The National Association of State Information Resource Executives (NASIRE) has recognized ten systems for outstanding achievement in the field of information technology. The awards are given annually to those systems that have made an important contribution to the operation of state government. NASIRE President, Carolyn Purcell (TX) stated, "Once again, NASIRE Awards Committee members had to make some hard choices to decide among the 50 entries for these excellence awards. Clearly, state governments are in the vanguard of the innovative use of technology to meet citizens' growing expectations."
Among this year's winners are initiatives that standardized risk assessments of planned and ongoing information technology projects; coordinated tracking and management of statewide disaster situations and recovery services; utilized electronic data interchange to eliminate the use of paper-based invoicing and payment; automated social services program areas, from child protection to juvenile services; provided local law enforcement up-to-date information on adult parolees and the ability to monitor them; and provided convenient, 24-hour access to jury service information for potential jurors. Some nominees were recognized for leading the way in the implementation of digital signatures; for providing consumer and business services over the Internet; for re-engineering information technology purchasing; and for implementing one of the nation's most comprehensive fiber optic-based networks, connecting radio and television stations, libraries, schools, universities and state agencies.
How Do I Prepare For Retirement
Retirement brings with it many dramatic, across-the-board changes. In addition to a radically altered daily schedule, you may also find yourself contemplating a move to a different climate or home, deciding what activities will now occupy your time, and evaluating responses to changing physical characteristics. As you near that last day at the office, you should also be making decisions that will determine your post-retirement finances.
The first step in getting your financial house in order as you plan to retire is to anticipate your expenses and calculate what you will need for support. Once you calculate the amount of income will be required to support yourself during retirement, you will then need to determine the amounts and sources of your post-retirement funding. Post-retirement insurance needs will also need to be addressed.
Finance is of paramount importance through retirement & therefore consideration must be given to the affordability of any existing mortgages or other debts when a drop in income is imminent. Mortgages into retirement are increasing common. Therefore, ascertain whether the liabilities can be transferred onto an interest only lifetime mortgage basis. Such schemes can be recommended by specialists who can help you spread out the repayments through retirement and ease the financial burden.
Should you wish to rid yourself of any monthly payments altogether then alternative funding options are required. Caution should always be exercised & qualified advice sought beforehand. However, with tools available such as an equity release calculator programme you can establish how much can be released against the value of your property.
There are various other methods to look at when it comes down to financial situations. Payday loans is one of these well known short term financial problem methods aswell as payroll companies. Payroll companies offer a combination of services custom to what it is your business needs most.
Step 1: Determine your anticipated post-retirement income & expenses
As a rule of thumb, it’s estimated that you’ll need about 75% of your current gross monthly income during your retirement to maintain your lifestyle. If you anticipate exceptional health needs or have plans for activities, e.g. travel, that will require extra money, factor those items in as well. If you have specific estate planning goals, you’ll also want to take them into account.
Don’t forget to factor in inflation. Assuming a 3% rate of inflation, $50,000 will be worth $48,500 next year and $36,871 in ten years. The result, a substantial hit to your "nest egg".
Step 2: Make decisions related to sources of your post-retirement funds
After completing Step 1 above, you should have a good idea regarding what funds you will need and when you will need them. Because there are many choices to be made related to the timing of the receipt and amount of your post-retirement funds, it is important to consider all of your options carefully.
Social Security benefits. One source of income most of us expect is Social Security benefits. Your benefit will depend on your age and average income over your best 35 years before retirement. If you elect to begin receiving benefits at age 62, the amount will be decreased by 5/9 of 1% for each month between the time payments begin and the date on which you reach 65. Generally, the longer you expect to live, the wiser it is to delay payments until age 65.
Retirement plan funds. Other important decisions involve your retirement savings plans, such as IRAs. Should you take a lump sum distribution, roll your account balances over, take periodic distributions, or just leave everything where it is? The answers to these questions depend on your age, financial needs, and estate planning goals, as well as tax considerations. Before you decide, find out what your plans permit or require in the way of distributions and naming beneficiaries.
If a plan permits, you may elect to take a lump sum distribution or roll your account balance into another plan. A rollover results in no current taxation and is unaffected by your age. A lump sum payment means you get control over your funds but pay tax on the full amount. If you were at least 50 years old by January 1, 1986, you may make a special election to have the ordinary income portion of your distribution taxed at 1986 rates and averaged over a 10-year period, with the capital gains portion taxed at 20%.
If your plan allows, you may also have your benefits distributed as an annuity. Again, your decision will depend on your needs and tax costs. An annuity provides you with a steady income for your lifetime, but is not a good choice if you'll need large amounts at some later date.
If you don’t currently need the money, you should compare the income tax consequences if your retirement funds are distributed during your retirement against the estate tax results if your retirement funds go directly into your estate.
Another consideration: If you’re at least 70, when you retire, you may be required to start taking distributions from certain plan(s). The IRS has just published new rules for calculating the amounts of these required minimum distributions. Based on your anticipated financial requirements, you may wish to take only the minimum distribution or you may elect to receive larger distributions.
Step 3: Consider post-retirement insurance needs
For many of us who have been employees for years, it is hard to imagine not having our basic insurance needs covered. However, as you prepare to retire, it is very important that you realize that your insurance is now your responsibility and that you have made the proper provisions.
Health & dental insurance. It is important that you make certain health care decisions before your last day on the job. Although you are eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65, keep in mind that this covers you alone and you may want additional coverage.
Your employer may provide post-retirement health benefits; if not, you’ll be eligible for COBRA coverage for 18 months after your retirement. During this time, you’ll be responsible for the entire premium. Compare these options with any coverage available under a private plan or a group plan offered by organizations or associations you’re affiliated with.
Long-term care insurance. Since nursing home costs can dwarf the cost of your current mortgage and can be a serious threat to your "nest egg", it makes sense to consider getting long term care insurance to cover that future expense. It pays to get into a policy sooner rather than later to ensure reasonable rates.
Life insurance. You won’t need life insurance to replace lost income now, but you should decide whether other considerations make continuation of your coverage advisable.
Life insurance can be used to pay last expenses and debts, as well for payment of estate taxes. If you expect to deplete all of your assets before you die but want to leave something to your heirs, life insurance can provide an inheritance.
If you are considering retiring soon, you should be aware that, along with the significant lifestyle change, your financial situation will also be radically different. Before your last day on the job, please consider contacting the office for additional guidance as to any additional considerations that should be addressed.
The information presented is only of a general nature, may omit many details and special rules, is current only as of its published date, and accordingly cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. Please contact our office for more information on this subject and how it pertains to your specific tax or financial situation.