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Advice on how to prepare for life after government.

The Index: 2013 Edition

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Another year has come and gone. As my mother used to say, “The older you get, the faster time goes.” I celebrated my 55th birthday on Jan. 1 -- which would have marked my first eligibility for retirement under CSRS with 33 years of service, since I was hired on Nov. 2, 1980. But I left federal service in 1988, after only seven and a half years in government. I didn’t have “golden handcuffs” under the Civil Service Retirement System yet, so I left to make a career out of training other federal employees on their retirement benefits.

I have thought about finishing my federal career at some point, but I’m having so much fun doing training with the National Institute of Transition Planning, writing this column and co-hosting the For Your Benefit radio program on Federal News Radio that I am not sure returning to federal service would be my best move -- especially since my husband is ready to retire soon and it would be nice to ease into retirement with him.

For those of you who also are thinking about retirement, here’s my annual index to previous Retirement Planning columns. This year, I’ve added two new headings: “New Employees and Midcareer Employees” and “Congressional Proposals and Action.” The first is an effort to highlight the need for employees to plan for retirement throughout their careers. The second is in response to the many emails and questions I receive from employees who are almost to the point of panic over news of proposed changes to federal employee benefits.

New Employees and Midcareer Level Employees

Get Started Sept. 7, 2012

Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals Sept. 14, 2012

Buyout Considerations July 12, 2012

Happy Financial Literacy Month April 13, 2012

Targeting Early Retirement Oct. 21, 2011

Go or No Go Sept. 16, 2011

Early Outs July 29, 2011

Midterm Quiz June 17, 2011

The List June 4, 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

The Early Way Out May 26, 2006

Midcareer Considerations May 1, 2009

Leaving Early May 19, 2006

Really, You Can Retire! March 17, 2006

You Can Afford To Retire! March 3, 2006

Best Dates to Retire

Best Dates to Retire 2013 May 11, 2012

Best Date to Retire Tips March 9, 2012

Rethinking the Best Date to Retire Feb. 4, 2011

A Date for New Year's Dec. 17, 2010

Deciding to Retire

Waiting Game May 27, 2011

Ready…or Not? May 20, 2011

The Next Adventure Aug. 20, 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

Retiring Women June 15, 2007

Should I Stay, or Should I Go? Feb. 23, 2007

Congressional Proposals and Action

A Look Back Dec. 21, 2012

What’s New: Pension Hikes, Tepid TSP and More Nov. 9, 2012

Pay Raises and COLAs Aug. 3, 2012

Changes for the Better July 27, 2012

TSP, Pensions and More May 4, 2012

Cutting Benefits: Readers Bite Back April 1, 2011

Are Cuts Coming? March 25, 2011

Uncertain Times Sept. 22, 2011

Uncertain Times May 28, 2010

What Congress Gets July 8, 2011

From Law to Policy July 31, 2009

Things to Do to Get Ready

Back to Basics Sept. 28, 2012

Free Estimates Aug. 31, 2012

Five Retirement Tips April 27, 2012

The Sites You Need March 23, 2012

Not Quite Right Sept. 9, 2011

Predicting the Future Sept. 2, 2011

Overwhelmed Aug. 26, 2011

Retirement Checkup April 29, 2011

Be Prepared Jan. 21, 2011

Getting Help Sept. 24, 2010

Get an Estimate July 17, 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

Need Money? Save Your Sick Leave July 6, 2012

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

Goin’ to the Chapel June 1, 2012

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

How Much Do You Deserve? May 25, 2012

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

Women’s Issues Oct. 12, 2012

Summertime Q & A Aug. 17, 2012

Rates and Returns May 18, 2012

Divorce Decrees April 6, 2012

A Few Good Things Dec. 23, 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

CSRS vs FERS, Again Dec. 14, 2012

From CSRS to FERS March 15, 2012

Freefalling FERS March 6, 2009

FERS Flexibilities Sept. 26, 2008

CSRS vs. FERS: 2008 Edition Sept. 19, 2008

Retirement Processing

Are You Ready to Apply? Nov. 1, 2012

Benefits Roundup June 8, 2012

Reductions and Withholdings Jan. 13, 2012

Great Expectations Dec. 16, 2011

Diminishing Returns Aug. 19, 2011

Smooth Sailing Aug. 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

Who’s Getting What? Oct. 5, 2012

Pay Raises and COLAs Aug. 3, 2012

Phased Retirement Q & A Aug. 10, 2012

Retired – and Working July 20, 2012

Processing Problems Feb. 10, 2012

Refreshing COLA Oct. 14, 2011

Coming Back Sept. 30, 2011

Smooth Sailing Aug. 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

Why Don’t You Have a Flexible Spending Account? Nov. 16, 2012

Five Open Season Tips Nov. 30, 2012

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

FEHB and Medicare Oct. 25, 2012

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

Need Money? Rethink Life Insurance June 22, 2012

Life Insurance Options Feb. 3, 2012

Life Insurance Basics Jan. 27, 2012

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 Thinking June 15, 2012

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

Timing Is Everything Dec. 7, 2012

Getting the Most from Social Security Oct. 19, 2012

Are You Counting on Social Security? March 30, 2012

Social Security and Spouses Feb. 17, 2012

Social Security Quiz Jan. 20, 2012

Social Security Trade-Offs Aug. 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

Talking TSP Aug. 24, 2012

Need Money? Look to the TSP June 29, 2012

The Roth Option April 20, 2012

Roth and Taxes March 2, 2012

Cashing Out From the TSP Feb. 24, 2012

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

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

Nine Tax Planning Tips for Retirement Sept. 21, 2012

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 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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