Avoid these common retirement mistakes!

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

Many state, county governement, and school employees are getting ready to retire.  Some are leaving early from DROP.  Here is a checklist so you can avoid some of the common mistakes others make:

  • Is your retirement paperwork in order?  Some forms have to be notarized by a notary public, so don’t just start signing!  Make copies before you mark on anything.
  • Have you filled out the Health Insurance Subsidy form and sent it in to the state?  You must do this after you retire.  
  • Did you fill out the Direct Deposit form online for your pension pay check?  If not, you could delay your first pension check.
  • 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 short-term IRA and start taking interest only payments or Guaranteed Income Payments? Do not take it all in a lump sum.  That is a mistake. Protect your DROP money from Uncle Sam and taxes.
  • Social Security –  When are you going to start your payments?  At age 62 or at full retirement age? Be careful of turning it on before your full retirement age if you plan to keep working.  There may be Social Security payout 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 plan to have a Supplement and Drug plan or do you want to explore a Medicare Advantage Plan? Do not have a gap in your insurance!
  • If you are younger than 65 and retiring:  Do you plan to stay on the state or county plan, since the ACA plans are few and not competitive.  You also should explore if you can go on your spouse’s plan if you are married.
  • 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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