PROactive Spring 2018 Newsletter

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Spring 2018 - Messages from your Retirement System

Director Kerrie Vanden Bosch

From Kerrie's Desk

Notes from ORS Director Kerrie Vanden Bosch

Physical fitness may have been your focus at the beginning of the year, but how’s your financial fitness? Spring is here, so it’s the perfect time to shape up your finances.


Financial fitness is as important as other aspects of your life, including your physical and emotional well-being. As you progress on your journey toward retirement, it’s important to regularly check on your finances. At the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) we want you to take action and balance your priorities so you’re on the right path to a secure retirement.


What are some steps you can take to flex your financial muscles? You can set aside money for emergencies. If you have a 401(k) and/or 457 plan you can increase your contributions by logging in to your Voya Financial® account. You can also expand your financial knowledge by attending financial planning and retirement events in your area. Voya® offers retirement and investment seminars, webinars, and one-on-one appointments for those in the Defined Contributions and Pension Plus plans. Go to Voya’s website and select the State of Michigan or Public School Employees Seminar Schedule for details. ORS also provides meetings to educate State of Michigan or Public School Defined Benefit members on important points to consider before retiring. Go to our website to learn more and to register for a meeting.


At ORS we want to encourage you to take the steps you need to realize your goals. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tools and articles to build up your financial fitness. Also, remember you can always use the Message Board in miAccount to get answers to your specific retirement account questions. 


What is your next step to becoming financially fit?

What Are You Going to do With Your Tax Dollars?


Chances are your paycheck grew a little in February. That’s due to the 2017 tax reform legislation that took effect earlier this year. This reform lowered tax rates and changed income thresholds for most working people. A lower tax rate means less money withheld from your paycheck and more take-home pay.


It’s easy to see that money in your check and make big plans to spend it. But there’s probably a better way to budget that money. The small steps you take with this money can help create big plans in the future.


One step you can take is increasing your contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement savings accounts. If you want to make sure you’re saving enough, there are plenty of resources available to help you plan for retirement. For example, National Retirement Planning Week runs from April 9-13 with events nationwide to help consumers focus on saving for retirement. Visit their website for details and events.


Another step to a secure future is ensuring you have an emergency savings fund. According to data from the Federal Reserve, 44 percent of adults say they could not cover a $400 financial emergency without having to borrow money or sell something. Starting a savings account now will put you in a better position for handling future emergencies. One tip: Deposit money into an account that can’t be easily touched so you’re not tempted to spend that money on non-emergency expenses.

If your take-home pay increased due to the recent tax reform legislation, find a way to make that money work for you. It’s easier to put this money aside since you haven’t been using it for living expenses. For assistance on your own financial situation, seek advice from a reputable tax advisor to help you save for your retirement.

How to Save Money Today for a Secure Tomorrow


“Save money? That’s easy for some people, but I live paycheck to paycheck!” Financial fitness isn’t always a priority when you feel like your money is gone as soon as you get it.


A recent report by the National Institute on Retirement Security found that 66 percent of working millennials (born between 1981 and 1991) have nothing saved for retirement. Unfortunately, they’re not alone. Many people find it challenging to set money aside for retirement when they need to cover day-to-day expenses.


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has a website that can help you on your path to financial stability. They have online tools to help you track and manage your money, set goals, and plan for your future.

Gaining control of your finances now will help lead you to a more secure retirement.