Can We Compare The FRS, to an Orange Grove?

Sometimes a change of perspective can be helpful in making a decision, so we came up with the Orange Grove Theory for your FRS retirement plan options. The FRS offers two great choices for you to pick from, but choosing which plan is appropriate for you can sometimes be complicated. Many members don’t feel adequately informed about how both plans work or have questions about the benefits. The Orange Grove Theory is designed to help you look at your retirement options from a big picture perspective.

The FRS Pension Plan Grove

The Pension Grove is simple and easy to understand. The idea is that the FRS will take a grove that used to be 118 acres in size, and they will maintain the grove for you, and all pension members like you, and each month they will give you a bushel of oranges. You have the option receive that full bushel every month for the rest of your life, secondly you can choose a slightly smaller bushel and add a spouse to your benefit to receive your Oranges if anything happens to you, lastly you can also offer the reduced orange amount to other beneficiaries for up to 10 years past your retirement or DROP enter date if you were to pass away within those 10 years.

The benefits of the Pension Grove are easy to see:

  • You don’t have to think about how your orange grove is doing, because the FRS does it for you
  • You get a bushel of oranges every month for the rest of your life

The downsides to the Pension Grove are also simple:

  • You have no control over how the FRS manages and takes care of the trees in the grove
  • You lack some flexibility with being able to leave your Oranges behind to your family, and they will be reduced amounts to do so

The FRS Investment Plan Grove

The Investment Plan Grove is quite different. Instead of the FRS just giving you a grove, the FRS gives you a plot of orange trees that you own and all the land. Instead of the FRS tending to the grove for you, the grove is for you to tend.

The benefits of the investment plan grove are also simple:

  • You control how you want your Oranges. You can increase or decrease the number of Oranges you pick every day.
  • You get to choose how your Orange trees are taken care of. You can shelter them and choose your own watering or fertilizer plans.
  • If the weather is cruel and oranges too volatile, you can change crops!
  • If anything happens to you, ALL your trees and oranges go to any beneficiary of your choosing. 

The downside to the Investment Plan Grove should be considered also:

  • You must take care of your trees yourself, and that can require some time and learning and be prepared to weather financial storms as they come.

Another Important Consideration

  • The Pension Grove has shrunk, and that means there are less oranges in it than before. In the year 2000, there were 118 acres of orange trees, when the FRS only needed 100. As of 2021, there are only 82 acres, and they still need 100. This also happened during a period of one of the better growing seasons in recent times.

Figuring out which way you want your oranges in retirement can be a difficult decision, and there are many factors that impact what plan is suited for you and your goals. If you have questions about comparing your FRS benefits, you can click on the button below to schedule a complimentary meeting with one of our advisors who can help you answer questions about your retirement benefits.