How to Prepare for Retirement at Any Age

November 2023
two smiling parents and their smiling child in a park with a basketball next to text that reads preparing for retirement

From the beginning of your career and continuing into retirement, VRS aims to provide you with a holistic financial planning experience. Here are some steps you can take at any stage to secure the future you imagine.

Early in Your Career: Build the Foundation

  1. Set yourself up for success. Use the VRS Member Guide to review action steps you can take now, like registering your myVRS account, to make the most of your VRS membership. You’ll also discover a host of resources available to help you learn more about your plan benefits.
  2. Access myVRS Financial Wellness through your myVRS account. Tap into a personalized library of articles, videos, quizzes and more to help you grow your financial knowledge. Explore popular topics like managing student loans and creating a budget.
  3. Save for major milestones. Try out the Saving for a Goal Calculator in myVRS Financial Wellness to assess how much you need to save to meet long-term goals like education, home ownership and retirement. Start the personalized course on saving for goals to learn more.
  4. Explore Hybrid Retirement Plan benefits. If you’re a hybrid plan member, check out a series of short, informative videos on the Hybrid Plan Learning Channel. Consider setting your voluntary contribution at 4% to maximize your 2.5% employer match, and use the Paycheck Calculator to determine how your contribution will affect your take-home pay.

Midway Through Your Career: Stay on Track

  1. Check your account details. Life and career milestones can affect your benefits. Self-service options in myVRS and Account Access for defined contribution accounts, if applicable, allow you to change your address, update beneficiaries and take other actions.
  2. Get organized. Take inventory of your belongings and vital documents to ensure your information is accessible to you and your loved ones when you need it. Use the Get Organizedguide to expedite the process.
  3. Pay down debt to save on interest and late fees and maintain or improve your credit score. Take the Getting Out of Debt course available through myVRS Financial Wellness to learn best practices.
  4. Revisit your goals and seek expert advice. Use your annual Member Benefit Profile to see if you’re on target to meet the recommended 80% of your income in retirement. Meet with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for a comprehensive view of your financial situation and your family’s overall financial wellness. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

If you have questions about any of your VRS benefits, visit the Education page to schedule a one-on-one counseling appointment with VRS or check out our live and on-demand webinars that cover various topics.

Near Retirement: Make the Final Preparations

  1. Estimate your retirement benefit with the myVRS Benefit Estimator. You can figure several retirement scenarios based on different benefit payout options. Plug in your results to the Retirement Planner to estimate your future income needs.
  2. Meet with a CFP expert to help you forge a path for reducing debt, budgeting, estate planning and more. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation or attend a live CFP webinar on retirement income planning.
  3. Use the Getting Ready to Retire Guideand VRS website. If you’re within a year of retirement, this guide provides essential information on the retirement process, including when and how to apply.

ICYMI: Check out these myVRS Financial Wellness resources we shared by email during National Retirement Security Month.