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  • Pension planning professional?

    I spent over 20 years in the private sector before making my jump to law enforcement a couple of years ago.

    In my previous career I did a fairly good job of retirement planning by maxing out my 401(k) and making effective use of matching contributions from my employers. I'm not especially smart in these matters, but early on I recognized the importance of using a trusted professional to advise me.

    Now I'm in a whole different world for retirement planning and I'm still trying to totally understand how to effectively plan my pension. Since I have much fewer years until retirement than all of my fellow rookies, I feel the need to be especially smart about this. I've reached out to the state retirement board folks but on the rare occasion I actually reach a real person, they're not exactly helpful. And my regular financial planner, while a good guy, doesn't have a great deal of experience in the pension world.

    Has anyone found a financial planner that specializes in pension planning? If so, how did you find them? Googling and talking to my fellow officers has come up with nothing so far.

  • #2
    What state?
    Now go home and get your shine box!

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    • #3
      This stuff is usually dealt with at the State level. They manage the pension fund, you don’t.

      *unless you get elected to the Board of Trustees.
      semper destravit

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      • #4
        If any of you are Knights of Columbus, you can turn to your Insurance Field Agent for advice; mine helped me.
        #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
        Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
        RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
        Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
        "Smile" - no!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
          What state?
          Wisconsin

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RGDS View Post
            This stuff is usually dealt with at the State level. They manage the pension fund, you don’t.

            *unless you get elected to the Board of Trustees.
            I do understand that. However, I have questions about things like how I can calculate an approximate retirement date, if there are things I can do that may impact my pension or other retirement benefits (like the impact of accumulated and unused sick leave), etc.

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            • #7
              The administrator for the retirement,( PERS in CA), should be able to answer that question.
              Now go home and get your shine box!

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              • #8
                Before most state governments award a 401k/457 contract to a company, they usually seek competative bids that ensure whoever wins the awards charges the least maintenance fees; offers professional investment advice; offers packages of low risk, good paying investments; has a website available to explain the risks and potentials of each package in such a manner that an 8 year old can understand them; and has investment counselors available by phone to help guide you through the process.

                You might want to take at your state investment group's webpage. I'm betting much of what you are seeking can be found there or if not, the phone number to speak with their investment counselors.

                I know nothing about stocks, but using my state's 401k/457 website 20 years ago I was able to set myself up quite well.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                • #9
                  I've attempted contact with the state pension board retirements coordinators multiple times and was only able to talk to a real person once. That person basically told me to wait for my annual statement and call back, which I got it in April and haven't been able to reach a real human there since.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RGDS View Post
                    This stuff is usually dealt with at the State level. They manage the pension fund, you don’t.

                    *unless you get elected to the Board of Trustees.
                    This^ A public pension generally works like this: you get paid, they take money out of your check, add it to a pension fund, throw in some tax dollars and sit on it for 20+ years and voila, you get a percentage of your pay when retire. You, the employee/pensioner, have little to no say in how that money is managed.

                    What exactly are you trying to manage?
                    I make my living on Irish welfare.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by orangebottle View Post

                      I do understand that. However, I have questions about things like how I can calculate an approximate retirement date, if there are things I can do that may impact my pension or other retirement benefits (like the impact of accumulated and unused sick leave), etc.
                      I've attempted contact with the state pension board retirements coordinators multiple times and was only able to talk to a real person once

                      HR minions generally don't like getting random cold calls from people requesting information on their annuity and retirement date, but often they do have a bureaucratic process in place to provide information to employees close to retirement. I would ask HR how to get a Retirement Benefits Estimate completed, which would lay out annuity eligibility date, benefits, estimated leave balance, all that stuff. One thing to remember though- the estimate may not be available until three years prior to eligibility, probably because they don't think it's worth the time and effort figuring out the benefit package for someone with 14 years left to work....
                      What a long strange trip its been.

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                      • #12
                        Also, finding a financial planner who specializes in pension planning may be like finding a VCR repairman....easier said than done because pensions in 2019 are about as rare as VCRs....
                        What a long strange trip its been.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by orangebottle View Post

                          I do understand that. However, I have questions about things like how I can calculate an approximate retirement date, if there are things I can do that may impact my pension or other retirement benefits (like the impact of accumulated and unused sick leave), etc.
                          Your state pension plan has people who can direct you to proper resources. As you have stated you have TRIED this, I would talk to someone in your agency who has or is close to retirement to see what they say.

                          For Wisconsin public employees I am seeing by using a short google search the following website which I dug into and found this link
                          https://etf.wi.gov/retirement

                          It contains a number of retirement calculators for various scenarios as well as retirement planning information


                          My state pension agency has a calculator on their website that you can plug numbers into and get an estimate (I did my several times for a couple years before I retired and the results were pretty close to what I actually ended up receiving )

                          Our pension agency was extremely helpful when I was getting ready for retirement They also put on a number of planning sessions around the state where they encourage people to attend starting around 10yrs, then 5 yrs prior to anticipated retirement. THEN the encourage a 1 yr prior and a 6 months prior to retirement in person review of the package at the home office in Des Moines where they will print out various scenarios based on your history


                          You should ask them (pension agency) about the possible effects of the Windfall Elimination Provision on Social Security benefits in your situation



                          I find that the people at Edward Jones are pretty knowledgeable
                          Last edited by Iowa #1603; Yesterday, 10:04 AM.
                          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                          • #14
                            Most financial planners are just sales reps trying to get your money. Spend 100/200 bucks and buy a bunch of books on retirement planning off of Amazon and figure it out on your own. You are your best advocate.

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