ForYourBenefit Radio Program

Listen live to ForYourBenefit each Monday morning at 10:05 EST on 1500 AM in the Washington DC metro area or online at Or, if you prefer, listen on your own schedule -- all shows are archived and available 24/7.

ForYourBenefit is NITP’s weekly radio show which features information and discussion on topics of interest to the Federal employee, including Federal Benefits, financial and retirement planning, and other issues.

Guests and topics change weekly –In 2014, our guests will help you plan and navigate through retirement issues and concerns.

Social Security and Retirement

This week on For Your Benefit, Lester Austin, retired public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration, joins hosts Bob Leins and John Elliott to talk about Social Security and retirement.

Lester will share many facets of Social Security from a retiree’s perspective:

• When should I apply for Social Security?
• What does my part-time job do to my Social Security income?
• What happens if I choose to continue working and not claim Social Security when I’m first eligible?

I you have questions for Lester, please email them before the show to or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

Never Can Say Goodbye

Join host Bob Leins as he welcomes Career Coach,  Mike Townshend, into the studio.  Together they will discuss  the many definitions of  “career transition” and how to  “say goodbye”.  Mike will offer tips on how to approach transition in a thoughtful way with lasting good impressions among all co-workers.

This discussion is for everyone, whether you are in the process of retiring, changing jobs, moving to a new agency, or losing your job.   

If you have questions, please email them in advance of the show to: or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

Considerations for your Ongoing Financial Planning

Join our host, Bob Leins, as he welcomes Joe Sullender, CFP and Senior Vice President -  Investments, of the Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  Together they will discuss thought provoking questions and concerns they hear from Federal employees.

  • If there is a need to have a plan for my cash, what are some options that should be considered?
  • How does one balance saving for multiple goals – education, retirement, health care etc.? How often should the goals be reviewed?
  • What are some different ways to forecast my long term goals?
  • What qualities should a financial advisor have?
  • Should a mortgage be paid down sooner rather than later?
  • What are some of the best opportunities to save for education?
  • Should I stay or should I go? Retiring and working elsewhere vs staying with the government.
  • What considerations should be reviewed before transferring TSP funds into a Traditional IRA?

If you have other questions about creating a financial plan or adapting your plan in today’s environment, please send in an email before the show, or call, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080

Let’s take a look at your Federal Retirement Annuity Estimate!

Join host Bob Leins and guest Bob Braunstein, Federal Benefits specialist,  as he walks us through the process of understanding your retirement annuity estimate.  The discussion will benefit all stages of one’s career so that no detail is inadvertently forgotten. Discussion topics to include:

  • Computation of Service Credit and your actual Annuity
  • FEGLI coverage and cost
  • Service History
  • Part Time Proration
  • Creditable Service for Retirement, RIF and Leave
  • Salary history
  • Retirement benefit Projection

If you are retiring this year, changing jobs, OR just starting your career – this is important so you know that your records are accurate!  If you have questions about this, please email them before the show to or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.


Join our host, Bob Leins as he welcomes Tom O’Rourke, Esq.,  into the studio to join in a discussion of all things about income tax.  Tom is a partner at Miles & Stockbridge and represents a variety of clients including individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations on matters involving tax, estate planning and administration and pension issues.

  • Soon the IRS will announce automatic changes that will impact your 2015 return. We will discuss how the changes will aid your 2014 tax planning
  • Tax court decision on limiting IRA “Rollovers” but not “Transfers”
  • Sensitivity between income and Medicare tax when retired ??
  • What is your real tax bracket vs your “effective bracket”
  • What exactly does “Roth” mean to you
  • What to do if you receive a call from someone who says they are an IRS collection officers. Should you talk to them? How do you report such activity?
  • Someone stole my identity and filed an erroneous tax return in my behalf. How do you report this and what happens when you try to file YOUR tax return

Email your tax questions, concerns  to or call, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

Behavioral Finance: How our Emotions Sabotage Our Success

Join host Bob Leins as he welcomes Kristina Sturgis, CFP,  to the studio to discuss how your money mindset can interfere with your personal goals. Because our financial lives are inextricably linked to our family of origin and upbringing, sometimes you have ingrained stumbling blocks that can sabotage your best intentions to earn what you’re worth, save adequately, spend responsibly,

What to do when you probably are your own worst advisor?  And how do you know?

  • Is your TSP allocation reactive or proactive
  • How to know if your individual monthly savings are based on personality and emotion, not goals and math.
  • When are you too old to participate in the ROTH TSP?
  • How do you utilize your TSP in Retirement?
  • What are some tales of instant gratification & future regret, i.e. not purchasing LTC insurance, etc.
  • What’s the emotional impact of Divorce on decision-making and what can you do to change that?

If you have questions for our panel, email them in advance to or phone in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.


Planning retirement now has another option with clearer guidance as announced August 8, 2014 by OPM.  Is phased retirement something you should consider and how will you be affected financially?

Join us Monday morning as our host, Bob Leins, welcomes Ray Kirk, a Federal Benefits expert, to provide his insight on OPM’s recently released Phased Retirement Guidelines.  Our discussion will address the known aspects of the program and its financial aspects to consider.  Our agenda includes:

  • Exactly what is Phased Retirement?
  • Who’s eligible?
  • How does it work?
  • When can Phased Retirement start?
  • What happens to your Federal annuity if you become a phased retiree?
  • What happens to your pay and benefits?
  • After a phased retirement is completed, how will your annuity be impacted when you fully retire?
  • How could it impact your TSP, Social Security and income tax?

Listen in for thought provoking discussion, email your questions to or call in, once the phone lines are open, (202) 465-3080.

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ForYourBenefit Radio Show
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