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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How to Prepare for a Retirement Storm

April 16, 2015 As you probably know by now, there are some serious threats to federal retirement benefits on the table this year in Congress. GovExec reports have been keeping you well apprised of these proposals. Here’s how National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Richard Thissen describes the situation: The House...

Don’t Mess With the G Fund

April 9, 2015 What is unique about the Thrift Savings Plan? Well, first of all, it’s a retirement savings plan specifically designed for federal employees and military service members. Another notable fact about the TSP is its very low administrative costs -- 29 cents per $1,000 invested per year. For some 401(k) plans,...

9 Questions (and Answers) for Federal Couples

April 2, 2015 A few weeks ago, my colleague Bob Leins and I conducted a webinar on the topic of retirement benefit issues for federal couples -- those in which one or both of the spouses are federal employees. The presentation led to lots of audience questions. This week, I thought I’d address...

Leaving Government Now and Taking Retirement Later

March 26, 2015 Not all federal employees retire from federal service. Some work in government for several years, but leave before they’re eligible for immediate retirement benefits. Under the Federal Employees Retirement System, those who have at least five years of creditable civilian service may be eligible for a deferred retirement at age...

The Importance of Accurate Information

March 19, 2015 In some federal agencies, retirement counselors and specialists have very little experience these days. There’s little incentive to stay in the job of human resources specialist if there are no opportunities for advancement. Recently, I learned that one agency requires their retirement counselors to move to a different job after...

A Critical Part of Planning, By Any Estimation

March 12, 2015 Some years only have one Friday the 13th, but in 2015, there are three--and of course, one of them is this week. Maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking about unlucky or unfortunate federal employees who are trying to plan for retirement. This week, when I visited two different federal agencies,...

What Happens When You Say 'I Do'

March 5, 2015 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...