Member Education Opportunities

Four Common Retirement Myths You May Be Telling Yourself

  1. I don’t need to start planning for retirement right now.

    It’s always too late to wait, but it’s never too early to start. The earlier you enroll in a supplemental retirement plan and start saving, the longer you’ll allow compound interest to work in your favor. Waiting too long means you’ll have to divert more income later to catch up. Although how much to save to supplement your STRS Ohio pension is not a one size fits all, the necessity to save is certain. Your life circumstances, as well as short-term and long-term goals, play a key role in determining the right amount of additional savings you will need.

  2. My expenses will decrease in retirement.

    Your house may be paid off and you will no longer have to cover the costs of commuting or maintaining your classroom, but in retirement you’ll spend more on health care and will likely be spending more in other areas such as leisure activities and hobbies. Today’s retirees can expect to live longer too, making financial planning (including estimating retirement expenses) even more important.

  3. I’ll find plenty to do in retirement.

    For several years your schedule has likely revolved around work. After retirement, suddenly there’s no alarm clock, no meetings and time on your hands. This abrupt change can be a bit disorienting for many new retirees. Beyond financial preparation for retirement, take some time to think about how you will fill your time in ways that are meaningful and enjoyable to you. What projects and activities are you interested in exploring?

  4. I can figure this out on my own.

    You may be good at saving, but it still pays to seek professional advice to make sure your retirement planning is on the right track. A periodic evaluation of your personal finances — including assets, liabilities, insurance and investments — with a credible financial advisor can help maximize the return on your money. Also take advantage of STRS Ohio’s free retirement planning seminars targeted to every stage of your career. Finally, be sure to meet with an STRS Ohio benefits counselor to review important information leading up to your retirement date.

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Take Advantage of These Educational Opportunities

STRS Ohio-sponsored programs are held throughout the state at convenient times and locations. Registration details can be found in our Frequently Asked Questions section. Come join us and learn what you can do to build a successful retirement!

Financial Fitness: Your Pathway to Retirement

(Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution and Combined Plan participants — early- to midcareer)

This program offers information pertaining to improving overall financial health, including:

  • Understanding your STRS Ohio benefits
  • Assessing your overall financial wellness
  • Budgeting and eliminating debt
  • Finding the right investment mix
Financial Fitness* (9 a.m.–noon)
Lima June 16
Sandusky June 18
Columbus June 23
Portsmouth June 25
Youngstown/Boardman June 30

*Dates and locations are subject to change.

Beyond the Classroom

(Defined Benefit Plan participants five to 10 years from retirement)

This program focuses on your retirement options and how to finance your retirement, including:

  • Calculating your STRS Ohio benefits
  • Payment options for receiving STRS Ohio retirement benefits
  • Integrating supplemental retirement plans with your pension
  • Health care considerations in retirement
Beyond the Classroom* (5–7 p.m., except Feb. 25)
Dayton Jan. 14
Cleveland Feb. 4
Athens Feb. 11
Columbus (5:30–7:30 p.m.) Feb. 25
Canton March 3
Dayton March 24
Perrysburg April 7
Cincinnati April 21
Defiance April 28
Akron May 5

*Dates and locations are subject to change.

Retirement Countdown

(Defined Benefit Plan participants 12–18 months from retirement)

This program helps guide you through the retirement process, including:

  • Completion of the online Service Retirement Application
  • Key dates and a retirement timeline
  • Plan of payment options
  • Enrollment in the STRS Ohio Health Care Program
Retirement Countdown* (6–8 p.m.)
Also available throughout the year as a webinar.
Canton Jan. 16
Cleveland/Westlake Jan. 23
Columbus Jan. 30
Dayton Feb. 6
Perrysburg Feb. 27
Cleveland/Beachwood March 12
Athens March 26
Cincinnati April 2
Cleveland April 23
Akron April 30
Columbus May 7
Cambridge May 14

*Dates and locations are subject to change.

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Retiring Soon? Meet With an STRS Ohio Benefits Counselor

STRS Ohio offers individual benefits counseling at our office in Columbus, at locations throughout Ohio and by teleconference. We recommend scheduling a counseling session at least three years before and again six to 12 months before your retirement. A counseling session offers the opportunity to review all of the important information you’ll want to know leading up to your retirement date.

During this session, your benefits counselor will:

  • Review your personal account information
  • Provide an estimate of your retirement benefit
  • Explain STRS Ohio benefits
  • Review STRS Ohio Health Care Program information
  • Discuss the costs, methods and impact of purchasing service credit
  • Review application processes and deadlines
  • Answer any questions you may have

An appointment is required. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section for details.

Upcoming Counseling Dates*
Appointments are scheduled between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at most locations
North Canton Jan. 27–30
Cincinnati/Eastgate Feb. 3–6
Oxford Feb. 3–6
Cuyahoga Falls Feb. 10–13
New Philadelphia Feb. 17–19
Toledo/Maumee Feb. 24–27
Youngstown/Boardman March 2–5
Dayton/Beavercreek March 9–12
Independence March 16–19
St. Clairsville March 23–24
Cincinnati/Blue Ash March 30–April 2
Lima April 6–7
Sandusky April 6–8
Sidney April 8–9
Marietta April 13
Athens April 14–16
Middleburg Heights April 20–23
Mentor April 27–30
Bowling Green May 4–5
Findlay May 6–7
Cleveland/Elyria May 11–14
Cincinnati/Blue Ash June 22–25
Akron/Fairlawn July 27–30

*Dates and locations are subject to change.

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Teachers Share Important Lessons They’ve Learned

…start saving money the first year and every year after for retirement as there are no guarantees in life and you have to be prepared for what comes after.

T. Imhoff — Retired 2014, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools, 22 Years

… The various workshops, individual counseling from STRS staff and printed materials allowed me to adequately plan and prepare. I thank the wisdom shared during those experiences… Additionally, as I impart wisdom to those still active in the profession, I caution them to plan, plan, plan!

H. Kambon — Retired 2007, Columbus City Schools, 32 Years

Never give up on your students — fight for them. Also take the STRS seminars/workshops throughout your career.

A. Martin — Current Teacher, West Liberty-Salem Schools, 29 ½ Years

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a benefits counseling appointment or register for an STRS Ohio-sponsored group seminar?

Individual counseling appointments and seminar registrations can be made up to three months before the event date. Space is limited and appointments/registrations are accepted on a first-come basis. Counseling appointments and seminar registrations can be completed via your Online Personal Account or by calling STRS Ohio toll-free at 888‑227‑7877.

May I bring a guest to a seminar?

Yes. However, space is often limited. One guest per member, please.

How much do the seminars and counseling sessions cost?

Our services are offered at no cost to members and their guests.

How do I cancel my counseling appointment or seminar registration?

Cancel your registration either online using your online account or by calling 888‑227‑7877.

Where can I find more information?

Information can be found on our Counseling and Seminars page.

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Online Learning

Retirement Countdown Webinar

This popular webinar covers the same topics as the Retirement Countdown seminar but offers the convenience of attending via computer or mobile device. Registration is required. Upcoming webinars will be held from 5–6 p.m on the 2020 dates listed below.

Retirement Countdown Webinar
Jan. 15 Feb. 19 March 25 April 22 May 13

Videos

Access STRS Ohio’s video library to view these presentations:

Retirement Plan Options

(for new members)

Offers a retirement plan selection timeline, plan options and features, and considerations when making a plan selection.

Retirement Benefits

(for late-career members)

An overview of important information soon-to-be STRS Ohio retirees should be aware of, such as: monthly benefit payment details, death benefits and reemployment restrictions.

Retirement Countdown

(for late-career members)

The on-demand version of the live webinar indicated above. (See Retirement Countdown seminar for an overview).

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