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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 keep up with inflation and a constantly-rising cost of living during retirement.

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What is the AAI Program for Illinois TRS Retirees? 

If you’re feeling confused about the AAI Program, you’re not alone. Many Illinois teachers who have been paying into TRS aren’t completely sure whether they should enroll. My hope is that this blog series will provide some clarity around the AAI Program, it’s pros and cons, and whether it’s right for you.

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The Importance of Wellness in Retirement

Unfortunately, retirees often face depression, anxiety, and declining physical health as a result of not having any structure in their daily life. Even more unfortunate is the fact that depression in the senior citizen population often goes untreated. People aren’t sure if and when to speak up, and often don’t see the negative impact on their physical health (and their finances).

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Should I Invest My Lump Sum Pension Payout in An Annuity?

Many people who are heading into retirement with a pension wonder which pension election option is best for them and their family. One attractive option is the lump sum payout. This option pays out a lump sum of an employee’s pension when they retire. If you’re leaning toward taking the lump sum pension payout, it’s important to have a plan for that money.

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The Ideal Retirement Portfolio

Many pre-retirees are constantly searching for the “ideal” portfolio as they head into this new season of life. As you tweak your portfolio in the last few years of your career, it can be challenging to know exactly how to diversify your investments in a way that balances tax minimization and wealth growth.