When planning for your financial future, there are many different factors that you must consider to ensure you can achieve financial independence. I am constantly thinking about retirement, of course, because I work for a retirement system. But, for Millennials like me, we have a hard time thinking about retirement because it’s 20 or more years away. So, how do we set ourselves up to ensure we can reach a point in our life where we can do what we want, when we want to? Here’s idea to get you started, set a budget and stick to it.
What is myLAGERS, and why do I need a myLAGERS account?
I recently spoke with a former colleague who told me she was not even 30 years old yet and she has absolutely no interest in talking about or thinking about retirement or planning for her financial future. She did know when she would be vested in her current pension, but she had no idea how a pension works and couldn't tell me anything about her specific employer's plan. "I'll worry about that in a few years." Bottom line, she sounded exactly like me when I was her age, and my current-age self would love to have a "welcome to reality" talk with my younger self. Unfortunately, I was not convincing enough to make my former colleague take action to support her financial future, but she is now, at least, THINKING about it.
I recently sat down with Bob Wilson, LAGERS Director, to hear about our new funding level and how it matters to our employers and our members.
Jackie Barnett, PHR, SHRM-CP is a long-term public employee at the City of Columbia, MO. She has completed 23 years of service and is the HR Manager responsible for payroll support and benefits for over 2000 employees. The City of Columbia has recently engaged LAGERS to do on-site meetings for its employees in order to better inform them on the value of a LAGERS pension. Since pensions are a great tool to attract, but also retain quality employees, the City wants to educate its employees on LAGERS in order to increase retention among City employees. This is her account of their experience.
A little over a year ago, LAGERS board and staff established “A Secure Retirement for All” as our new vision statement. By their nature, vision statements are meant to be lofty, inspiring and something on the edge of being unobtainable. However, every goal, strategy, and decision that is made at LAGERS is driven by this statement.
Let’s think about these two words for a moment…”covet” (to yearn to possess or have something) vs. “begrudge” (to envy or resent the good fortune of someone, to be unhappy or upset because someone has something you think they do not deserve).
My colleague Penny and I recently spent some time in Rolla to honor one of our long-standing members, Rolla Municipal Utilities employee Rosalie Spencer, who was celebrating 50 years with the organization with a lunch reception. Around 70 of Rosalie's friends, family and coworkers present and past were on hand to celebrate her accomplishment. "When I started here, I told them if they hired me I wanted to stay until I retire. And I am." Rosalie plans to retire at the end of April of this year, and because she has stayed for 50 years should be able to replace a sizable amount of her salary with her LAGERS benefit.
I recently read an article from the Washington Post which stated, “If you don’t want to run out of money in retirement, follow this rule of thumb.” So, of course I clicked into the article to see what kind of advice they had to give.
A utility worker from Rolla Municipal Utilities (above) clears debris.
Governments face many tough decisions when determining how to make the best use of taxpayer dollars. Citizens demand a certain level of service from public entities for protection, infrastructure, health, education, and more. Of course, in order to provide these services, governments need to be able to attract and retain qualified workers. The better the public workers you have working in your community, the better services you will enjoy as a taxpayer.