range. It asks you to insert information about your individual situation to see if you are meeting retirement savings goals.
- U.S News & World Report: “Four Questions to Test Retirement Readiness” This brief feature is a few years old, but it gets people thinking about what they’ll have to face when they’re in retirement. The website includes a link to a 10-question checklist for what people will need when they’re ready to retire.