Don’t miss these curtain calls

second act

Continued from Breaking into your second act.

SCENE I. 5–10 years before retirement

SCENE II. 1 year before retirement

SCENE III. 6 months before retirement

  • Request an official WRS estimate of benefits from ETF. Your packet will include a “Choosing an annuity option” brochure from WRS to help you decide how you will take distributions. Note: Many folks nearing retirement are contacted by brokers selling annuities. Remember, WRS is an annuity. Be cautious before purchasing an annuity product. Learn the costs, benefits, and drawbacks, as well as risks of loss of principal associated with this type of investment. 
  • Meet with your district’s benefit expert to learn your post-employment options (retirement benefits, insurance options) and deadlines for retirement.

SCENE IV. 3 months before retirement

  • Turn in your WRS packet to let them know you’re retiring and which distribution option you’ve elected. This is an important decision—generally speaking, it can’t be changed later.

SCENE V. Age 55

  • Penalty free withdrawals may be taken from your 403(b) if you retire during, or after, the year you turn age 55. Otherwise, most plans allow for age 59½ distributions. Check with a Member Service Representative for more withdrawal rules and how to request distributions.

SCENE VI. 3 months before age 62 (or later)

  • Apply for Social Security if you plan to take it. The age you start will determine how much you’ll collect. Visit for up-to-date details.

SCENE VII. 3 months before age 65

SCENE VIII. At age 65

SCENE IX. Before you turn 70½

  • Required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your 403(b) or Traditional IRA account will start at age 70½. To avoid or minimize RMDs from your 403(b) or Traditional IRA, you may convert all or part to a Roth IRA prior to the year you turn age 70½. Taxes will apply, so be strategic. Converting early in retirement may reduce tax liability depending on your income.

SCENE X. 1 month before turning age 70½

  • Contact us about setting up RMDs from your Member Benefits accounts. Ensure monthly distributions start right away by contacting us ahead of time. Call 1-800-279-4030.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. Certain recommendations or guidelines may not be appropriate for everyone. Consult your personal advisor or attorney for advice specific to your unique circumstances before taking action.

your insurance promo

ira thanks