Showing posts from September, 2017

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 u

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 contin

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 Pa

Six Federal Retirement Myths

We all know how complex the federal retirement system is.  There are so many ifs, ands, or buts that it will make your eyes glaze over.  It makes for great reading material at bedtime.  So it makes sense that many details are not fully grasped by the average civil servant. These misunderstandings sort of take a life of their own, evolve and develop into myths.  I’ve spoken to many federal workers contemplating retirement that have stated these myths as fact to me.  These myths all have an element of truth to them which possibly causes people to believe them so readily.   Let’s take a look at these 6 common myths:   1. “I won’t get the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity unless I work a full career” Incorrect. Many federal employees think the annuity is an “all or nothing” benefit.  They believe if they don’t fulfill the complete requirements of a full retirement, they’ll never be eligible or receive an annuity.  It is true you have to meet age and service minimu

How Parents Can Help Teens Manage Money

Teaching teens how to manage their money is a critical skill that can be passed down from mom and dad.  And they need all the help they can get. You would be surprised how little the average teen knows about how to allocate money.  Until they have their first job, they’ve never thought about budgeting their money, how to balance a check book or really what it takes to pay for all the cool stuff mom and dad have gotten them.  Some that work don’t develop this skill either.  This is where you come in. Whether it is an allowance, or the money they get from their first job, use this opportunity as a teachable moment.  I always recommend teens split their money in thirds with some set aside for charity; 30% to contribute to household expenses, 30% for spending and having fun, 30% for savings and 10% to a charity for those in need. I think it is important for teens to realize early that a portion of the money they make go for things that are considered obligations, just like it will