The Five Biggest Retirement Decisions Feds Have To Make

The Five Biggest Retirement Decisions Feds Have To Make
As a late career Fed, you are pondering retirement. For some, this is a chance to discover new hobbies and pursue things you didn’t have time for when you worked. For others, it’s an opportunity to pursue a different career with the safety net of a retirement income. And yet for others, it will be an opportunity to do a lot of relaxing after a career in the federal government.
Regardless of your circumstances, you have some big decisions to make during your retirement years. Some of these decisions have to be made right away, while others are several years down the road. Let’s take a look at what I believe are the five biggest decisions a federal employee will have to make for their retirement.
·WHEN TO RETIRE – The first decision to make is when will the employee be ready to retire. This is a multi-faceted question.The first hurdle is eligibility. There is a sliding scale based on the year you were born which dictates your minim…

Four Reasons Not To Take A TSP Loan

Four Reasons Not To Take A TSP Loan
For most federal employees under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is their largest investment asset outside their home.The Plan offers loan programs which allows federal employees to borrow money from their accounts.
This feature is very enticing for someone that has a need for cash to place a down payment on a home purchase or just general expenses they want to take care of.They can tap the dollar value they have built up in their TSP after contributing for years through payroll deductions.
There are two loan programs available through the TSP: the residential loan and the general purpose loan. The residential loan program is available to assist in putting together the funds required for a down payment or to help pay for closing costs on a home purchase. These loans can be paid back for up to a fifteen-year period and require documentation on the property.The general purpose loan can be paid back for up …

Estate Planning for Federal Employees

Estate Planning for Federal Employees
Estate planning is an often neglected part of financial planning, particularly among federal employees. “It’s for the rich” is an excuse I’ve heard people give for not taking the time to consider estate planning. Feds believe it is reserved for the well to do and a segment of financial planning that only millionaires need to worry about. They also believe it involves complicated, legal documents that require the help of a specialized estate attorney. Although this may be true if you have a large estate or a complicated family structure, most estate planning can be quite simple to prepare.
At the very least, you should be educated on what estate planning is so you can make a decision on what legal documents you need.You don’t want to leave a mess behind for your heirs to deal with.Moreover, most of us want our wishes carried out in the event of our passing.
Here are some important estate planning documents:
Last Will and Testament. A will is a document…

Q &A: Do Social Security Benefits Continue to Increase As Long As You Work?

Q: I am divorced and will be 61 years old later this month. I am eligible to retire now as a federal employee under FERS with almost 21 years of service. I would receive a FERS supplement until the age of 62, when I could start receiving Social Security benefits.

I am considering taking a full time faculty job that I can do from home, but pays significantly less than my current position ($48,000 less). Health issues are a primary motivation. I would have the flexibility to work around my health issues (i.e., get more rest when needed, etc.).

If I were to do this and continue in this new job, would my Social Security benefits continue to increase until I'm 66 years and 4 months old, despite the pay reduction? Would I be better off hanging in there with my current job and retiring at 62? Can I receive the federal FERS supplement for that one year and then just not apply for Social Security?

A: Thank you for your service.  It's always exciting while a little unnerving to start a n…

Q & A: Social Security Retirement Benefit Estimator

Q: I just finished reading your article "How Much Do I Need in Savings If I Want $X Per Year in Retirement and Not Run Out of Money".  I have a question.

I am a federal law enforcement officer.  I will be retiring at age 55.  I am mandatory at age 57.  Whenever I request my Social Security Statement, it estimates what I would receive at different ages, assuming that I am continuously working.

How do I figure out what I will actually receive in social security benefits if I retire at age 55?

A: Thanks for reaching out to me.  Great question!!

Social Security has a tool for this. Go here: and scroll towards the bottom to the blue button.

Type in your personal info and it should be able to find your account, assuming you have created an account with them.

At first, it will give you the standard ages for retirement and what benefit you would receive; but it assumes you continuously work until that age.

You can select a different age you stop …

FEHB & Medicare Explained

FEHB & Medicare Explained
The decision to enroll in Medicare Part B, while maintaining your Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) in retirement, is one of the most difficult choices a new retiree faces.About 70% of federal retirees select to enroll Medicare B, but that percentage has been declining.

Let’s take a high level look at how FEHB and Medicare interact so you can decide if enrolling in Medicare Part B is the right decision for your situation.

What is Medicare?
Medicare is federal health insurance. Original Medicare consisted of Part A and Part B.It was created in 1965 to cover people age 65 and older, regardless of income or medical history.In 1972, eligibility was expanded to include people under 65 receiving social security disability benefits for 24 months and those with end stage renal disease, which is also called kidney disease.Medicare Part C was added in 1997 and Part D went into effect in 2006.

Medicare Part A
Part A is known as hospital Insurance. Nursing care, pre…