How much to expect from retirement?

Getting ready for retirement can be a little intimidating. There are new tax forms to file, people to visit and plans to make. You know there’s a big change coming. But how do you start planning for that big vacation you’ve always dreamed of when you don’t even know how much money you’re going to be receiving each month?

It’s important to know what your income will look like.

Even if retirement is more than 10 years away, having the ability to look in the crystal ball of the future can help clear up concerns. Knowing what to expect financially will help you make more informed decisions today.

If you’re planning to retire in the next few years, knowing your income will give you the freedom to start the fun part of retirement planning – warm sunshine here you come!

That’s where the DRS Benefit Estimator tool comes in handy and can give you the answers you need. By answering a few simple questions about when and how you want to retire, you can see how much money you can expect to receive each month.

How to use the Benefit Estimator tool

To access the tool, log in to your online account. In the menu bar, select your plan name – such as PERS 2. This will open a dropdown menu. Select Benefit Estimator. This will walk you through a series of 4 specific questions:

What is your estimated retirement date? (earliest normal retirement date is the default)

What is your total service credit? (calculated automatically)

What is your average salary? (calculated automatically)

Do you plan on providing a continuing benefit to a survivor?

The earliest date that you’re eligible for retirement is set as the default. However, you also have the option to choose a different date. This is beneficial to those who want to retire after a certain milestone such as a spouse’s retirement date or the birth of a grandchild.

Additionally, there is an option to see what your income will look like if you list a survivor. After your death, your survivor—if you choose to list one—will receive monthly retirement income for the rest of their lives.

Use this tool at any point in your career

The Benefit Estimator tool is tailored to your specific account. You can create an estimate using different factors as many times as you like. The information is never shared with your manager or human resources.

Having this estimate is helpful for those who are at the beginning or middle of their career. If you know that you’re going to receive $2,500 from your DRS account, you may want to—­­and probably should— put money aside into an IRA or your DCP account in order to pad your retirement income.

How much can I expect from my DCP or Plan 3 investment account?

If you have an account with DCP or Plan 3 investment account, you can choose to receive a separate monthly check from these accounts, take a lump sum payment, or leave the money invested.

The money you put in to DCP is additional money that you can invest for the retirement lifestyle you want to achieve—a lifestyle that might be hard to reach with just your pension and Social Security.

You can see an estimate of this income using the investment retirement calculator.

How to use the investment retirement calculator

DCP and Plan 3 customers can estimate retirement for all accounts using the Voya retirement calculator. To access the calculator, you will need to log in to your online account. Select the link for your plan. This will open the Voya site in a new window.

Select the orange drop down link labeled “your retirement savings.” Select the option for “your other retirement and savings income.”

Enter your estimated monthly pension income. (Use the dollar amount of your estimated monthly benefit from the DRS Benefit Estimator tool.) You can also enter other sources of retirement income. Select “Save.” This will update the figures on your Voya personal finance dashboard, giving you a better understanding of your retirement savings.

For more tips on how to prepare for retirement, see the full Retirement Checklist.

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