AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Tammy Flanagan

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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What Happens When You Say 'I Do'

2:13 PM ET There are many benefits to working for Uncle Sam, but for some, the biggest one has been meeting their future spouse and creating a union of two federal employees. The human resources/benefits office at your agency calls this a “life event.” By the way, if you are getting married—it doesn’t ...

Three (or More) Helpings of the TSP

February 26, 2015 My column last week on Thrift Savings Plan withdrawals attracted several responses like this one: I do not understand what the following statement from your column is saying: “If you want to take out money on an ‘as-needed’ basis, the TSP doesn’t offer the ability to take more than three ...

You’ve Invested for Retirement. Now What?

February 19, 2015 Federal employees have done a fabulous job of accumulating wealth in the Thrift Savings Plan since 1987. Collectively, the nearly 4.7 million TSP participants have more than $400 billion in traditional (tax-deferred savings and growth) TSP accounts and a little over $2 billion in Roth (after tax savings, tax-free growth) ...

Who’s Paying for Your Health Insurance?

February 12, 2015 I recently had an interesting email exchange with a retired U.S. Army reservist who is also a retired federal civilian employee. He told me that during the recent health benefits open season, he decided to enroll in TRICARE, the health care program for military service members and retirees. He opted ...

Neither CSRS nor FERS

February 5, 2015 It’s been a while since I’ve written about a group of federal employees who sometimes feel overlooked or forgotten -- those who are are neither under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System. Rather, they’re in a system that has some of the elements of both, ...

Is FERS Better? Readers Weigh In

January 29, 2015 Last week’s column, Unlocking the Secrets of FERS, received a huge response. I figured it would, since I attempted to point out the benefits of coverage under the Federal Employees Retirement System over the Civil Service Retirement System for certain federal workers. That’s always a subject of hot debate. It ...

Unlocking the Secrets of FERS

January 22, 2015 As you probably know, federal employees are generally covered by one of two retirement systems: the “old” Civil Service Retirement System or the “new” Federal Employees Retirement System. But FERS isn’t that new any more. It includes many employees who have accumulated 30 or more years of federal service. And ...

What Really Happens When You Change Health Plans

January 15, 2015 If you changed health plans during the 2014 open season, you might find yourself in uncharted waters this year. I’ve been talking lately to some of my retiree friends who heard (from me) about the new Aetna Direct plan that was designed especially for retirees who have Medicare Parts A ...

The Index: 2015 Edition

January 8, 2015 The year 2015 begins my 10th year of writing the Retirement Planning column. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to provide this weekly update to help you prepare for your retirement. My husband fully retired from federal service last month and while I’m going to continue my work for ...

Beware of Scams

December 18, 2014 Many federal employees and retirees have amassed large balances in their Thrift Savings Plan accounts. That gives them some long-term retirement security, but it also exposes them to targeting by scammers who want a piece of their nest eggs. No one wants to be misled by unscrupulous sales people. Unfortunately, ...