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Planning for Retirement
Although general retirement planning is beyond the scope of services offered by CSU-ERFA, we make available without charge a special planning tool to help CSU faculty members determine their optimum retirement date. (We also now offer a page of information on long-term care options.) The retirement planning program, which was developed by three of our colleagues at Cal State Fullerton - Herb Rutemiller, Gerry Marley, and Bill Heitzman, provides detailed estimates of retirement income from CalPERS, and Social Security for a range of ages that bracket the faculty member's target retirement date. The program allows the faculty member to include FERP income in retirement planning, and it provides estimates for all of the CalPERS retirement options.
In contrast to the retirement calculator available on the CalPERS website, which must be run repeatedly to compare options, the Rutemiller-Marley-Heitzman planning program that CSU-ERFA provides yields a detailed, 13-page analysis that allows for easy, side-by-side comparisons of all the various options.
To avail yourself of this service, just download and fill out one of the following forms:
Return the completed form to Herb Rutemiller at the address indicated on the form. Please allow 30 days to receive your retirement analysis. (Note that this is a free, non-commercial service provided by CSU-ERFA. All information is kept completely confidential.)
To illustrate the output from the program we have prepared a sample analysis for a fictitious, but fairly typical, California State University faculty member who is planning to retire in 2010. Jane Doe is a biology professor at one of the semester campuses. Her date of birth is April 28, 1950. She is married to John Doe who was born on May 16, 1949. Jane began her CSU employment on September 1, 1980. Jane's target retirement date is August 28, 2010. She has not used any sick leave so far, and her retirement estimates have been calculated on the assumption that she will have maximum credit for unused sick leave. Jane is estimating that her monthly salary will be $7,086 at retirement. She also is planning on working in the Faculty Early Retirement Program for at least a few years after she retires.
The following file shows Jane's basic retirement analysis for all CalPERS retirement options together with an explanation of each of the options, definitions of both "survivor" and "beneficiary", advice about the selection of retirement date, and other pertinent information. Note that unless Jane is planning on teaching during the summer of 2010, she might do better to retire immediately after the spring 2010 semester. The second file is a standard disclaimer.
The next file provides a detailed analysis of Jane's benefits for a range of retirement dates bracketing her target retirement date. The analysis includes an estimate of her CalPERS retirement benefit, her monthly average FERP salary, and an estimate of her Social Security income. Since Jane will only be 60.25 years old on her target retirement date, she will not be eligible for Social Security at that time. However, if she stays in FERP for two or more years, she would be able to draw Social Security benefits when she leaves FERP, and by reading down the table she can get an estimate of what her Social Security benefit would be at the time she leaves FERP. Note also that the monthly FERP salary has been annualized. If Jane teaches only one semester per year while in FERP, she will receive her FERP salary in six monthly payments rather than 12.
Similar detailed analyses (not shown) are provided for each of the other CalPERS retirement options. The output also includes a summary of the rules governing FERP. Since Jane is planning on entering FERP, we include those for information purposes.
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