Fund Your Future with DRS

Fund Your Future with DRS

A large part of planning for the future starts with how you approach your finances today. Explore some of the basics of financial planning, tools for managing your money and ideas for sparking conversations with friends and family. Join Retirement System employees as they tackle the stigma around money and share their personal financial journeys.

Episodes

February 21, 2024 11 mins

If you're a member of more than one Washington state retirement system, you're a member of multiple systems - also known as a dual member. In this episode, we look at what you should be aware of when you're approaching retirement. Our guest is Wendy, a DRS team member, who explains some of the advantages of being a dual member.

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Did you know not all states manage pensions the same way? Washington state is 94% on track to meet the funding goals of pension plans. That rate is one of the highest in the country. Your pension is a guarantee. Our guest is Mitch from the Office of State Actuary who explains how pensions are funded in Washington in order to meet that guarantee.

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New legislation allows some employees to earn retirement service credit if their employment was interrupted by service in the US Military. Find out how this can increase your retirement benefit and why you shouldn't wait more than five years to report it. 

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January 9, 2024 26 mins

As a retired public employee, you have access to insurance options through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB). And when you retire at age 65 or more, you're required to enroll in Medicare. Find out more about Medicare and what options you have for a PEBB retiree health plan. Our guest is Ellen, from the Washington State Health Care Authority.

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Is your pension benefit taxed? The short answer is: yes. But there are a lot fewer deductions taken out of your pay in retirement. When you retire, you're no longer paying into programs like Medicare and FICA which could result in you seeing more money.

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December 6, 2023 31 mins

When it comes to preparing for retirement, women often face different challenges than men. Women tend to live longer but typically earn 21% less, often with fewer years of work due to caring for a child or elderly parent. Our guest is Catherine, a DRS team member who gives some insight on how women can be better prepared both financially and socially.

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November 21, 2023 21 mins

Upon divorce or separation, your monthly benefit is not subject to sharing or division unless it is court-ordered. If you are going though a separation, you can call DRS to find out what resources are available to you. Our guest is Kumano, a DRS team member who talks about common mistakes and misconceptions that can happen in this process.

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Deciding on healthcare can be one of the most important decisions you make — both when you're working and when you're a retiree on Medicare. Luckily, you have the option to change your plan during each fall open enrollment period. In 2024, costs for plans are changing. It's important to see if your current plan is still right for you. Our guest on the show is Dave from the Health Care Authority, who explains how these plans are str...

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October 25, 2023 14 mins
We continue to explore programs that can help you pay for medical expenses with pretax money. A Health Savings Account (HSA) has a higher deductible but has advantages for those with lower medical expenses. Our guest is Leanna from the Health Care Authority, who talks about the pros and cons of the program.
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Paying for healthcare can be expensive, but there is help. Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA) and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) allow you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to help pay for qualifying medical expenses. Our guest on the show is Kelsie from the Health Care Authority who explains the benefits of these programs.
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September 27, 2023 24 mins

The Deferred Compensation Program now offers pretax and Roth options. Both help you save more for retirement. We look at the difference between the two as well as your options for converting funds from pretax to Roth.

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September 6, 2023 16 mins

The amount of service credit you have has a direct impact to your retirement benefit. So, if you miss some credits because of maternity/paternity leave, National Guard service or taking a sabbatical, you have the option to restore that credit. In this episode, we discuss how service credit is accrued, how it affects your pension and how to see if you have missing credits.

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It can be frustrating to invest when the stock market is going down or sideways. Find out how to stay calm, invest for the long-run and take advantage of compound interest.

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August 2, 2023 20 mins

Your DCP funds are like a large savings account. When you retire, you have several options for how you can use that money. In this episode, we look at the options for taking money out of the account. One popular choice includes purchasing an annuity that will guarantee the funds last for your lifetime.

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A recent survey found that only 28% of women feel confident investing in the stock market. In our first ever book review, we discuss New York Times bestseller: "Financial Feminist" by Tori Dunlap. Tori's shame-free approach has helped over 3 million women feel financially confident.

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Some of the biggest decisions you'll make in retirement are around your health care. Luckily, the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) offer a free, unbiased service. Our guest Tim, explains how SHIBA volunteers help people of all ages and backgrounds with their Medicare questions and options.

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Paying off student loan debt can be challenging, but there's help. PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) is a program that can help you with debt. If you have federal student loans, you may be eligible to have those loans forgiven.   Our guest is Jessica from the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) with the PSLF program. She talks about how to qualify for loan forgiveness and common mistakes people make when applying for...
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Saving money for a child’s education can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The WA529 program allows families to set money aside where it will grow tax-free. Find out who can put money into the plan and how a child can use the money for a variety of educational expenses after high school. Some uses might surprise you such as books, housing and even rolling over funds to a Roth IRA.

We welcome our guests Luke and Jackie f...

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For most plans, you need to work at least 5 years as a state employee to qualify for a retirement plan. But what if you leave state service before then? Or leave, and return a few years later? In this episode, you’ll learn the different options you have for the money in your retirement account. We also look at the details of restoring service credit if you do decide to come back to work.   Our guest on the show is Nitia who works f...
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Having a financial advisor can help you plan for your future, especially after a major life event such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child. Learn the difference between a financial advisor and a money manager, and find out what questions you need to ask.   Our guest on the show is Bruce, who’s had a long career as a financial advisor and now works for DRS.
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