Finding your magic retirement date

Have you ever fantasized about your last day on the job.? Have you already considered what gift, what surprise you will leave on the boss’s desk?

Are you making a list of which coworkers you will genuinely miss vs. what you are going to say to the boring loud-talker in the next cubicle when you symbolically clock out?

Whether your target retirement goal is later this year or much later this century, one thing is certain: Timing is everything! Or nearly everything.

Picking the right date can save you money or make you money. The so-called “Magic Date.”


Benefits expert Tammy Flanagan puts it like this:

“Is there really a magic retirement date, or is it just a figment of Mike Causey’s imagination? (The answer, by the way, is yes and yes .. .there is a ‘magic’ date and yes, the phrase was a figment of Mike’s very vast imagination).”

So, where do we go from here. What’s your magic date or dates? When is the best year, month and date to pull the plug? How will you know?

What are some common mistakes employees make prior to retirement that can impact their retirement income and also the speed that their retirement claim is processed?

As Tammy Flanagan puts it, “How long is a reasonable amount of time to wait for your retirement to be processed, and what do you live on in the meantime?” Good question.

If you are under the FERS retirement plan, keep in mind FERS is more than just the Thrift Savings Plan. Have you considered your FERS basic retirement benefit and your Social Security entitlement when figuring out your total retirement income? If not, how do you do it?

How will you know how much money you’ll receive after you retire?

Many feds don’t like to advertise when they plan to retire. Some people fear it could cut them out of the running for a promotion or training, which might make it worthwhile to stay. Others don’t want the “lame duck” status that can come when people know your work days are numbered. When your agency says you should turn in your retirement papers at least 30 to 90 days before you retire, do they mean “papers?” Just what paperwork is necessary in order for you to retire?

Someone once said that retiring is like dying. That is, most people only do it once. And even if you plan to move on to another job, getting your federal retirement ducks in order will be the basis for most of your income for life.

How do you do that? How about a one-on-one talk with Tammy Flanagan? She’s going to be our guest today on our Your Turn show at 10 a.m.

This is a can’t miss show! She will explain the who, what, when, where and why of the Magic Date for you. Listen if you can (1500 AM or online), and if you have questions email them to me at or call in during the show at (202) 465-3080. The show will be archived here.


Compiled by Jack Moore

Mark Twain was no fan of Jane Austen. Here’s what he thought of the “Pride and Prejudice” scribe:

“I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin bone!”

(Source: Mental Floss)


Obama hiking minimum pay for new federal contracts
The White House says President Barack Obama will sign an executive order setting the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts at $10.10 an hour. The increase from a national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour will not affect existing federal contracts, only new ones. In addition, contract renewals will not be affected unless other terms of the agreement change. Obama will discuss these changes as part of tonight’s State of the Union Address. drags down satisfaction with federal services
For the first time since 2010, citizen satisfaction with federal government services dropped last year, according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The average overall citizen satisfaction with the government’s services fell 3.4 percent in 2013 to a score of 66.1 points (on a 100-point scale). Much of the decline is attributable to a “deterioration in satisfaction” with federal websites, which users found “more difficult to navigate, less reliable, and the information provided less useful” than in years past, according to the report.

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