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Financial Well Being

Published: April 2020

By: Ray Kirk, Ph.D., Federal Benefits Specialist

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has identified financial well-being as the ultimate measure of the success of financial literacy efforts. Financial literacy efforts traditionally have focused on gaining knowledge and applying that knowledge appropriately to make good financial decisions. Financial well-being is defined by CFPB “as the state of being wherein a person can fully meet current and ongoing financial obligations, can feel secure in their financial future and is able to make choices that allow enjoyment of life.”

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FAQs for Mid-Career FERS Employees

Published: March 2020

By: Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist
Do you have at least 10 years of government service? You may wonder what benefits you have earned at this point and what to expect for the second part of your career. The following are 5 frequently asked questions and answers you may find helpful.
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Retirement Countdown Checklist

Published: February 2020

By: Maureen Wilkin, Federal Benefits Specialist

When you start planning for retirement in this era of overwhelming technology and data, the last thing you want is another application or program to work through. Take heart. There is a simpler, tried-and-true method to assist you. It’s a checklist.

The Retirement Countdown Checklist begins five years before your planned retirement date. It includes things you should know and should be doing at various points along the way. Although it is written for Federal Employees and their retirement, the basic planning points might be applied elsewhere.

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Your “Personal” Official Personnel Folder

By: Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published: December 2019

What is the OPF?

The OPF is the official record which documents your employment history in the Federal government.

Why do employees need a personal copy of their OPF?

The OPF houses the documentation used by HR to make personnel-related decisions affecting your employment. Whenever information is transferred, forms can be lost or misplaced. HR Specialists change over time and your information goes through different hands and locations. Information necessary to process a sudden change in your employment status may be incorrect or missing. When you maintain your own personal copies of your records, these may be used.
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Social Security and Medicare – Keep It Simple

By: Maureen Wilkin, Federal Benefits Specialist, NITP

Published: November 2019

Medicare and Social Security become topics of conversation for most people as they begin to plan for retirement. That conversation often reveals how overwhelmed people are by the amount of program information available. The good news is that it’s really not that complicated. Each program has some key points to know and follow. Let’s go through each program to help you gain a basic understanding.

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Federal Benefits Open Season is Coming! Give It Some Thought

By: Maureen Wilkin, Federal Benefits Specialist, NITP

Published: November 2019
Federal Benefits Open Season for health insurance, dental and vision insurance, and the flexible spending program will begin this year on November 11 and run through December 9. The number of participants who will make changes to existing enrollments will be quite low, as usual, and even fewer new enrollments will occur. Why? Complacency and aversion to change are the main reasons.
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Online Resources for Federal Open Season 2019

By:  Michele Bollier, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  October 2019

Federal Open Season is November 11, 2019 – December 9, 2019

Michele has compiled a useful guide containing hyperlinks to online resources during Federal Open Season.

CLICK HERE to view the guide.

Michele Bollier, Federal Benefits Specialist, NITP, is a retired Federal employee.  She worked for the Federal government for over 30 years focusing on Federal benefits.  Since then, she has been a seminar presenter for NITP.

New & Improved TSP

By: Karen Schaeffer, CFP®

Published: September 2019

You’re Going to Love the New and Improved TSP!

For years (ok, let’s be honest, decades) when participants in our retirement classes learned of the limited withdrawal options from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) they were stunned. For Traditional TSP accounts the choices amount to:

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The FERS Annuity

By: Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published: August 20, 2019

As many Federal employees may know, the FERS retirement program is a three-tiered benefit system: the FERS Annuity, the Social Security retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. It is the FERS portion, however, that serves as the foundation of this retirement plan. So what exactly is a FERS Annuity benefit and what can employees do to get the most from it?
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