Welcome to the summer issue of the ProActive newsletter.

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In this issue

Summer 2019 - Messages from your Retirement System

Director Kerrie Vanden Bosch

From Kerrie's Desk

Notes from ORS Director Kerrie Vanden Bosch

The beauty of a Michigan summer is finally upon us. As we enjoy more hours of sunlight, we may have extra energy to focus on our futures, imagine possibilities, create plans, and take the necessary steps to implement them.


The slower pace of summer is a good time to do a mid-year financial check-up to evaluate the health of your retirement and emergency funds. Regular check-ups are good for both your financial and physical health. When you have your annual physical checkup, your doctor asks you a series of questions to determine the status of your health. You can evaluate the status of your financial health by checking the balances of your 401(k), 457, or 403(b) statements. You may find that it’s time to increase your contributions to your retirement account and perhaps your beneficiary information needs to be updated as well.


As you evaluate where you are right now on your road to retirement, consider what you want your retirement to look like. What are your plans for your future? What financial goals do you have in mind that you want to accomplish? Will your home be paid off when you retire? The answers to these questions will help determine whether you are saving enough right now to generate the income you’ll need to live on when you retire.


The more you think about your life goals and what it takes to accomplish them, the further ahead you’ll be. It’s never too early to plan for the retirement you want.

stats prepared

Prepare now for retirement

According to a February 2019 study by GOBankingRates, Michigan is third on the list of the most economical places for retiree living. Mississippi came in first and Oklahoma was second. 


Michigan scored well due, in part, to having the cheapest overall annual grocery bill in the U.S. Additionally, Michigan’s housing costs are among the 10 cheapest in America. The estimated yearly expenditure for a Michigan retiree household of two people is $40,586. This figure doesn’t account for expenses beyond the necessities.


In a separate May 2019 study to determine each state’s average cost for a “comfortable” retirement, GOBankingRates considered average expenditures for groceries, healthcare, housing, and transportation. An additional 20% was then added to provide a buffer for the comfort factor. The research found Michigan retirees would need just over $55,000. Comparatively, those in Mississippi would need the least at approximately $53,000 and Hawaii retirees would need the most at close to $118,000.


That’s good news for Michigan. However, workers still need to be proactive and take the proper steps to financially prepare for retirement. Many Americans are not doing so. In 2018, GOBankingRates reported that 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 in retirement savings. Whether you are in your twenties or your sixties, a solid savings plan is essential during each phase of your career.


At the Michigan Office of Retirement Services (ORS), we understand that retirement is a journey – and we’re here to help you along yours.


Public school employees with a defined benefit plan can visit ORS miAccount to review years of service, get pension estimates, submit a retirement application, or communicate electronically with ORS staff. If you have a defined contribution component, contact Voya Financial to get account-specific saving and investment advice to determine if you are on the right track to retiring on your terms. Regardless of your age, now is the time to prepare for retirement.


ORS launches mobile app

ORS has released the MiORS mobile app. Now you can access your retirement account information anywhere that mobile data is available.


Primarily designed for members in the MIP, Basic, and Pension Plus plans, the MiORS app makes it convenient to check your retirement account, update your address, request forms, upload documents, and more.


Download the MiORS mobile app on your mobile phone from either the App Store (Apple) or the Google Play store (Android). Tap on the icon to open the appropriate app store and, in the search bar, type “MiORS Mobile App.” When the download is complete, log in to the mobile app using the same username and password as you use to log in to miAccount on your computer or tablet.


If you don’t remember your log in, or if you’ve never created an account, go to michigan.gov/orsmiAccount and use the buttons to get started. While there, you can also view the helpful e-learning module Getting Started in miAccount.