Retired California Game Warden

Retirement Planning

Although you may not realize it, you should start your retirement planning the day you start work. If you wait till you have 28-30 years of service, you may not be able to afford the retirement you want. Yes, you will have a good state retirement with medical benefits, etc…,
but will you have the funds to have a fun filled retirement? 

Therefore, your first step toward retirement planning should be to set up your Roth IRA and then set up your 401 or 457 personal retirement program. If you don’t know how to do it, click on the appropriate link below. The real key to a successful retirement is to live at  the retirement level when you are working so that you don’t have to cut back to afford retirement. If you plan on a 90% retirement, then you should invest a minimum of 10% of your salary into your 457 or 401 while you are working.

If you do follow the advise of the experts and put money into the 401 and or 457 plans, you still need to know how to take it out to spend it as well as how to pass it on when you die to the persons you want to have it without giving it all away to the taxman. Therefore, you need to read the book, “Your Complete Retirement Planning Road Map,” by Ed Slott. You will not find a better author who can spell out what you need to do, step by step, from rolling funds over properly after you retire, to how to skip generations if you wish to leave the funds to the grandkids, etc… If you follow his advise, you and your family will benefit, not the taxman. That’s why we put our money into a deferred account in the first place, right, to defeat the taxman?

Here is a payout calculator for a Roth account.

It will show you how long your nest egg will last at a fixed take out each. For example, if you think you will live for 30 years and that the account is earning 2% interest and that you estimate inflation to be 3%, put those numbers into the calculator with the amount you have in your current Roth Account. You will be surprised at how it will pay out. Or should I say, how much you need in there to pay out something like $4,000 to $5,000 per month over the next 30 years. For example, with the above numbers, you would need about $2,000.000 in a Roth for that kind of pay out.

Just for fun, to see what your existing retirement plan is worth, plug in some numbers to see what it would take to give you the same payout over the next 40 years.

Keep in mind that you don’t get to decide how much you want to take out of your 401.  The government has set a minimum amount to take out so that you have it all out within about 25 years.

Thought provoking retirement issues

Disclaimer: As a former DFG Employee, I have gone through the retirement process and am sharing my personal thoughts and experiences.
Yours may be different, but hopefully, this information will be of value to you. Don’t hesitate to contact CalPers or your Human Resources office for assistance.

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