Avoid these common mistakes!

By Keith W. Young, Chairman of the DROP Advisory Council

Many government, county, and school employees are getting ready to retire this year.  Here is a checklist so you can avoid some of the common mistakes others make:

  • Is your retirement paperwork in order?
  • Have you filled out the Health Insurance Subsidy form and sent it in to the state?
  • Did you fill out the Direct Deposit form online to get your pension check on time?
  • Did you get all the right forms notarized – your DROP termination form and your DROP allocation form?
  • What are your plans with your DROP money?  Do you need some of it right away by opening a liquid IRA  or can you afford to put it into a longer-term IRA and start taking Guaranteed Income Payments for the rest of your life in four or five years? Do not take it all in a lump sum.  Protect it from immediate taxation.
  • Social Security –  Are you 66 (full retirement age) and turning on your Social Security?  Be careful of turning it on before age 66 because of tax consequences if you continue to work and take the benefit.
  • If you are 65 years and older: Have you signed up for Medicare A and Medicare B?  Do you have a Traditional Medicare “F” and Drug plan or are you getting a Medicare Advantage Plan? Do not get penalized for having a gap in your insurance coverage.
  • If you are younger than 65 and retiring:  Then, you will need to stay on the state or county plan, since the ACA plans are few and not competitive.  You also should explore going on your spouse’s plan or funding your insurance with a portion of your DROP money.
  • Do you have a retirement income and expense plan?  You should and then review it each year in retirement. Do you know your retirement income sources and how much you will need to spend down in retirement?
  • If you have not entered into DROP, do not cash in your FRS pension and put it in the Investment plan. Several advisors will recommend this so they can manage your money with higher fees than in the FRS Investment Plan.  Do not ruin your pension.

If you have any questions or you would like a complimentary income and expense plan, please give me a call at 682-230-2201 or email kyoung@dropadvisorycouncil.com.  We have DROP Advisory Council members throughout the state of Florida who can assist you.

Make your retirement dreams happen!

To schedule a meeting or if you have any questions, please contact the DROP Advisory Council by filling in the form below.

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