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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Special Considerations

May 8, 2009 Several groups of federal employees -- such as air traffic controllers, law enforcement officers and firefighters -- are subject to mandatory retirement laws requiring them to leave their jobs at a relatively young age. The good news is they can begin immediately collecting their retirement benefits. Many of these young ...

Midcareer Considerations

May 1, 2009 Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are within striking distance of retirement eligibility, but many more who are further than 10 years away. This is when midcareer planning begins. One loyal reader of this column, Brenda, recently sent me an e-mail with some specific questions about her midcareer planning. Here's ...

When To Go (FERS Edition)

April 24, 2009 In last week's column, we explored the issue of whether and when employees under the Civil Service Retirement System should consider retiring. This week, let's look at it from the perspective of those under the Federal Employees Retirement System. FERS has three sources of retirement income: a basic benefit, a ...

Putting It Off

April 17, 2009 Across government and throughout the private sector, people are reconsidering their plans to retire because of the tough economy and an uncertain future. How much will you really gain by postponing your plans to retire? How much difference will it make if you quit and start a second career? The ...

Understanding Social Security

April 10, 2009 It's important for all of us to know how Social Security works, but not too many people find it fascinating enough to spend a Saturday afternoon studying it. Luckily for you, I'm one of those people. Let me see if I can capture your attention with some questions and answers ...

No Fooling

April 3, 2009 Do you fall into one of the following categories? Interested in crediting unused sick leave towards the computation of your retirement benefit under the Federal Employees Retirement System. Considering (or already) working part-time under the Civil Service Retirement System. Had a break in federal service, took a refund of your ...

Leave: Take It Or Lump It?

March 27, 2009 I received an e-mail the other day about a common situation facing those about to retire: I plan to retire under the Civil Service Retirement System this year. My plan was to take my annual leave (at least my 240 hours that I carried over from last year), extending my ...

Disability Decisions

March 20, 2009 Most federal employees understand the benefits associated with their health and life insurance. But as one Retirement Planning reader asks, do feds also need disability coverage? According to the Social Security Administration, three in 10 workers entering the labor market will become disabled before retiring. While federal employees receive some ...

Spousal Provision

March 13, 2009 In a recent column, I took on the subject of federal spousal survivor benefits. That prompted more questions from readers about the value of survivor benefits vs. life insurance -- including this one, which I thought I'd address this week: Has anyone looked into using a universal life insurance policy ...

Freefalling FERS?

March 6, 2009 Last week's column struck several nerves, judging from the comments I received from readers. I wanted to take some time this week to address one issue: the value of a retirement package under the Federal Employees Retirement System in the current economic environment. Here's what one commenter said: FERS is ...