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.

June 29, 2015
Smooth Transitions: Steps to moving out of one's job or career that minimize awkwardness

This week on For Your Benefit, join our host Bob Leins as he welcomes Mike Townshend back to the studio.  As a Social Psychologist and Professional Philosopher, Mike is the founder of Carpe Diem Coaching, Inc. and can be found online at  He also is the author of “Living Well during Times of Change”.  Today he will address the awkward feeling that comes along with stepping out of a career, and share examples.  Today’s talking points will include:

  • Why does it feel awkward when one leaves a job, even when it’s due to a promotion, transfer, or retirement?
  • Can this awkward feeling be avoided or minimized?
  • What concrete steps can a person take to ensure that a change in job related issue(s) is as smooth as possible?
  • While counseling your clients do you feel it best to be proactive before a situation presents itself or reactive?
  • As a firm, NITP addresses federal Employment from beginning career through retirement. Beyond your expertise in counseling do you find that there are activities such as Benefits, Finance, Legal, Tax and Health issues impact your clients?
  • Which of the areas mentioned above do you find your clients least prepared and most prepared?

For questions or comments, email us in advance at or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

June 22, 2015
Social Security – When Should You Apply?

This week on For Your Benefit, our hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan, welcome Ray Kirk, Ph.D., Federal Benefits Specialist with NITP, to the studio to focus on Social Security and strategies for the best time to apply.  Ray is also the former manager of Benefit Officer’s Training and Development in Retirement Services for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 

Discussion points will include:

  • What qualification(s) and information should I have to make an informed decision in order to claim Social security?
  • At what age can an individual first apply for social security?
  • What is the difference between “full retirement age” and the first date mentioned above?
  • What would be the advantage or disadvantage of applying for social security at the first possible date versus waiting until a later date?
  • What is the “earnings test” and what is its impact on one’s decision to apply for social security benefits?
  • What is the potential “triple whammy” of applying for Social Security before your full retirement age?
  • Is there a way to reverse the decision to claim Social security benefits once the benefits have started?
  • If I was married in prior years can a former spouse claim Social security based on my income?
  • How will this situation impact my Social security benefits?
  • How will my Social security benefits be taxed?
  • What are the “file and suspend” and “filing a restricted application” strategies and when does it make sense to use them?
  • Are there special considerations when there is a significant age difference or income difference between spouses?

    For questions or comments, email us in advance at or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

June 15, 2015
Anticipating Changes in the Tax Law

This week on For Your Benefit, our host Bob Leins welcomes David De Jong and Steve Widdes, tax and estate attorneys with Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC, to the studio to focus on possible changes in the tax laws in the upcoming years.  Which changes may have bipartisan support?  Which changes likely depend on one party controlling the White House and both houses of Congress?

Discussion points will include:

  • How likely is major income tax reform?
  • What would make the tax law simpler?
  • How safe are the sacred deductions for interest and charitable deductions?
  • Can we rid ourselves of the alternative minimum tax?
  • Is the step-up in basis at death on borrowed time?
  • Will the estate tax exemption continue rising or is backtracking likely?
  • Are changes in store for annual gifting?
  • What is on the horizon for GRATs and other trusts?

    For questions or comments, email us in advance at or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

June 8, 2015
FEHB and Medicare… One Size Does Not Fit All!

This week on For Your Benefit, our host Bob Leins welcomes Bob Braunstein, NITP Seminar Presenter and Federal Benefits Specialist into the studio to chat about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) and Medicare. 

Discussion points will include:

  • Explanation of the requirement to have 5 years of coverage in order to take coverage into requirement.  Spousal requirement?
  • Will the cost of my coverage change in retirement?
  • What about Open Seasons?  Can I still change plans every year?
  • Is the new “Self Plus One” coverage being offered in 2016 different from family coverage?
  • When I turn 65, does FEHB make me enroll in Medicare?  Will I be penalized for late enrollment in Medicare B?  Should I enroll in Medicare B?

    For questions or comments, email us in advance at or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

June 1, 2015
How To Pick Your People - What to look for when picking Powers of Attorney, Health Care Agents, Trustees and Executors

This week on For Your Benefit, our host, Bob Leins welcomes Marc Levine, Esquire, with Handler & Levine, LLC to the studio to focus on how to pick the people who will back decisions for you, when you can’t make them for yourself.  What are the best practices, and what are common mistakes.
“I am married so I don’t really need to name my spouse as my agent.”
“My kids will rise to the occasion and get along because they have to.”
“I don’t have anyone who has the ability to deal with money and legal issues.”

Discussion points will include:

  • Why do you need to name your spouse at all?
  • How to deal with choosing between multiple children (and do you have to choose?)
  • What are the characteristics of a good individual fiduciary?  Why common sense often matters more than ability.
  • Is Equal really Even?  Why naming your children as “joint” or “co” may create more problems than it solves.
  • When do you call in the cavalry?  Why banks, trust companies and other professional fiduciaries may make sense.

    For questions or comments, email us in advance at or call in, once the phone lines are open, to 202-465-3080.

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