Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow

Meet TCDRS member Travis Motl, who recently learned about the power of getting vested in an online counseling session.

By John Martin

There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh fruit grown from your own garden. Each bite reminds you why you took the effort to green your thumb and tend to your crop. Saving for retirement isn’t so different! And vesting is a great way to populate your financial garden.

Understanding your employer’s vesting requirement is an important step on the way to your retirement eligibility. The amount of service time needed for vesting is determined by your employer and could be either 5, 8 or 10 years.

Once you are vested, you are eligible to retire at age 60, but your employer’s plan may have eligibility requirements that allow you to retire earlier.

Travis Motl is 29 years old and has been working at Harris County as a Digital Marketing Specialist for over six years, which means he’s quickly approaching his vesting milestone. “Investing has always been something I have found interest in (pun intended) so I started thinking about how my TCDRS account would work together with my other savings strategies,” Travis says. “While I love my career and have no plans of leaving, it’s nice to know that I am so close to becoming vested.”

Recently, Travis scheduled an online counseling session and met virtually with a TCDRS representative to go over some of the questions he had about vesting and his account.

“I spoke with Richard, and he was amazing at explaining the benefits,” Travis says. “He was able to explain things in terms that I think even someone with little to no understanding of investing would understand. I think that’s important, because even people who don’t care much about finance should be familiar with how their account works.”

Travis plans to build up a retirement nest egg using his TCDRS benefit along with external savings, allowing him and his wife to retire early in life and become financially independent. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” he says. “A 10-minute phone call can clarify so much. The choices you make early on in your career can have a major effect on your ability to retire when you want to, so it’s best to get all the facts early in your career.”

Can you feel your thumb starting to turn green? If so, your future self will thank you. If you don’t know where to get started, is a great jumping off point. Visit our website’s library or schedule an online counseling session to get the answers to any questions you may have about retirement with TCDRS, and happy harvest!


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