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.
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.
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
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
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
5 Important Questions Federal Employees Should Ask
By: Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist
Published: November 20, 2018
- 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
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
By: Karen Schaeffer, CFP®
Published: September 20, 2018
For over 40 years we’ve been helping Federal government employees transition from their working years — also known as the accumulation phase of life — into a comfortable retirement. The future has always been murky. No one knows exactly how long they are going to live, how the markets will perform, how healthy they will be and for how long, what tax laws will change…you get the picture. Nonetheless, there are several habits common to successful retirees. Continue reading
By: Kari Utz-Wolsky, (ISSA) CFT, SPN, SSC; Crossfit Level 1, Nutrition and Conditioning Specialist
Published: August 20, 2018
When we think of retirement, we often have visions of reading our favorite book on the patio. Maybe some of us think about having more time to travel, time to visit kids and grandkids. Or we look forward to having more time for our favorite hobby. And almost always, we think about whether we have enough finances to cover our retirement. Perhaps we should give as much attention to our physical wellbeing as we do to our financial wellbeing. Continue reading
By: Bob Leins, CPA®
Published: July 20, 2018
Congress passed the TCJA December 27, 2017 and the law became effective five days later, January 1, 2018. Now, over six months later, how will the TCJA benefit you? As we enter the second half of 2018, changes within the TCJA have become somewhat easier to identify but remain less clear to apply personally. A central focus of the TCJA changes is structured to decrease personal total income tax. Let’s review some highlights and focus on their application to you: