I’ve Heard From Other Teachers That the TRS AAI Buyout is Less Money. Is That True?

Many educators think that the TRS AAI buyout will mean less money for them in the long-run. In some cases, this may be true. However, depending on your goals, taking the buyout may actually give you more savings over time. At First Glance At first glance, the answer to this challenging question is yes. Your […]

Why Should I Take an AAI Buyout – Is the Pension Not Secure?

The somewhat mixed-messaging coming from TRS is confusing for a lot of teachers and their families in Illinois. The buyout is painted as an excellent option for educators, but it leaves an uncomfortable question in the air: Is your pension safe if you choose to not opt for the TRS AAI buyout? To understand the […]

How to Make Sure You Don’t Run Out of Money If You Take a TRS AAI Buyout 

Whether you’re a teacher, or you’re married to a teacher in Illinois, taking the TRS AAI buyout can bring up a retirement savings fear: What happens if you run out of money after taking the TRS AAI buyout option? The truth is, it’s possible to overspend when you receive a lump sum of cash. This […]

How Big Will My AAI Buyouts Be and How Will My TRS Pension be Different If I Take It?

You may be wondering: If I take the AAI Program buyout, how much will my lump-sum payment be? And how will my benefits be impacted? The truth is, as an Illinois teacher, your pension is likely a large part of your retirement plan. Before deciding whether the AAI Program is right for you, it’s important […]

How Does a COLA Work on an Illinois TRS Pension, and Why Is It Important?

COLA, or Cost-of-Living-Adjustment, is a legally required automatic increase to pensions. Illinois state law has required an automatic annual increase to pensions since 1969. Currently, COLA is a fixed 3% each year (compounded, meaning the prior year’s benefit gets increased by 3%). This increase happens every year, and is supposed to help your pension benefit […]

What is the AAI Program for Illinois TRS retirees?

The AAI Program, or Accelerated Annual Increase, is a relatively new program that requires TRS to offer all Tier 1 members an accelerated retirement benefit. This accelerated benefit would be equal to a portion of your future pension benefit. By agreeing to the voluntary program, you’re agreeing to a one-time reduction in your annual increase […]

What does the elimination of ERO mean for Illinois teachers?

ERO (Early Retirement Option) has been around since 2005, and Illinois teachers have been using it to retire early without a reduction in their pension benefit. If a teacher had two years left until they had full pension benefits, they could pay these pensions contributions up front – if the district agreed to do the […]

Are you leaving your pension to the right person? [VIDEO]

Deciding whom to leave your money to can be a tough decision. If you are married, then it will most likely go to your spouse. If you have children, then they may be next in line. But even simple scenarios like this can be filled with details that can derail these plans.

I am married to a teacher, how should we save for retirement?

The concerns held by teachers about their long-term benefits are not just held by them, they’re also a concern for their spouses. So what do I suggest when it comes to saving for retirement?

Four ways Illinois can fix the Pension Crisis: But which will be chosen?

The Illinois pension system (TRS, SURS, etc.) has been in crisis for a number of years. It’s also one of the largest systems in the country. How can it be fixed?