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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Greatest Hits of 2013

January 3, 2014 Later this month, I’ll present my annual index of past columns. (Here’s last year’s index.) In the meantime, here are some of the most popular columns I wrote in 2013, in case you missed any of them: What Is Your Full Retirement Age? (Nov. 14) Ask someone what their full ...

How Much TSP Can You Take?

December 20, 2013 Last week, I began answering some questions that I have received, but was unable to address, in recent webinars. Here are a few more that seemed to interest a lot of people. How do I determine what percentage of my Thrift Savings Plan funds should be paid to me annually? ...

Spared from Pension Hikes

December 13, 2013 I've recently conducted several webinars, and each included a question-and-answer period at the end. But there were many more questions than I had time to answer. So I thought I’d address some of them here. In the current fiscal environment and pressures of sequestration, how likely is it that changes ...

Getting Something For (Next to) Nothing

December 6, 2013 I’ve asked the question before, and I’ll ask it again: Have you considered switching to a high deductible health plan? This week, I want to update a column I wrote in 2010 and re-introduce you to HDHPs, which are available under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and can reduce ...

Five Steps to Picking a New Health Plan

November 22, 2013 Once again, open season for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is under way. That means active employees and retirees are all choosing the best health plan for them for 2014. Or are they? Open season can be overwhelming. Many people seem to think it’s easier just to keep their ...

What Is Your Full Retirement Age?

November 14, 2013 Ask someone what their full retirement age is and you are likely to get a variety of answers. The response will depend on whether you are referring to the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System, or maybe it is the age when people plan to begin ...

Beyond the Horror Stories

November 8, 2013 Regular readers of this column know that I’m an eternal optimist. I’ve been trying to find the bright side to the October government shutdown, and I think I’ve finally succeeded. The Office of Personnel Management expected to receive 8,400 new retirement claims for processing in October. Possibly due to the ...

The Incredible Shrinking COLA

November 1, 2013 Retirees have always had to be careful about their spending because they don’t receive increases to their income in the same way as working, salaried employees do. As a practical matter for federal retirees, this means no promotions, step increases or across-the-board raises. There are, however, cost of living adjustments ...

5 Reasons to Consider Changing Your Health Plan

October 25, 2013 A statistic that comes up during every health benefits open season is the fact that only about 5 percent of federal employees (and an even lower percentage of retirees) change their plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program each year. Earlier this week, I was teaching a class and ...

7 Signs You’re Not Ready to Retire

October 18, 2013 If you were one of the many federal employees who weren’t able to work during the 16-day government shutdown, you may have given some thought to the question, “Should I stay or should I go?” If you are eligible to retire, did you think that maybe now is the time ...