It’s an easy thing to do: forget about your LAGERS benefit. With all the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, your LAGERS benefit may be something you don’t think about very often; maybe it’s no more than a glance at your member statement once a year. With all the love in the air this week, I thought we’d talk about some of the reasons why your LAGERS benefit is worth thinking about a little more often. So whether or not you’re cuddled up with your sweetheart this Valentine’s day, don’t forget to give your LAGERS benefit a little love too! Here are my top five reasons on why you should love your LAGERS!
1. Your hard work is rewarded.
It’s the most basic principle by which your benefit is calculated: the longer you work, the greater your benefit is going to be when you retire. It seems simple enough, but have you ever really thought about how cool that is? Having LAGERS means knowing that if you work hard you entire career, you will have a protected, secure retirement benefit that will always be there for you when you retire.
2. You don’t have to worry about ‘rebalancing’ your portfolio.
I’ve read studies that found over 50% of Americans cannot pass a basic financial literacy test. That’s a pretty staggering statistic considering those same folks are still responsible for financially managing their retirement…and there’s no consolation prize for getting your retirement plan wrong (unless you really like to work). Fortunately, your LAGERS benefit eliminates the need for every individual LAGERS member to be an expert investor. LAGERS members and employers make their monthly contributions to LAGERS and our team of professional investors do the rest, no rebalancing required!
3. Protection from market fluctuations means more now than ever before.
I’ll be the first to admit it; I work in the retirement industry and am surrounded by some great investment minds, but managing my own retirement portfolio sometimes still feels a bit scary. For me, it’s the fear of the unknown; not knowing how long I’m going to live, not knowing what the markets are going to look like in twenty years, not knowing how much I will actually need in retirement. With your LAGERS benefit, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you can count on a guaranteed monthly payment no matter what happens, no matter what the markets do (or don’t do), no matter if you live longer that you expected, or die sooner and leave a spouse behind. Knowing you’re insulated from some of these market and longevity risks should definitely help you sleep better at night.
4. Inflation won’t threaten your LAGERS retirement.
Here’s another one of those risks that you have to plan for in retirement. Things get more expensive all the time, and as the cost of goods and services increase, your income has to keep pace. For LAGERS retirees, Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) help insure that inflation isn’t eating into the purchasing power of their monthly benefit. In fact, 100% of LAGERS retirees and beneficiaries have 100% purchasing power with their benefits today! It’s one less thing to worry about.
5. Survivor and disability benefits are part of the deal.
This is an easy one to forget about, but I can’t overstate how cool it is that these benefits are part of the deal. LAGERS benefits are designed to insure that you and those who are financially dependent on you will have a guaranteed source of income, not just when you retire, but also in the event that you were to become permanently disabled or pass away before you retire. I’m reminded of a member who had worked for his employer for years prior to them joining LAGERS. The day after his employer added LAGERS benefits, he tragically passed away in an accident. What a difference a day can make; since he was a LAGERS member, his spouse is now receiving a lifetime benefit based on her husband’s earned service; a benefit that she would otherwise not had. And while we hope you never have to use these benefits, it sure is nice to know they’re there.
There are a lot of great reasons to love your LAGERS, and although it’s easy for forget about your retirement benefits, especially the further away from retirement you are, try to keep in mind what an awesome thing it is to have!