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

Happy Financial Literacy Month!


Since April is officially Financial Literacy Month, the Office of Personnel Management has been providing information to help employees plan for the future. Some of the tips involve things you might have forgotten about -- such as savings bonds and other Treasury securities. The savings bonds my parents and my husband’s parents gave to our two boys as they were growing up helped to pay for a significant part of their education. We weren’t sure at the time how $50 bonds that cost only $25 would ever make a difference, but their value over 20 years turned out to be thousands of dollars in college money.

Another tool that OPM is promoting this month is the Federal Ballpark E$timator. It’s designed to encourage federal employees to think about options for retirement savings so that they’ll have additional sources of income beyond government retirement benefits and Social Security.

One of those key sources is Thrift Savings Plan investments. As of March 31, the TSP had a total account balance of $313 billion -- a clear indication that the 4.7 million plan participants are aware they need to save for their retirement. But it turns out that more than half those funds are invested in the superconservative government securities G Fund -- if you factor in the portion of life-cycle fund investments that end up in the G Fund.

Why is the figure so high? Is the G Fund really that safe? Many people don’t realize there is a risk in relying on it to meet your retirement goals. It’s called inflation.

Another thing to remember, especially during Financial Literacy Month, is you’re not going to get investment advice from the TSP or from your federal agency. Their job is simply to make benefits available to you and explain how they work.

If you’re not comfortable making decisions about investing for the future, then you might want to hire a professional financial adviser. Here is a link to 10 questions that can help you choose a qualified financial planner.


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

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.