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Advice on how to prepare for life after government.

The Index: 2012 Edition

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Image by iStockphoto; illustration by Kelly Martin and Chanin Knight

Since 2006, I've been privileged to have my name appear under the Retirement Planning column every Friday. If you would have asked me then if I would still be writing this column in 2012, I would have said, "No way." I would have thought it would either have been too hard to think up new ideas every week or that no one would read it. But it turned out I still have a loyal readership and it's relatively easy to come up with ideas, since they come from those of you who attend my seminars or read the column.

As I have done every January, I have created a new index of my past columns that are still relevant, including the columns added in 2011 since the last edition of the index. I've deleted columns that are no longer current or that have been replaced by something more useful. I've also added some new headings to the index to further break down the main topic ideas. For example, for those of you who have recently retired or are planning to do so in 2012, I've added the category "Retirement Processing" to provide you with a realistic view of what to expect as you transition from employee to annuitant.

I'd love to hear from those who have already retired. Use the comments section below to let me know how it's going for you and any interesting events that may have occurred during your transition. I wish you all the best for 2012 and hope the index will serve as a valuable resource for you.

Best Dates to Retire

Best Dates to Retire, Revisited June 3, 2011
Best Dates to Retire 2012 May 13, 2011
Rethinking the Best Date to Retire Feb. 4, 2011
A Date for New Year's Dec. 17, 2010

Deciding to Retire

Targeting Early Retirement Oct. 21, 2011
Uncertain Times Sept. 22, 2011
Go or No Go Sept. 16, 2011
Early Outs July 29, 2011
Waiting Game May 27, 2011
Ready…or Not? May 20, 2011
Cutting Benefits: Readers Bite Back April 1, 2011
Are Cuts Coming? March 25, 2011
The Next Adventure Aug. 20, 2010
The List June 4, 2010
Uncertain Times May 28, 2010
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

Not Quite Right Sept. 9, 2011
Predicting the Future Sept. 2, 2011
Overwhelmed August 26, 2011
Retirement Checkup April 29, 2011
Be Prepared Jan. 21, 2011
Getting Help Sept. 24, 2010
The Top Five April 16, 2010
Financial Literacy for Feds April 9, 2010
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

Sick Leave Credit: The Calculations April 2, 2010
Sick Leave Credit: The Details March 26, 2010
Sick Leave Credit for All March 19, 2010
Leave: Take It or Lump It March 27, 2009
Taking Your Lumps Jan. 19, 2007

Service Credit Issues: Civilian

Redeposits for the Rehired Feb. 25, 2011
Civilian Payback Feb. 18, 2011
Where Credit is Due Jan. 28, 2011
Refunds and Redeposits Jan. 14, 2011
At Your Service Aug. 13, 2010
Question Time Feb. 12, 2010
Deposit Woes Jan. 29, 2010
Deposit Dilemma Jan. 22, 2010
Deposit Download Jan. 15, 2010
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 Credit Issues: Military

11.11.11 Edition Nov. 11, 2011
Credit for Military Service Feb. 11, 2011
From Military to Civilian July 30, 2010
Question Time Feb. 12, 2010
Deposit Woes Jan. 29, 2010
Deposit Dilemma Jan. 22, 2010
Deposit Download Jan. 15, 2010
Military Payback: More Questions June 12, 2009
Payback Time May 29, 2009
Catch-62 Revisited Sept. 5, 2008
Deposits and Credits June 20, 2008
Catch-62 Sept. 21, 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

Safety Net July 22, 2011
Summer Assignment July 15, 2011
For Richer or Poorer, Final Words March 18, 2011
For Richer or Poorer, Part Two March 11, 2011
For Richer, For Poorer March 4, 2011
Thinking the Unthinkable June 11, 2010
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

Targeting Early Retirement Oct. 21, 2011
Officers' Options July 1, 2011
Special Considerations May 8, 2009
Feeling Special: Q&A Aug. 17, 2007
Feeling Special Aug. 10, 2007

Eligibility and Computation of CSRS and FERS

What Congress Gets July 8, 2011
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 Issues

A Few Good Things Dec. 23, 2011
Midterm Quiz June 17, 2011
Pocket Change April 8, 2011
Pop Quiz Sept. 10, 2010
Before Your Time July 23, 2010
Spring Cleaning May 21, 2010
Financially Independent Women May 14, 2010
Question Time May 7, 2010
The 2009 Quiz Dec. 18, 2009
Pop Quiz Sept. 11, 2009
Endless Summer, Endless Questions June 26, 2009
No Fooling April 3, 2009
What You Don't Know Feb. 27, 2009
Questions and Answers Feb. 20, 2009
Myth Busting May 30, 2008
D-I-V-O-R-C-E Aug. 24, 2007
Short-Term Benefits Feb. 16, 2007
Single Concerns July 21, 2006

CSRS vs FERS

Freefalling FERS March 6, 2009
FERS Flexibilities Sept. 26, 2008
CSRS vs. FERS: 2008 Edition Sept. 19, 2008

Retirement Processing

Great Expectations Dec. 16, 2011
Diminishing Returns August 19, 2011
Smooth Sailing August 12, 2011
Trick or Treat Oct. 29, 2010
The Check Isn't in the Mail Jan. 30, 2009
Delayed Gratification April 4, 2008
Buyer Beware Jan. 25, 2008
A Thoroughly Modern Retirement System June 2, 2006

CSRS Offset

Complicating Factors Oct. 7, 2011
Understanding CSRS Offset Sept. 3, 2010
Best of Both Worlds April 14, 2006

Disability Retirement

Disability Decisions Nov. 19, 2010
Disability Decisions March 20, 2009
Facing Disability Feb. 22, 2008

Voluntary Contributions

A Golden Opportunity Oct. 15, 2010
Voluntary Contributions Revisited May 22, 2009
Voluntary Benefits May 5, 2006

Post-Retirement

Refreshing COLA Oct. 14, 2011
Coming Back Sept. 30, 2011
Smooth Sailing August 12, 2011
Words of Wisdom May 15, 2008
Delayed Gratification April 4, 2008
Back to Work, Again March 30, 2007
Back to Work March 23, 2007

Health Insurance

Taking the Plunge Dec. 2, 2011
Ten Tips for Open Season Nov. 18, 2011
So Many Choices Nov. 4, 2011
Why? Dec. 10, 2010
(Almost) Free Health Insurance Oct. 8, 2010
Health Reform and Your Children Sept. 17, 2010
Open Forum Nov. 20, 2009
High Option Nov. 13, 2009
Dental Check-Up Nov. 7, 2008
The Five-Year Test March 20, 2008
Ensuring a Healthy Retirement June 16, 2006

Medicare

Medicare Choices Dec. 9, 2011
Medicare Wrap-Up Dec. 3, 2010
Medicare Questions Nov. 12, 2010
Don't Forget Medicare Nov. 5, 2010
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 Lessons Oct. 1, 2010
Checks and Balances Aug. 6, 2010
Your Money and Your Life July 16, 2010
Life Insurance Options, Part Two Sept. 22, 2006
Life Insurance Options, Part One Sept. 15, 2006

Long-Term Care

Long-Term Open Season Oct. 28, 2011
Decision Time June 10, 2011
Fast Facts on Long Term Care April 15, 2011
The Poverty Line March 12, 2010
Beyond Benefits March 5, 2010
Long-Term Crunch Feb. 5, 2010
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 Trade-Offs August 5, 2011
The Magic Number Aug. 27, 2010
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

Another Look at Annuities June 24, 2011
Grow Your Savings April 22, 2011
Setting the TSP Record Straight July 9, 2010
How to Become a TSP Millionaire July 2, 2010
TSP Payday June 25, 2010
Upgrading the TSP June 18, 2010
Avoiding Annuities February 26, 2010
Income for Life Feb. 19, 2010
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

COLA Crunch Oct. 22, 2010
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 Mondays at 10 a.m. EDT on federalnewsradio.com, or on WFED AM 1500 in the Washington-metro area.

 

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 Federal News Radio on Mondays at 10 a.m. ET on WFED AM 1500 in the Washington-metro area. Archived shows are available on NITPInc.com.

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