For Your Benefit

Federal Retirement: Fact or Opinion?

Host Bob Leins, CPA® welcomes Tammy Flanagan, Senior Benefits Director at NITP.

July 24, 2023 on ForYourBenefit, host Bob Leins, CPA® welcomes Tammy Flanagan, Senior Benefits Director at NITP.

It seems that everyone has an opinion when it comes to retirement decisions.  Many of these opinions are stated as though they’re facts.  Some of the questions from Federal employees about retirement center around relatively straightforward facts in law or policy.  Here are some of the most common:

  • Will I get a cost-of-living adjustment on my retirement benefit?
  • What are the requirements to continue my health insurance coverage into retirement?
  • Do I have to begin taking payments from my TSP account when I retire from Federal service?

Other questions, though, require opinions because they lack a definitive right or wrong answer. In the retirement world, these often start with “Should I…” Here are some of the ones frequently asked:

Should I…

  • File for Social Security at 62?
  • Leave my money in the Thrift Savings Plan after retirement, or move it to an IRA?
  • Retire when I am first eligible to collect a benefit, or continue working?

The answer to all of these is, well, it depends.  When it comes to retirement decisions that may be hard to change later, it is important not to focus on the money you save now, but the cumulative cost your decision can have over the next decade or several decades. After all, for many Federal retirees, life after government may last longer than their working careers.

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