Many of The Retirement Group’s AT&T clients have said that they plan to leave AT&T before the end of the year. This prompted The Retirement Group to launch a new webinar series called “Retiring on Purpose, With Purpose” specifically for AT&T employees nearing retirement age. There are a variety of factors which make leaving AT&T in 2021 appealing to many employees. The most significant factors include a reduction in healthcare benefits, and the appreciation of the housing market. Given that these factors are the most impactful for AT&T employees, The Retirement Group has made them the focus of the webinar series.
Some AT&T employees have expressed that the loss of a retiree healthcare subsidy is enough to make them consider an early retirement. Those who choose to retire in 2021 will lock in their healthcare subsidy, while those who retire after 2021 will lose the subsidy. As a result of losing this benefit, AT&T will no longer supplement a retiree’s monthly premiums for medical or dental services. This may not affect all employees, and AT&T workers should call their benefit office to receive information on their particular situation. However, those who the benefit cut does impact will see a significant increase in post-retirement healthcare expenditures.
The loss of the retirement subsidy is in addition to AT&T cutting a healthcare reimbursement account for those who retired after January 1st, 2021. This account had previously covered out of pocket costs, supplemental coverage and incremental coverage. AT&T’s Summary Plan Description says that the HRA credit is worth $2,700 for an employee and $1,500 for an eligible dependent. If an employee took full advantage of this benefit, it would be worth $4,200 per year. Looking at a 20 year timeline, the cost of losing this benefit could be about $84,000.
While losing healthcare may be the catalyst which pushes some AT&T employees to leave the company, others are enticed by the current housing market. The housing market has appreciated in recent months, giving many AT&T employees the ability to sell their home and use their increased equity for retirement. Many retirees attempt to downsize their home or move to a rental unit, and with housing prices at record highs now is a good time to sell. There is also concern amongst the American public that the current market is reminiscent of the 2007 housing bubble. Employees nearing retirement age tend to be especially anxious about the housing market as much of their net worth is tied to the value of their home. However, those who leave AT&T in 2021, and sell their home while the market is hot, will be able to increase the equity they receive and avoid the potentially harmful consequences of a future housing market collapse.
Between the appreciation of the housing market and the opportunity to lock in a healthcare subsidy, a significant number of AT&T employees have moved up their retirement date. The Retirement Group offers complimentary webinars and one on one appointments to help AT&T employees determine if retiring in 2021 makes sense for them.
To schedule an appointment with a retirement advisor from The Retirement Group call (800) 900-5867.
To receive a complimentary cash flow analysis from The Retirement Group, which now takes into account the equity in a person’s home, click here.
To watch alternative webinar topics for AT&T employees click here.