Monthly e-News

The Federal Retirement Paper Chase

By:  Maureen Wilkin, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  July 18, 2019

 

If you are a soon-to-be-retired Federal employee, you should begin the retirement application “paper chase” about six months before the date you plan to retire. No need to panic.  It actually requires less paperwork for you to leave Federal service than it did for you to enter!   Continue reading

Preparing to Meet with your Benefits Officer About Retirement

By:  Phil Gardner, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  June 20, 2019

Getting ready to retire? Your agency benefits officer wants you to start the process 3 to 6 months ahead of your retirement date.  Here are some things to think about before setting up your meeting.  Your benefits officer will provide you with full details and an estimate of your annuity.  Continue reading

What To Do First When a Loved One Dies

By:  Marc S. Levine, Esquire

Published:  May 20, 2019

 

What are some of the practical considerations when a loved one dies? A lot of my work [or “an estate planning attorney’s work”] with clients is about planning for some low-probability / high-impact events – such as an early or unexpected death, as well as planning for the reality that all of us will pass.  This is one of the most important aspects of what we do – helping people navigate what can be a complicated maze of what has to be done after someone dies.  Continue reading

Credit Reports – Credit Scores

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

Published:  April 22, 2019

 

Banks, car dealers, credit card companies, newspaper columns all talk about credit scores and credit reports. Do you know how they differ and what they are used for?

A credit report chronicles your credit history — a credit score predicts your credit future.

A credit report is the detailed history of your credit use and repayment patterns.  A credit score is a single number, based on an algorithm, predicting your credit risk based on the information in your credit report at one point in time.

Continue reading

What is the Roth TSP, and Should I Use It?

By:  Joel Cundick, CFP®

Published:  March 20, 2019

 

What is a “Roth”, and where did it come from? In 1974, Congress passed legislation allowing the creation of Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs. Twenty-three years later in 1997, a new form of IRA was created by Congress. Labeled a “Roth IRA” (after the late Senator William Roth of Delaware), this new IRA allowed individuals to choose to pay taxes before contributing to the IRA, and then pay no taxes on growth and income in the account at the time of future withdrawals. From this point forward, the initial tax-deferred IRA option began to be referred to as a “Traditional IRA.” Roth options in employer retirement plans began to be offered in 2006 generally, and specifically in the Thrift Savings Plan in 2012.

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Multi-Generational Living: It’s a Choice

By:  Mike Townshend

Published:  February 20, 2019

 

As we advance in life, many choices present themselves for how we will live and with whom.  For many, living with our life partner and our children may involve Multi-Generational Living.  This is a model that works very well for many of us.  But, circumstances can and will change and with new life circumstances come different opportunities.  Continue reading

How To Make Your TSP as Safe as Possible in a Turbulent Market

By:  John Jilek, CFP®

Published:  January 22, 2019

 

When is playing it safe a bad idea?

What does safe really mean?

Federal Employees have a lot of worries going into 2019.  Rightfully so!  I write this on the 25th day of the government shutdown.  Uncertainty seems to be everywhere, but letting this pervade your long term investment strategy is invariably a bad idea.  Continue reading

The Many Flavors of Federal Retirement

By:  Maureen Wilkin, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  December 20, 2018

 

If you are a current Federal employee you are most likely covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Or you might be covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Then again, you could be covered by either of those, but be in a Special Retirement occupation.   If you have a temporary appointment, you are covered only by Social Security.  There seems to be a limitless number of retirement coverage categories.  That’s quite a menu of possibilities or “flavors.”  Continue reading

Am I Ready For Retirement?

5 Important Questions Federal Employees Should Ask

By: Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  November 20, 2018

 

  1. Will I have enough money to live on?
    General rule of thumb is that you’ll need approximately 80% of your pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement.  FERS, if you work 30 years, you’ll have at least 30% of your high-three average salary, so you’re well on your way.  Save consistently in TSP, claim Social Security at full retirement age and you should be fine.  CSRS, if you work 41 years, 11 months you’ll have the entire 80% without TSP, IRA’s or any other retirement savings!  Continue reading

Retirement Health Series, Part 3: Emotional Health While Preparing For Retirement

By:  Michael Townshend

Published:  October 19, 2018

If we Google “Retirement”, over 80% of the references will discuss financial preparations and post-retirement spending.   Another 10 to 15% will address issues of physical health management allowing for an active and enjoyable time in our later years.  Certainly, these are necessary topics to plan well and enjoy a retirement with minimal worry, assured that we will be able to afford a comfortable life in the best health for our age.  Continue reading