Tammy Flanagan

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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Are You Counting on Social Security?

March 30, 2012 My inspiration for this week’s column came from two sources. The first was Lester Austin, an enthusiastic and personable public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration, who was this week’s guest on “For Your Benefit,” the weekly radio program that I co-host on Federal News Radio. The second was...

The Sites You Need

March 23, 2012 Isn’t it amazing to see how technology has changed our lives? In 1988, when I first started training federal employees about their retirement benefits, I would create transparency slides. Remember the thin plastic film that was used with an overhead projector? I would use washable markers to illustrate my examples,...


March 15, 2012 Every once in a while I receive an email that seems to sum up a recurring question, and it inspires one of my columns. This was one of those weeks. John from Wilmington, N.C., sent a message that really caught my attention, for several reasons. First, I might have been...

Best Date to Retire Tips

March 9, 2012 How would you like your claim to fame to be that you help federal employees choose the best date to retire? Well, that’s mine -- thanks to my good friend, Mike Causey, who helped me claim that title in the early 1990s. I can think of worse things to be...

Roth and Taxes

March 2, 2012 Did you know that last week was America Saves Week? The idea behind the event was to urge Americans to assess their savings progress and take action to start saving or to save more effectively. I thought I would pick up the savings theme this week by helping you evaluate...

Social Security and Spouses

February 17, 2012 A few weeks ago, I posted a Social Security quiz. After that column was published I heard from several very experienced Social Security employees who let me know that my example regarding spousal benefits was misleading. That’s one of the things I love about writing this column -- knowing that...

Processing Problems

February 10, 2012 Last week, a group of senators held a hearing on the ongoing issue of federal retirement processing delays. Here’s what I learned in watching the hearing: The current average wait for a retirement application to be processed is more than five months. Some cases linger for more than a year...

Life Insurance Options

February 3, 2012 Last week, we looked at basic coverage options under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program. This week, as promised, we’ll go over optional coverage. FEGLI offers three types of additional coverage: Option A (standard optional insurance) has a $10,000 value. Option B (additional optional insurance) equals one to five...

Life Insurance Basics

January 27, 2012 One of the key decisions you must make when you retire is what to do about your life insurance coverage. Federal employees are automatically enrolled in the basic version of the Federal Employee’s Group Life Insurance plan when they are first hired and can add optional insurance to supplement it....

Retirement Planning Social Security Quiz: The Answers

January 20, 2012 Retirement Planning: Social Security Quiz The Answers 1. c 2. c. At the full retirement age, a spouse is eligible for half their spouse’s full Social Security retirement benefit amount or their own benefit -- whichever is higher. If Sandy began collecting her own benefit at 62, however, this would...

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