Retirement Planning Retirement PlanningRetirement Planning
Advice on how to prepare for life after government.

The Index: 2010 Edition

As I've done at the beginning of each of the past few years (see here and here), I am providing an index to all of my past columns that still contain relevant information to help you plan for your retirement.

I've deleted my first columns from 2006 on the topic of service credit deposits, along with several other columns that are now obsolete due to recent changes in the law. It's sad to see them go, but I'll soon be writing more on these subjects, so stay tuned.

Best Date to Retire

Best Dates to Retire: Follow-Up Sept. 4, 2009
Best Dates to Retire: 2010 July 10, 2009
Setting a Date June 19, 2009

Deciding to Retire

Taking the Plunge Aug. 7, 2009
When to Go: FERS Edition April 24, 2009
Putting it Off April 17, 2009
Federal vs. Private May 9, 2008
A Little Lower Oct. 12, 2007
Going Private Oct. 5, 2007
Public or Private? Sept. 14, 2007
Laboring Another Day Aug. 31, 2007
Retiring Women June 15, 2007
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Feb. 23, 2007
The Early Way Out May 26, 2006
Leaving Early May 19, 2006
Really, You Can Retire! March 17, 2006
You Can Afford To Retire! March 3, 2006

Things to Do to Get Ready

Where to Start Oct. 23, 2009
Communication Mistakes Aug. 28, 2009
From Day One July 24, 2009
Get an Estimate July 17, 2009
Midcareer Considerations May 1, 2009
It Pays to Know Jan. 23, 2009
What You Need to Know Oct. 10, 2008
Who's Responsible? Sept. 12, 2008
Time of Transition June 27, 2008
To-Do List June 13, 2008
Countdown to Retirement March 14, 2008
Help! Feb. 8, 2008
Educate Yourself Feb. 1, 2008
Last-Minute Tips Dec. 14, 2007
The Retirement Process June 22, 2007
Retirement Checklist June 8, 2007
Getting Ready Jan. 5, 2007
Are You Ready? July 14, 2006
Smoothing the Transition June 23, 2006

Sick Leave/Annual Leave

Leave: Take it or Lump It March 27, 2009
Taking Your Lumps Jan. 19, 2007

Service Credit Issues

Military Payback: More Questions June 12, 2009
Payback Time May 29, 2009
Catch-62 Revisited Sept. 5, 2008
Maxing Out July 18, 2008
Deposits and Credits June 20, 2008
Keep Your Records Feb. 28, 2008
Catch-62 Sept. 21, 2007
A Whole Different Kind of Service June 1, 2007
Crediting Volunteer Service May 25, 2007
Computing Your Service May 18, 2007
Service Interruption March 16, 2007
Mixing Civilian and Military Retirement June 30, 2006
Military Service Payback Feb. 24, 2006

Survivor Benefits

The Inevitable Aug. 14, 2009
When You Go June 5, 2009
Spousal Provision March 13, 2009
Survivor Benefits Q&A April 25, 2008
Supporting Your Survivors April 18, 2008
'Survivor:' Federal Edition Jan. 12, 2007
Federal Couples July 7, 2006
Who's Your Beneficiary? May 12, 2006
Spousal Benefits March 10, 2006

Law Enforcement and Special Groups

Special Considerations May 8, 2009
Feeling Special: Q&A Aug. 17, 2007
Feeling Special Aug. 10, 2007

Eligibility and Computation of CSRS and FERS

New Calculations Nov. 6, 2009
Eligibility: Facts and Myths July 6, 2007
Deferred vs. Postponed June 29, 2007
Retirement Estimate: The Details May 11, 2007
Basic Retirement Computations May 4, 2007
Estimating Your Benefits April 27, 2007
Supplementary Information Feb. 2, 2007
Supplementing FERS Jan. 26, 2007

Other CSRS and FERS Retirement Issues

The 2009 Quiz Dec. 18, 2009
Pop Quiz Sept. 11, 2009
Endless Summer, Endless Questions June 26, 2009
Voluntary Contributions Revisited May 22, 2009
No Fooling April 3, 2009
Disability Decisions March 20, 2009
Freefalling FERS March 6, 2009
What You Don't Know Feb. 27, 2009
Questions and Answers Feb. 20, 2009
Changes You Can Believe In Jan. 16, 2009
FERS Flexibilities Sept. 26, 2008
CSRS vs. FERS: 2008 Edition Sept. 19, 2008
Myth Busting May 30, 2008
Facing Disability Feb. 22, 2008
Changes for 2008 Jan. 11, 2008
D-I-V-O-R-C-E Aug. 24, 2007
Short-Term Benefits Feb. 16, 2007
Single Concerns July 21, 2006
A Thoroughly Modern Retirement System June 2, 2006
Voluntary Benefits May 5, 2006
Best of Both Worlds April 14, 2006


The Check Isn't In the Mail Jan. 30, 2009
Words of Wisdom May 15, 2008
Delayed Gratification April 4, 2008
Buyer Beware Jan. 25, 2008
Back to Work, Again March 30, 2007
Back to Work March 23, 2007

Health Insurance

Open Season Wrap-Up Dec. 11, 2009
Maturity and Youth Dec. 4, 2009
Open Forum Nov. 20, 2009
High Option Nov. 13, 2009
Open Season Opening Oct. 30, 2009
Dental Check-Up Nov. 7, 2008
Continued Coverage, Continued March 27, 2008
The Five-Year Test March 20, 2008
Ensuring a Healthy Retirement June 16, 2006


Maturity and Youth Dec. 4, 2009
Part B, Part Three Dec. 11, 2008
Medicare, Part B Dec. 4, 2008
Medicare Mysteries Nov. 21, 2008
Part B Or Not Part B? Sept. 28, 2007
More on Medicare April 28, 2006
Medicare ABCs April 21, 2006

Life Insurance

Life Insurance Options, Part Two Sept. 22, 2006
Life Insurance Options, Part One Sept. 15, 2006

Long-Term Care

Buying Long-Term Care Insurance Oct. 16, 2009
Long-Term Care Considerations Oct. 9, 2009
Long-Term Change May 15, 2009
Long-Term Planning July 25, 2008
The Long Haul: Part Three Aug. 11, 2006
The Long Haul: Part Two Aug. 4, 2006
The Long Haul: Part One July 28, 2006

Social Security

Social Security 301 Oct. 2, 2009
Social Security 201 Sept. 25, 2009
Social Security 101 Sept. 18, 2009
Social Security's Top 10 Aug. 21, 2009
Understanding Social Security April 10, 2009
The Benefits of Social Security June 6, 2008
Social Issues May 2, 2008
Getting Social March 7, 2008
Gone With the Windfall Sept. 1, 2006
Offsetting Penalty June 9, 2006

Thrift Savings Plan

From Law to Policy July 31, 2009
Deep Breath Oct. 17, 2008
Take Charge of Your TSP Oct. 3, 2008
TSP and Taxes May 23, 2008
The TSP's Future -- and Yours July 13, 2007
Honey Pot April 20, 2007
TSP Withdrawal Quiz April 13, 2007
Life Expectancy vs. Life Annuity April 6, 2007
Withdrawal Options March 24, 2006

Cost of Living Adjustments

The COLA Factor Aug. 29, 2008
COLA Wars Sept. 8, 2006

Pension Protection Act and Taxes

Tax Changes: Part Two Aug. 25, 2006
Tax Changes: Part One Aug. 18, 2006

Tammy Flanagan is the senior benefits director for the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc., which conducts federal retirement planning workshops and seminars. She has spent 25 years helping federal employees take charge of their retirement by understanding their benefits.

For more retirement planning help, tune in to "For Your Benefit," presented by the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc. live on Monday mornings at 10 a.m. ET on or on WFED AM 1500 in the Washington metro area.


Tammy Flanagan has spent 30 years helping federal employees take charge of their retirement by understanding their benefits. She runs her own consulting business at and provides individual counseling as well as online training for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Plan Your Federal Retirement as well as the Federal Long Term Care insurance Program. She also serves as the senior benefits director for the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc., which conducts federal retirement planning workshops and seminars.

For more retirement planning help, tune in to "For Your Benefit," presented by the National Institute of Transition Planning Inc. live on Federal News Radio on Mondays at 10 a.m. ET on WFED AM 1500 in the Washington-metro area. Archived shows are available on

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