Lockdown’s impact on your life

As a growing number of states, counties and cities move (stumble) back to pre-COVID rules and reality, many of us have to remember what that “normal” was like. Last week the Social Security Administration — which has one of the largest group of teleworkers in government — it will be asking more employees who resume work at the office. A strain for some. Maybe a relief for others. And their significant others too in some cases!

One thing we’ve learned, from the media, court data, studies and — maybe personal reality — is that people locked together for months are breaking away. Either splitting up or actually filing for divorce.

The 40 million Americans who lost their jobs and applied for unemployment benefits will, in many cases, be looking for jobs that in future will provide them with what they either lost, or never had, in the private sector. A steady paycheck, freedom from furloughs or pay cuts and defined benefit pensions paid for in whole or part by their employers.

Unemployment, depending on the political filter of the person reading and writing news reports, is getting better: As in more people have jobs, or, many of those are people who were furloughed or fired earlier are being brought back to their old jobs — sometimes at lower pay.

As federal/postal workers, many of you are bona fide essential workers (while the term “heroes” is often overused, in your case it’s true) who kept your jobs. Many had to be on the front-line, but a record number of people were allowed to work from home.

Some retirees, maybe a lot of them, may be deciding if they are wanted or needed back in the workforce. Both to do good and make more money.

For many feds, whether long-time or relatively new, the question is: What now?

Now, naturally, we turn to Tammy Flanagan. She’s an expert on federal benefits with the emphasis on planning for the best possible retirement from Uncle Sam. Her husband is retired Secret Service so she knows about retirement for law enforcement officers too.

Will the “new” post-pandemic, civil service be hit with a wave of retirements, the long-predicted retirement tsunami at last, opening up the promotion pipeline? Many think thousands of long-serving (or suffering) feds will bail out, deciding they want to spend their golden years on the beach instead of in a bunker. Or will folks who were considering retirement decide to delay pulling the plug. That could be especially true of the economic downside of the pandemic (which could last years) bringing with it low inflation which means fewer and/or smaller cost of living adjustments for federal retirees?

So what’s your next career move? Tammy will be my guest today at 10 a.m. EDT on our Your Turn radio show. You can listen live right here on our site, or on the radio on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area. The show will also be archived here so you can listen later and/or pass it on to a friend or coworker.

If you have questions for her, please send them to me before showtime at mcausey@federalnewssnetwork.com. Here are some of the things we’ll be talking about:

Retirement planning during the pandemic

  • Has retirement processing been affected? How long might you have to wait for your first full annuity payment?
  • How does the CARES Act impact the TSP?
  • What should you not be doing with your TSP?
  • What should you be doing to prepare for retirement?
    • Virtual training events
    • Social Security offices are now accessible by phone — no need to wait in line at the local office!
    • Do you have a retirement estimate? Do you know how to get one?
  • Do you know how to estimate your “net” retirement income?
  • Have you started to think about your expenses in retirement?
  • Do you have sufficient cash reserves for emergencies?
  • Have you started to contemplate life after retirement … quarantine has provided some insight, maybe?

Tammy will bring us up to speed answering questions that, in many cases, we didn’t know should be asked. Check it out.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

No number before 1,000 contains the letter “a” in its word form.

Source: Readers Digest

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Your Turn with Mike Causey

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THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Sep 30, 2020 Close Change YTD*
L Income 21.5237 0.0105 2.27%
L 2025 10.3755 0.0123 -
L 2030 35.4660 0.0502 3.75%
L 2035 10.4907 0.0162 -
L 2040 39.0958 0.0655 4.13%
L 2045 10.5694 0.0187 -
L 2050 22.8514 0.0432 4.38%
L 2055 10.7257 0.0259 -
L 2060 10.7258 0.0259 -
L 2065 10.7259 0.0259 -
G Fund 16.4749 0.0003 0.70%
F Fund 21.0483 -0.0309 6.79%
C Fund 49.8576 0.409 9.67%
S Fund 58.2178 0.2873 6.70%
I Fund 30.4808 -0.2073 -4.35%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at tsp.gov
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.