Retirement Benefits

Hey Millennials, Plan Your Financial Future With These 4 Steps

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No, most millennials aren’t college students any longer — worrying about coursework or finding a job after graduation to avoid living with their parents. Millennials, defined by Pew Research as being born between 1981 and 1996, are now ages 28 to 43. That means many are early- to mid-career, which is a prime time to start laying the foundation for a successful retirement.

Understand Your CalPERS Benefits

You likely already know you’re paying into your future CalPERS pension each month with an automatic deduction from your paycheck. But do you know what it means to be part of a defined benefit plan, how your retirement amount is calculated, and your options to set additional money aside for retirement?

The earlier you develop an understanding of your CalPERS benefits and other retirement income sources, the more prepared you’ll be to make informed decisions over the course of your career.

Take an online, self-paced retirement education class to learn about these topics and more.

If you prefer live presentations with the opportunity to ask our experts questions, we offer in-person and virtual CalPERS Benefits Education Events (CBEEs) throughout the year.

Log in to myCalPERS to view dates and enroll in upcoming classes and events. You can also enroll by calling the CalPERS Customer Contact Center at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377).

Run Retirement Estimates

Consider the following retirement streams: your CalPERS pension, Social Security, and your personal savings. Will those income sources be enough to match the lifestyle you want in your golden years?

If you don’t know how much you’ll get in retirement income, you won’t know how much to save today. That’s why we’ve got an online estimate tool for your CalPERS pension. Social Security has its own as well.

  • Estimate your monthly pension benefit in one of two ways:
    • Log in to myCalPERS to estimate your monthly retirement benefit. This option will auto populate most of your information, but always double check your details.
    • Enter your information into the Retirement Estimate Calculator to get an idea about your retirement allowance.
  • Estimate your monthly Social Security benefit in one of two ways:

Supplement With Deferred Compensation

In addition to your pension and Social Security, another retirement income option is available through CalPERS deferred compensation plans. These additional revenue streams can play a critical role in your retirement income, especially if you were hired on or after January 1, 2013, and are a California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) member.

If you’ve already started a deferred compensation plan, consider increasing your monthly contribution whenever you get a raise. If you were recently promoted, you may be in a position to pay into both pre-tax and after-tax plans.

Depending on your employer, other savings products or plans may be available with pre-tax or after-tax customizability.

Develop a Retirement Budget

Reaching your retirement goals is much easier when your money is managed well. A key aspect of that is forecasting your future and budgeting around key areas.

  • Determine how much you will need in retirement, taking into account inflation, your lifestyle and state of residence, and post-retirement goals such as travel.
  • To plan for health care expenses, you can:
    • Visit the Eligibility & Enrollment page to learn about continuing your health plan into retirement and other useful information.
    • Visit the Retiree Plans & Rates page for information on retiree health premium rates and employer contributions.
  • Evaluate your risk and determine how much vehicle, home, or life insurance is needed.
  • Seek a qualified professional to assist with estate planning.

Avoid procrastination and start setting yourself up for a successful retirement today. By identifying retirement income sources, and developing a budget and sticking to it, you can improve your chances of a successful retirement from public service. After all, no one ever complains that they have too much money in retirement.