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Retirement Financial Security -- Will You Be Able to Live the Retirement of Your Dreams?

Although they are solid sources of retirement income, your WRS pension and Social Security benefits might fall short of your needs and wants, or living the retirement of your dreams. That’s why you need a “third leg of the retirement income stool” (i.e., personal savings).

The Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program is a supplemental retirement savings program that may help. The WDC is available to state and university employees. Local government and school district employees may also be eligible if their employers offer this optional benefit.

Growing your retirement savings is easy with the WDC because it’s easy (paycheck deduction), inexpensive (comparatively low fees) and lowers your taxable income with tax-deferred investments. Pre-tax (Roth) options are also available.

“Now in retirement, my estimated retirement income from the WDC is two thirds of my state pension,” said WDC participant Rick Donovan, who worked for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for more than 27 years and recently retired. “I believe that the younger you start the better, but it is never too late to start contributing. I personally like the Roth option, because I like paying my taxes upfront.” Read about Rick’s experience in MoneyTalks, a newsletter for WDC participants.

How can you build your own three-legged retirement income stool?

  1. Enroll in the WDC (if available) or investigate another supplemental retirement savings program. Use the WDC’s new online tool to schedule an appointment with a local WDC representative.
  2. Increase the amount you defer to your WDC account. It may not be easy, but putting aside even a few extra dollars each month can make a significant difference in your future income. Need convincing? Play with this compound interest calculator and read up on the power of compound earnings.
  3. Create your mySocial Security account and find out more about your potential benefit amount, options.
  4. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Here’s a fun video to teach you how in six easy steps.
  5. Take advantage of helpful online ETF resources available to you through the EMPOWER campaign – you’ll find articles, research papers, brochures, helpful checklists, quick worksheets, videos and much more.