Click the button below to schedule an appointment with Retirement Services or to attend a retirment planning workshop.
Retirement Services are provided by the Employee Benefits and Risk Management Section of the Office for Human Resources and Educator Quality. The purpose of Retirement Services is to assist employees with planning and preparing for a successful transition from an active employee to retirement. Our goal is to provide employees the tools and resources needed to plan and prepare for retirement while employed with Pasco County Schools.
When you log in, you will be connected to your custom home page where you can print your current estimate or create an estimate based on a future retirement date or age at retirement. You will need your FRS PIN to access your account. If you do not have your PIN, you may request your PIN through the PIN reminder process at http://www.myfrs.com/changePin.htm.
Each year the Office for Human Resources and Educator Quality hosts an Annual Retirement Planning Fair designed to help employees plan and prepare for retirement. The retirement fair features representatives who are available to answer questions and talk to employees about the Florida Retirement System, MidAmerica Special Pay Plan and 403(b) Investment Plans.
Employees within five years of retirement are encouraged to attend the annual retirement fair.
Retirement Services will host monthly workshops during the school year that are subject oriented and will provided detail retirement information specific to Pasco County Schools. The Workshops will boost your Retirement IQ on the following retirement topics and better prepare you for retirement:
Employees needing additional assistance after attending the annual retirement fair or one of the monthly workshops may schedule an appointment to meet one-to-one with a Retirement Services staff member. Employees should complete the following before scheduling an appointment:
The FRS offers valuable support to help you make informed decisions about your personal retirement goals. You can receive free, confidential and unbiased retirement and financial planning services online, by phone or even in person via workshops.
The free MyFRS Financial Guidance Line is staffed by experienced, unbiased financial planners who are available to discuss any issue you think is important to your financial future. Retirement counselors are also available to discuss Pension Plan issues or questions.
The MyFRS.com website is your gateway to a host of tools and information about the FRS Pension Plan and Investment Plan. The user-friendly and easy to navigate website is a place you should visit frequently. The site includes:
Depending on which retirement plan you elected, the ADVISOR SERVICE gives you access to a host of important retirement planning information. Call the toll free MyFRS Financial Guidance Line, select Option 2 and a financial planner will assist you.
The most common reason employees give for not investing or planning for their future is that they do not have any available money. What they fail to realize is that the financial planning process may actually identify ways to free up funds to meet defined goals and objectives. A great way to start this process is to contact one of the Board approved investment companies to schedule an appointment with a representative.
All regularly scheduled employees are eligible to contribute to a 403(b), 457(b) and/or Roth 403(b) plan through payroll deductions. If you participate in a voluntary retirement savings plan, you are fully vested in your contributions and earnings at all times. Once you are ready to establish a 403(b), 457(b) and/or Roth 403(b) account, you should research the authorized investment provider companies and investment products available to you. Choose an investment product(s) that is suitable to help you meet your retirement goals and contact an Investment Provider Representative to open an account. You many only choose from the list of investment provider companies approved the Pasco County Schools.
Mutual Funds are a group of assets (typically stocks, but can be bonds and other assets) that you can purchase by pooling money with other investors (i.e. VTSAX). Mutual Funds allow for easy diversification because when you buy the fund you are buying all of the stocks or bonds that fall within that fund. Though, they are usually actively managed by fund managers, which leads to higher costs.
ETFs and Index Funds are groups of assets (typically stocks, but can be bonds and other assets) that you can purchase by pooling money with other investors (i.e. SCHX). ETFs and Index Funds allow for easy diversification because when you buy the fund you are buying all of the stocks or bonds that fall within that fund. These funds typically mirror various markets and established indices (like the S&P 500) without active management.
The major difference between index funds and ETFs is that index funds are traded like mutual funds – not throughout the day like stocks and bonds, but only at the end of the trading day. ETFs trade throughout the day, like stocks. They can be bought and sold any time (however actively trading ETFs is usually recommended).
Are a form of debt. You can invest in bonds either individually or through ETFs and various funds. Bonds offer a lower return (in late 2018, about 2-3% annual) and are safer investments than stocks (you will get paid unless the underlying entity behind the bond defaults).
Advisors can use a variety of fee structures. To keep it simple and avoid conflicts of interest, focus on fee-only advisors. They don’t get commissions for selling products.
“Make sure it’s fee-only — those particular words,” says Alice Finn, founder of Power House Assets and author of “Smart Women Love Money,” a guide to investing. (Some of the questions here are from her book.)
Fee-only advisors might charge a percentage of the assets they manage for you (1% is common), a flat fee for services or an hourly fee. If cost is a concern, you may want to go with a low-fee robo-advisor or an online planning service like those mentioned above.
In addition to paying the advisor, you’ll face other fees — and you’ll want to know what they are. Fees can decimate your savings over time. A NerdWallet analysis found that a 1% mutual-fund fee could cost millennials $590,000 in retirement savings. “You can lose half your net worth without even knowing it,” Finn says. “You want to be vigilant.”
Financial professionals can have a confusing list of initials behind their names. And whether a finance professional goes by “investment advisor” or has the CFP designation, it’s your job to vet them. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s professional designations database will tell you what they mean; if there are any education requirements; if anyone accredits the designation; whether there’s a published list of disciplinary actions; and if you can check professional status.
Put another way: How much access will you have to the advisor? You want to know how often you’ll meet and whether she’s available for phone calls or emails outside of scheduled appointments. (Learn more about what financial advisors do and what you can expect from the relationship.)
It’s important to ensure you have the same investment philosophy. Here’s why: “You have to believe in what they’re doing to stick with it,” Finn says. “When financial advisors really do their job is when the market is down and they can convince you to stick to the same page,” she says, so you don’t sell at the bottom of a market cycle. It’s also important to make sure you and your advisor align on investment style. For example, if socially responsible investing is important to you, you may want to ask whether or not your advisor will be able to help you create a portfolio that aligns with your values.
» Want to invest ethically? Learn about impact investing
Also ask: Who are your typical clients? Find an advisor who is used to a situation like yours and able to help you meet your goals.
You’ve heard how important it is to be diversified, right? Your asset allocation is how you create a diversified portfolio. “It drives most of your returns,” Finn says. “You don’t want someone who is just going to pick U.S. large-company stocks,” Finn says. Your portfolio should include domestic and international stocks, and small-, mid- and large-cap companies.
Advisors should use benchmarks that directly relate to what they’re invested in, or be able to explain why they don’t. Some managers will use a “straw-man benchmark,” Finn says. For example, the advisor says: “My goal is to beat the Standard & Poor’s 500.” But if that advisor is investing in a diversified portfolio beyond simply large-cap U.S. companies, that benchmark is a mismatch. “Over time they should beat the S&P 500 because they’re taking on more risk,” Finn says.
Ideally, your financial advisor has hired an independent custodian, such as a brokerage, to hold your investments, rather than act as his or her own custodian — à la Bernie Madoff, the notorious financial advisor who defrauded clients through a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. That provides an important safety check. “If I send my clients performance information … and it tells them how much I say is in their account, they can go online any minute and double-check,” Finn says.
This helps ensure the advisor has your tax bill in mind when making financial decisions. And asking about taxes and fees is a way to explore what your estimated net return might be. “What you want to know is: What do you get to keep after fees and after taxes?” Finn says.
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