March 2021 Proactive newsletter

Proactive newsletter
Proactive newsletter

March 2021 – Messages from your Retirement System

Anthony Estell

From Anthony's Desk

Notes from ORS Director Anthony Estell

Welcome to the 2021 spring edition of the Proactive newsletter.

You may have noticed that a common theme in many of the communications you receive from the Michigan Office of Retirement Services and Voya Financial asks you to be an active participant in your retirement plans. Regardless of your age or the stage in your professional career, we want you to keep looking ahead, often decades, and adjust for a secure and comfortable retirement.

With people on average living longer, the fluctuating costs of medicine, and many other uncertainties, it is never too soon to have a plan and educate yourself on the details of your retirement benefits.

In this edition of the Proactive newsletter, we expand on the importance of saving for your retirement and touch on options that might be available to you. We share some ideas on staying active while working from home, even if only in small ways. And we briefly discuss the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

We hope you enjoy it.

Anthony Estell

Anthony Estell, director

Saving for retirement

Save now for your future retirement

The past year cast a bright light on the importance of being prepared for unexpected events.

The earlier you start saving and investing in a retirement account, the better prepared you will be for your retirement. This extra time allows for greater financial growth, reduced income taxes, and financial freedom.

Contributing to your employer’s tax-deferred saving account and saving in an emergency fund or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) are great ways to prepare for retirement. You’ll be prepared for unforeseen events, become retirement ready, maintain the standard of living enjoyed while working, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Whether you’re in the Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution, Pension Plus, or Pension Plus 2 plans, contributions to a deferred account, budgeting, and personal savings are important to providing your retirement income. The Michigan Office of Retirement Services and Voya Financial make it easy for members to save and create the retirement future they want. The compounded interest from these accounts, where the initial amount you invest and the interest it generates grows over time, creates more income.

Start saving, keep saving, and stick to your goals for your future retirement.

Seniors walking

Stay active while working from home

We are all in our homes a bit more these days, which makes it easy to fall into a more physically relaxed lifestyle. Telecommuting has many benefits, but for some, it may present a challenge to the level of fitness they maintained while working away from home. To combat the negative effects of becoming sedentary, it is important to incorporate physical activities into our daily routines.

There are a variety of easy ways to do this, whether you are in the middle of your workday at home or enjoying personal time. Not only is it important to keep moving for your physical health but staying active can also help curb anxiety and stress.

One simple tip to help you get some steps in is to set a timer on your phone for a scheduled morning or afternoon walk.

A few other ways to stay active include:

  • Hopping on a stationary bike while you read or watch the evening news.
  • Using a treadmill or stationary bike while watching your favorite television program.
  • Taking a walk around the block while listening to a podcast or audiobook.
  • Parking farther away from the entrance when shopping for groceries or visiting the mall.
  • Using an under-the-desk mini pedal machine to keep your legs active.

Perhaps one of these activities will inspire you to get moving again. If you have been inactive for a long period or have health concerns, remember to check with your health care provider before engaging in any new physical activity.

Federal Student Aid logo

President approves pause on federal student loan interest and payments

On Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to extend the pause on interest and payments for federal student loans through Sept. 30, 2021. This extension set the interest rates to 0%, suspended loan payments, and stopped collection on any defaulted loans.

Are you enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program? If so, each month of the pause will count as a payment.

For more information visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website.

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