If you’re like us, you hope to retire some day and you worry about how to make that happen.  Today, the Honolulu Star Advertiser’s leading article reports that the state’s largest public pension fund, Employees’ Retirement System (ERS), “is in its worst shape since at least 1980 with an $8.4 billion shortfall.”  However, the state does expect to have the program properly funded 30 years from now if the following conditions: current and new employees must contribute more, the portfolio must average an annual return of at least 7.75%, and people must not live longer than 83 years of age.  These seem like some pretty unlikely conditions to us.

This unwelcome news reminds us of a frequent story we hear from our clients about how they have exhausted all their retirement savings in an attempt to prevent a foreclosure, pay off onerous medical bills, or satisfy aggressive collection agencies.  We wish these clients had come to see us sooner!

Under bankruptcy law, there are exemptions that allow you to protect certain types of your retirement savings while still benefitting from the protections you are legally entitled to receive.  What this means is that it is possible to benefit from a bankruptcy filing without losing all of your hard-earned and carefully saved retirement money.

If you are contemplating emptying your retirement accounts to pay bills, please give us a call first and we will be more than happy to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss your options.