When contemplating retirement, what items should I consider?

Deciding when to retire is a life altering decision with many items to consider.

Financial security is a large part of the decision. 

Are you Social Security eligible? 

  • Under the federal Social Security System, you can retire at age 62, however, there are financial reductions if you retire before your specific “age of retirement.”  The “age of retirement” for federal Social Security is based on your birthdate.
  • If you retire before your “age of retirement” there is an amount of earnings you are allowed before it impacts your Social Security.
  • The federal Social Security Administration can provide you with the information specific to you.

Are you Medicare eligible?

  • Most individuals are required to enroll in Medicare at age 65.
  • If you are receiving Social Security benefits, the cost of Medicare Part B will be deducted from your Social Security benefit.
  • If you do not receive Social Security or you do not receive enough Social Security benefit to cover the cost of Medicare, you will be billed for Medicare Part B.  Some retirees are bills quarterly and some monthly.
  • If you are not Medicare eligible or not of age to receive Medicare, what is the cost of health care coverage?  Your health care coverage may be through your former employer or you may need to enroll in a health care plan through the market.

What will be your MainePERS pension?

  • Your MainePERS pension is determined by your years of service, the average of your highest three years of earnings and your age.
  • MainePERS has different percentage reductions in your benefit if you have not reached the retirement age of your plan.
  • You can contact MainePERS for your specific information and estimated benefit amounts.







How will my retirement decisions affect my spouse?

What the impact of your retirement on your spouse depends on many factors.  Some of the factors to evaluate are:

  • Does your spouse have their own employer sponsored pension?
  • Is your spouse eligible or in receipt of federal Social Security Retirement Benefits? Federal Social Security Disability Benefits?
  • Is your spouse eligible or will be eligible for Medicare based on their own employment history?

The answer to each of these questions will lead you into a different direction.

For example:  Your spouse is also a public service retire with a MainePERS pension, eligible for employer sponsored Medicare Advantage program and are not eligible for federal Social Security benefits, your retirement will have little financial impact on your spouse.

Another example:  Your spouse has had very little employment history, a very small federal Social Security benefit (under $100 per month), and is not, on their own, eligible for Medicare.  Their eligibility for Medicare is tied to your work history and their financial security is based on your MainePERS pension.

In a case such as above, choosing a MainePERS pension option which distributes a larger portion to your spouse on your passing may be a valid option.  Evaluating the cost of dependent care through your employer’s Medicare Advantage program may be necessary to determine is the cost is doable with your pension benefit.

Each situation has to be individually evaluated depending of your circumstance. There is NO one answer.