Your Federal Employee Benefits
Complex Benefits Made Simple
When you consider the Thrift Savings Plan’s (TSP) low fees, diversified funds, and generous government match, contributing is a no-brainer for most Federal employees. However, the question of “how much” to contribute is far more complicated. This question is difficult to answer because it depends on many variables such as what age you begin toContinue reading “How Much Should You Contribute To Your TSP?”
In this video, I’ll cover whether you can have both a Roth TSP and Roth IRA and some of the differences between the two. If you want to learn more read this article on the TSP.
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a qualified retirement plan, which means the plan meets specific IRS requirements and, as such, receives additional tax benefits and protections. The tax benefits you’ll receive and how your withdrawals will be taxed depends on whether you have a traditional or a roth TSP. Traditional vs Roth Taxation TraditionalContinue reading “How Is Your TSP Taxed?”
In this video, I’ll cover what financial planning actually is in under 2 minutes. If you want to learn more about the financial planning process, visit the Services page.
What Is Creditable Service? You may have heard the term “creditable service,” but what exactly is creditable service, and why does it matter? Creditable service refers to the years of service when your salary was subject to FERS deductions. Which for most Federal employees will be every year of their civilian career. Now, this importantContinue reading “What Is FERS Creditable Service And Why Is It Important?”
What is the MRA? The minimum retirement age (MRA) is the earliest age at which most Federal employees may retire. Why Is It Important? Your MRA will determine when you’re eligible for different types of FERS retirement options. For example, your MRA will determine whether you are eligible for the MRA+ 10 retirement option. YouContinue reading “What Is The FERS MRA?”
In this video, I’ll cover the MRA+ 10 retirement option in under 3 minutes. If you want to learn about the MRA+ 10 option, read this article and if you want to learn about other FERS immediate retirement options, watch this video.
As childcare costs continue to rise exponentially, it’s critical that all Federal employees understand one of their most robust benefits, the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA). The DCFSA is a savings account established by your agency with specific tax advantages to help you cover the cost of dependent care. So, if your agency hasContinue reading “The Federal Employee’s Dependent Care FSA At A Glance”
In this video, I’ll cover 2 tips to help you invest your TSP the right way. And if you want to learn about aligning your money with your goals, read this article.
Your FERS pension has a survivor benefit. The survivor benefit allows your spouse (or someone else with an insurable interest) to receive a portion of your pension when you pass away in retirement. If you’re married when you retire, you’ll need to make an election. However, deciding which benefit to select can be challenging asContinue reading “What Happens To Your FERS Pension When You Kick The Bucket?”
In this video, I’ll cover the 5 things you need to know about buying back military time. Use the DFAS Military Buy Back Estimator to get your estimated buy back cost. And if you want to learn more about the FERS pension, read this article.
As a Federal employee, you are not offered short-term disability coverage. However, you do have protection against a long-term disability via the FERS Disability Retirement Option. While many people dismiss the need for disability protection, the Social Security Administration states that 25% of people who are 20 years old today will be disabled for 90Continue reading “The FERS Disability Retirement Option”
Federal employees covered under FERS who separate from service before meeting the requirements for an Immediate retirement might still be eligible for a pension under the Deferred retirement option. This video will review the FERS Deferred retirement in under 3 minutes. To learn more about the other FERS retirement options, read this quick summary ofContinue reading “The FERS Deferred Retirement In Under 3 Minutes (VIDEO)”
Federal employees covered under the FERS retirement system are offered a unique retirement option, the MRA+10. The MRA+10 option allows you to retire at your minimum retirement age (MRA) with as few as 10 years of service. Hence, if you want to retire but aren’t eligible for an immediate unreduced retirement under the standard ageContinue reading “What is the FERS MRA + 10 Retirement?”
Here are the two reasons defining your Why is the most important step in creating a successful financial plan. Read this article for a step-by-step guide on defining the why behind your financial life plan.
As you kick off your new year, it’s important that you take the time to ensure your finances will support the year you hope to have rather than hinder it. Since our finances affect every facet of our lives, improving your finances can support success in other areas of your life. Use the following 6Continue reading “6 Tips To Tune-Up Your Finances For The New Year”
Federal employees covered under FERS who wish to retire under the immediate retirement option must meet specific age and years of service requirements. This video will review the FERS immediate retirement eligibility requirements in under 3 minutes. To learn more about the FERS retirement options and eligibility, read this article.
Many people think that financial planning is investment management or insurance sales, but those are just financial planning tools. Real financial planning is the process of aligning all of your resources to support your life goals. Said differently, financial planning (when done right) is the process of painting your dream life, being clear and honestContinue reading “Defining the Why Behind Your Financial Life Plan”
If you are covered by FERS and retire before age 62, you may be eligible for a pension supplement called the Special Retirement Supplement (SRS), also known as the FERS Supplement. In this video, I’ll cover four key things you need to know about the SRS. If you want to learn more about the SRS,Continue reading “The 4 Things You Need To Know About The FERS Supplement (VIDEO)”
If you are covered by FERS and retire before age 62, you may be eligible for a pension supplement called the Special Retirement Supplement (SRS), also known as the FERS Supplement. Because Social Security is a key component of your FERS pension, the SRS is designed to bridge the gap between when you retire andContinue reading “The FERS Supplement At A Glance”
WHAT IS A PERSONAL NET WORTH STATEMENT? Once you have your goals defined and have determined whether any money is required to accomplish them, you will need to know where you stand financially, which makes sense because you can’t travel to somewhere new if you don’t know your current location. That’s the clarity a netContinue reading “Finding Your Financial Location With A Net Worth Statement”
According to a recent survey by creditcards.com, nearly half of Americans carry a credit card balance. Since even a small balance will accrue interest and grow over time, everyone with a balance should have a plan for managing their debt to ensure it doesn’t get out of control. The key to establishing a debt managementContinue reading “4 Tips For Managing Your Credit Card Debt”
Any Federal employees hired after January 1, 1987, are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). However, not all employees covered under FERS have the same retirement options; special category employees, namely law enforcement officers (LEOs), firefighters, and air traffic controllers (ATCs), have different requirements and options available to them. These designated employees areContinue reading “What is the FERS Enhanced Pension Multiplier?”
Considering the rapidly increasing cost of college, it’s more important now than ever that veterans and their dependents understand and utilize the benefits that they have earned. The VA’s Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program or Chapter 35 is one such benefit that all eligible dependents should utilize. The program offers monthly payments forContinue reading “The VA's Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program at a Glance”
A flexible spending account (FSA), also called a “flexible spending arrangement,” is a savings account with specific tax advantages established by an employer for its employees. If you’re a Federal employee who works for an agency that has adopted the Federal Flexible Benefits Plan, you can access the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS). TheContinue reading “The Federal Employee's Flexible Spending Account at a Glance”
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and the Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) share many similarities, such as the option to fund with pre-tax (traditional) or after-tax dollars (Roths); having penalties for early withdrawals and failing to take required minimum distributions beginning at age 72. However, there are some important distinctions between the two accounts, such asContinue reading “The TSP vs. the IRA: What’s the Difference?”
What is estate planning? Estate planning is the process of arranging how your assets will grow, be protected, and be transferred efficiently and effectively. Estate planning doesn’t just involve planning events post-death but also includes planning for how your wishes will be carried out if you become incapacitated. Estate planning is often a neglected partContinue reading “8 Steps to Create Your Estate Plan: For Federal Employees”
As important as money is in our lives, many still find it difficult to be intentional with their money and often find that money drives their lives instead of supporting the life they want to live. When you are merely putting money in and pulling money out of your account with no defined goal, itContinue reading “6 Steps To Define Your Money's Purpose”
We all know that an emergency fund is cash set aside to cover unexpected life events, such as medical expenses, home-appliance replacement, car repairs, or unemployment. We also know that the reassurance of knowing that large or small, we can maintain our normal life through the inevitable curveballs life throws at us helps us toContinue reading “6 Tips For Building Your Emergency Fund”
Considering homeowners insurance protects what may be the most significant investments of your life, it is critical that you have adequate coverage. But how much homeowners insurance do you need? The truth is that every home has vastly different insurance needs depending on where it’s located, how it’s constructed, what’s inside as well as multipleContinue reading “5 Steps to Ensure You Have Enough Homeowners Insurance”
The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents waives the tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program covers tuition and student service fees; it does not cover campus-based fees, books, parking, or room and board. Furthermore, the Waiver is only applied to state-supportedContinue reading “College Tuition Waiver for Veteran Dependents at a Glance”
For many of us, life insurance is an essential part of our risk management plan; this is especially true if we have dependents. Determining how much coverage you need will vary and is based on personal and financial circumstances, such as your family’s composition, the amount required for immediate expenses, and the amount of ongoingContinue reading “How Much Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Do You Need?”
Having the choice of contributing to a Traditional TSP or a Roth TSP provides you with a significant tax planning option—but it does force you to make another financial planning decision. Many people find making this decision a challenge because there’s no one right answer for everyone, and it depends upon several factors. What’s NotContinue reading “Which Thrift Savings Plan Is Right For You? Roth Vs. Traditional”
The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program provides group term life insurance to eligible Federal Government employees. Unlike whole life insurance products, the FEGLI policy does not build up any cash value, and you cannot borrow from your policy. There are four policy options: Basic life coverage and three forms of Optional coverage. EligibilityContinue reading “Your Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance at a Glance”
The Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) Program provides comprehensive health care coverage for you, your spouse, and your children under age 26. The program does not have waiting periods nor restrictions for pre-existing conditions. Who Is Eligible? Most Federal employees are eligible, and retirees may be eligible to continue their FEHB coverage if they meetContinue reading “Quickstart Guide to Your Federal Employee Health Benefits”
What is Disability Insurance? Disability insurance is a type of insurance that pays you a monthly benefit if you become disabled. You could think of it as an income replacement that can help you avoid the financial burden of losing your income if you are unable to work due to an accident, injury, or illness.Continue reading “Quickstart Guide to Your Federal Employee Disability Benefits”
With today’s healthcare options resembling an alphabet soup, choosing a healthcare plan can seem like a daunting task. This quick guide will help you decipher the healthcare lingo and choose the right plan for you and your family. 1: Terminology It’s essential to understand key health insurance terms. Understanding the lingo will allow you toContinue reading “How to Choose a Healthcare Plan”
What is COBRA Insurance? The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires most private sector and state or local government employers with 20 or more employees to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage for employees who experience a job loss or other qualifying event. And many states have laws like COBRA that coverContinue reading “COBRA Health Insurance at a Glance”
What is COBRA Insurance? The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires most private sector and state or local government employers with 20 or more employees to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage for employees who experience a job loss or other qualifying event. And many states have laws like COBRA that coverContinue reading “Quickstart Guide to COBRA Health Insurance”
What is a Health Care FSA? A flexible spending account (FSA), also called a “flexible spending arrangement,” is a savings account with specific tax advantages. The accounts are established by employers for their employees. Northrop Grumman offers two types of FSAs: The Health Care FSA and the Dependent Day Care FSA. We will be reviewingContinue reading “Understanding Northrop Grumman’s Healthcare FSA”
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