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The
Retirement
Red Zone

Your Verizon Retirement
Planning Playbook

Retiring from Verizon shouldn’t feel like a second job. We’ll help make it easy.

We’ve been making it simple to retire from Verizon since 1999. Whether retirement is years away, you’re already retired, or you’re in the red zone, there’s a lot you need to know to maximize your Verizon Retirement Benefits.

Hapanowicz is your resource hub for all things Verizon Retirement. Start here:

Retirement Planning
Timeline Guide

See each step of the journey and a checklist of what action to take.

Verizon Pension
Interest Rates

Get the latest GATT and PBGC
interest rates.

Speak With a Verizon-Focused Retirement Advisor

Get professional help so you can
be hands-off.

More Resources

Looking to Retire within 5 Years

Congratulations! You’ve invested in your career with Verizon, and Verizon has provided you with a fantastic suite of retirement benefits. Your retirement benefits as a CWA or IBEW member, including your pension lump sum, retiree healthcare benefits, and 401(k), are unique for today’s workforce.

Thus, the retirement planning considerations Verizon associates face are unique and specific to them. The complexities can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here are just a few of the considerations that you will want to think about before retiring:

  1. How do I maximize my pension lump sum benefit?
  2. How do I take tax-efficient income from my retirement accounts if I retire prior to age 59 ½?
  3. How do I know that my 401(k) allocations make sense for me given the new phase of life I am entering?
  4. What are my retiree healthcare options?
  5. How do I know what my retiree healthcare premiums will be in retirement?
  6. How do I decide when I should elect my Social Security Benefit?
  7. What are my Verizon retirement eligibility requirements?

A lot to think about!

Hapanowicz has helped hundreds of union-affiliated Verizon employees transition into retirement in the last 25 years. We have found that implementing a disciplined process to address each of these considerations at the right time can simplify your retirement planning and make the process far more seamless and rewarding.

I’m Ready to Retire

Verizon Retirement Planning Help

Commencing your retirement from Verizon is perhaps once of the most exciting events a Verizon employee can experience – it means you’re only a few short steps away from enjoying your retirement! At the same time, the process can be somewhat daunting and even intimidating due to coordinating the commencement of all your benefits including your Pension, 401(k) and medical benefits, making sure all the paperwork is submitted correctly, and actually getting your retirement money to you to start taking income. The resources below will help guide you through this process so that retiring from Verizon doesn’t feel like a second job to you.

 

 

Your Pension

For many Verizon employees, the pension is an important component of your retirement income plan. To elect and initiate your pension you will need to complete the Pension Election and Authorization Form. You can request this form by either calling the Verizon Benefits Center or accessing it on the Verizon Net Benefits Site. This form must be properly completed and signed to be accepted by Verizon. Any errors, mistakes, or missing information will delay receipt of your pension benefits, sometimes by months.

Guide to Retirement for Verizon Employees

Your Verizon 401(k)

Verizon retirees have several options regarding their 401(k). The choice you make depends on the retirement income plan. Your choices at retirement are:

Roll over all or a part of it into an IRA.
Leave all or a part of it in the 401(k), with distributions made to you depending on your income needs.
Transfer all or a part of it into another qualified retirement plan.

Your Health Care Benefits (Medical Dental, and Vision)

Many Verizon retirees will have health care benefits that continue into retirement, sometimes with similar coverage and at about the same cost as when employed. A Verizon Benefits Specialist can review your retiree health care benefits and their costs. The election of these health care benefits should be made before your termination date from Verizon.

Life Insurance

The continuation of your life insurance benefits is an option for many Verizon retirees. You should contact the Verizon Benefits Center to review your life insurance options and the costs to continue them in retirement.

You’re about ready to put into action your retirement income and investment plan that you’ve likely been working on for quite some time now. We recommend doing one more review of your plan making sure all components of your finances are in line to support your retirement. The resources on this page have helped hundreds of Verizon employees with their retirement.

I’m Retired

You’ve done all the hard work and planning to get to this point, and after many years of service to Verizon, you are reaping the rewards of that hard work. What can you do to make sure that your retirement cash flow and investment game plan continue to work for you?

 

The Crucial Steps You Should Take When Reviewing Your Retirement Cash Flow and Investment Plan

In our experience, we find a lot of value in conducting a full and comprehensive review of your income sources, expense needs, and investment portfolio at least once a calendar year. Here are the different steps you can take to do so. If you’re working with an advisor, he/she should be guiding you through these steps.

1. Review your Risk Profile

Has your appetite and/or budget for risk in your portfolio changed substantially? If so, it may be worth exploring an adjustment to your investment portfolio strategy.

Risk Assessment Questionnaire

This “investor personality quiz” questionnaire can be used to determine if your portfolio strategy is still aligned with your needs. At the end of the questionnaire, you’ll get a “risk score” which you can use to compare against your current portfolio to determine if any changes might need to be made.

2. Take Inventory of Your Current Wealth and Income Needs

While the original assumptions used for your initial retirement and cash flow plan are a great benchmark to work from, life happens and therefore things may play out slightly differently compared to the original plan. Taking inventory of all the crucial components of your wealth can help determine if your needs from the portfolio have changed. These components include:

  • Current emergency fund
  • Any additional cash savings
  • Income needs/expense components and current withdrawal rate
  • The current value of all investment accounts –
  • Current income sources
  • If you haven’t already done so, your advisor should assist in conducting a Social Security Optimization Analysis for you (and your spouse). This analysis will help determine the best timing to commence your Social Security benefit so that you are maximizing this income source throughout your lifetime.

3. Make any adjustments to the portfolio investment and withdrawal strategies as needed.

A review of all the components of your wealth, income sources, and expenses will allow you and your advisor to determine if any changes should be made to where you are taking your income from, and how your wealth should be invested and managed.

FAQ

How do interest rates affect my pension lump sum?

Think of Interest Rates as a Cost of Money. When Rates are higher, you, as an investor, receive more interest and are usually associated with less risk. When Rates are lower, the search for income becomes more determined, and often, investors seek alternate sources to generate their income needs. Relative to Lump Sums, when rates are lower, the cost of money is lower, income generated is lower, therefore investors will seek income elsewhere. To compensate the investor, they will receive a higher lump sum when rates are low. When rates are higher, the income generated is higher with less risk therefore lump sum payouts are lower.

How do I invest my money for retirement?

There are many potential solutions. Our goal is to help clients feel confident in their financial future so they can pursue the things they love most. At Hapanowicz, we view investments as the implementation of your financial retirement income plan. As such, they are the economic engine of your wealth strategy. Most investors prioritize their family, their health, and their wealth. In that regard, your investments should reflect your priorities.

How do I make sure I have enough money in retirement?

We validate the strategy using Monte Carlo so that you have the information you need to feel confident. At Hapanowicz, we guide investors in implementing their retirement income strategy using the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP) guidelines.

When is the best time for me to apply for Social Security and Medicare?

You must apply for Medicare around your 65th birthday, even if you continue to work and receive health benefits from your employer. You may want to consider supplemental plans designed to fill “gaps”. Social Security benefits have many more nuances. Considerations are your marital status, health, family health history, current need for SS payments, and others. You can review several options and find the right time for you to begin SS payments.

How do I protect my wealth from Medicaid taxes?

For affluent Americans, this is a hot topic. Elder Law Estate Planning is the practice of recognizing your needs and goals and designing a plan that best suits you and your family.

Are you a fiduciary?

Yes. Our financial advisors are accomplished professionals who uphold a strong fiduciary standard—putting your interests before our own. We don’t sell insurance products, earn commissions, or take kickbacks of any sort. We aim to be fair and transparent with our fee structure.

Talk with an advisor.

Engage with a qualified partner for financial guidance built on loyalty, empathy, and integrity.

Talk with an advisor.

Engage with a qualified partner for financial guidance built on loyalty, empathy, and integrity.