Retirement Benefits

How Financially Savvy Are You?

No matter your age or career stage you can increase your financial confidence.

Level 1: Aware

Create a Plan

A great place to get started is our Planning Your Financial Future Checklist. We’ve gathered resources for creating a plan that will help you on your way to becoming financially secure. The checklist can prompt you to learn more about topics you’re interested in and consider new ways to save.

Develop a Budget

Once you’ve created a plan, you’ll want to know where your finances stand. A budget is the best way to determine how much money is coming and going out each month. While some people find spreadsheets helpful, be creative and find a method that works for you. You’ll be more likely to stick to it and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Take a CalPERS Class

The earlier you develop an understanding of your CalPERS benefits and other retirement income sources, the more prepared you’ll be to make informed career and life decisions. Our virtual, interactive, instructor-led, and self-paced online classes are based on your career stage, so you can find the one that works for you.

Level 2: Developing

Obtain Financial Guidance

A financial advisor can provide guidance on important decisions. They can be helpful by creating strategies for debt repayment or saving for long-term goals like buying a house and retirement. We offer a few tips for how to find a trustworthy financial advisor.

The CalHR Employee Assistance Program, available to active state employees, offers three 30-minute telephone consultations per year with a money coach. You can learn more about financial wellness and establish a plan to meet your financial goals.

Attend a CalPERS Benefits Education Event

We offer our CalPERS Benefits Education Events in-person and online! These classes give you the chance to chat face-to-face with our experts about your retirement and health benefits. All events are free and held throughout California. If you don’t see an event near you, bookmark our webpage and check back to discover when new events are added.

Gamify Your Experience

Make improving your knowledge fun by taking advantage of games and resources offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Their 14 animated tools are set up gameshow-style and focus on everyday financial topics like spending, saving, and borrowing.

Level 3: Confident

Access a CalPERS Webcast

Our webcasts are designed to help you better understand your CalPERS benefits. They focus on topics like service credit, how to obtain a retirement estimate, and how to apply for retirement.

Estimate Your Future Retirement Income

Understanding your potential future retirement income can help you determine if you’re on the right track or if you need to change your strategy. Use our Retirement Estimate Calculator and the Social Security Administration calculator best suited to your needs for a quick estimate. Remember to include any deferred compensations plans or other savings accounts you have.

Share Your Knowledge

As you become more confident in your financial capabilities, you can pass what you know on to your partner, friends, and the next generation. It can be especially helpful for women, who face a retirement savings gap, to discuss with their friends the steps they’ve taken toward financial security.

Tips for Everyone

These are good skills to practice on your journey:

  • Download your credit score once a year
  • Be aware of the latest financial scams
  • Shop around for financial products and services
  • Set achievable financial goals
  • Take a mindful approach to your finances