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Preparing to Retire - Important Information to Know

It is never too early to start planning for a financially secure retirement, so employees of any age or career stage may be interested in this information. However, employees within three to five years of retirement age may be particularly interested. You may wish to consult with a tax advisor or financial planner at this time for assistance with your planning strategy or reevaluating any financial goals. Employees retiring from the University should contact their campus Human Resources office for retirement process information.

Retiree Benefits - find answers to common questions and an overview of insurance and other benefits in retirement.

Medicare - view general information on Medicare Parts A, B, and D.

Important Considerations

How much money will I need when I retire?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an easy rule of thumb is that you'll need to replace 70 to 90 percent of your pre-retirement income. If you're making $50,000 a year (before taxes), you might need $35,000 to $45,000 a year in retirement income to enjoy the same standard of living you had before retirement. Think of this as your annual "cost" of retirement. The lower your income, generally the higher the portion of it you will need to replace. For more information, see the U.S. Department of Labor publication, A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future or contact a financial planner.

A number of online tools and calculators can help you estimate your retirement expenses:

  • SURS Benefit Estimator - Use the estimator to get a "ballpark figure" of your retirement benefit under differing scenarios. You will need an active SURS member account on the SURS website to launch the application. Registering for a new account requires your SURS Member ID (located on your SURS statement, mailed to your home). Please note that employees hired or rehired on or after 7/1/2005 will see $0 under the "Money Purchase" portion of their estimate, as this option was discontinued as of this date.
  • CNN Money Retirement Planner Calculator
  • American Savings Education Council's Ballpark Estimate of Retirement Needs
  • Fidelity - Select "Resources", then click "Tools and Calculators". Some require a Fidelity customer login.
  • TIAA - A number of tools and calculators are available. Some require a TIAA customer login.
  • T. Rowe Price - Select "Investment Guidance and Tools", and then click "Retirement Planning".

Am I eligible to make "Catch-Up" contributions to my supplemental retirement accounts?
If you are at least age 50 or have 15 years of service, you may be eligible for options to make catch-up contributions in both the 403(b) and 457 plans. See Contributions to the 403(b) Plan and State of Illinois 457 Deferred Compensation Plan for an explanation of catch-up contributions.

Additional Resources

Maintained by University Human Resources | Contact Information | Last Update: 31-March-2016 | ID: 3154