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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Deposits and Credits

June 20, 2008 Do you like surprises? A birthday party, bouquet of flowers, maybe even a visit from a long-lost friend -- all of these can be pleasant surprises. But when it comes to retirement, surprises are to be avoided. To do so, it's important to understand two concepts that are uniquely important ...

To-Do List

June 13, 2008 Many of you may be at the point of setting a date for your retirement and wondering what needs to get done before you go. One of my readers came up with a "countdown checklist" to help prepare for the big day. (She doesn't want to take credit for it ...

The Benefits of Social Security

June 6, 2008 We all know that Social Security provides benefits for workers -- that is, people who have paid Social Security taxes on their own earnings. But do you understand how Social Security also benefits workers' families? When you start receiving your own Social Security retirement benefits, your spouse, dependent children and ...

Myth Busting

May 30, 2008 At any given moment, there are many different myths floating around about federal retirement planning. One of the things I like about doing this column is having the opportunity to set the record straight. So this week I thought I'd do a little myth-busting. Myth: The age of your spouse ...

TSP and Taxes

May 23, 2008 Do you know the circumstances under which you can withdraw funds from your Thrift Savings Plan account without a tax penalty? Are your heirs aware of the tax implications of the choices they will have to make about the funds in your account after you're gone? These two issues come ...

Words of Wisdom

May 16, 2008 Do you ever wonder what retirement will be like? Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with my father's brother, Steve Kukic (who is a young 85), and his (even younger) wife, Helena. They retired as civilian federal employees from Edwards Air Force Base in the mid-1970s. Uncle ...

Federal vs. Private

May 9, 2008 In a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Salisbury of the Employee Benefit Research Institute detailed how private sector benefits have changed since World War II. That got me thinking about the changes that have occurred in the federal government in the years since the Civil Service Retirement ...

Social Issues

May 2, 2008 Social Security is a topic I cover in every one of my retirement seminars, and I wrote about it in a column a couple of months ago (Getting Social, March 7). Everybody, it seems, is familiar with the program, but many government folks are unclear about exactly how it might ...

Survivor Benefits: Q&A

April 25, 2008 Last week's column on survivor benefits led to a series of questions and comments. This week, I'll try to address some of them. Does there have to be at least a nominal monthly survivor benefit for the surviving spouse for that spouse to continue being covered under the retired spouse's ...

Supporting Your Survivors

April 18, 2008 Are you providing financial support for someone? That could be a spouse, dependent children, a disabled relative or an aging parent. As you consider your own retirement, you also should consider what might happen to these people if you die before they do. Available Benefits Here is a list of ...