You Can Afford to Retire! (2013 Edition)

A worksheet to help you figure out just how much income you can expect in retirement.

This is an update of a column I wrote in 2006. With many employees enduring salary reductions due to furloughs, some are wondering what to do. Some of them are in a position to retire comfortably -- and don’t even know it.

In a recent Washington Post column, a federal employee with 45 years of service said being furloughed has had a profound effect on how she spends her money. She might not understand that her retirement benefit will provide her with as much income as her full salary (maybe more, depending on how much she saves in the Thrift Savings Plan). In addition, since Civil Service Retirement System employees like her max out at 80 percent of their high-three average salary after 41 years and 11 months of service (although unused sick leave credit can allow a higher computation), she is entitled to a refund of three years of excess retirement contributions representing 7 percent of her salary annually -- plus interest.

I recently wrote about the 80 percent rule on how much of your income you need to replace in retirement. By looking at your own numbers, and considering how much money you have left over every month (or how much you additional money you need to break even), you will begin to see if you need 80 percent, 100 percent, 50 percent or some other figure. You’ll have more confidence in planning for life after government if you can visualize how much of your pre-retirement income you will be able to replace with retirement income sources.

Retirement Worksheet

To gauge your projected income, you will need the following documents:

Estimated retirement computation (request an estimate from your human resources office or check the employee page on your agency’s website to see if your agency provides an online retirement calculator)

Use this information to help complete the worksheet below.

Note: To produce annual figures, multiply biweekly numbers on your leave and earnings statement by 26 and monthly numbers on your retirement estimate by 12.

Annual Pre-Retirement Income

Annual Retirement Income

Gross Salary (with locality pay)

Estimated Retirement (CSRS or FERS basic retirement benefit)

$

Part-Time Pro-Ration factor (1)

X

Overtime

+

Age Reduction (1)

-

Bonus

+

Unpaid Deposit/Redeposit Reduction (CSRS) (1)

-

Furlough Reduction (daily pay rate x # of furlough days)

-

CSRS Offset Reduction (1)

-

Adjusted Salary

$

Survivor Election (1)

-

Federal Taxes **

-

FERS Supplement (2)

+

State Taxes **

-

Reduced Retirement

$

FICA Tax (Social Security)***

-

Federal Taxes

-

Medicare Tax ***

-

State Taxes (3)

-

Retirement Contributions (CSRS or FERS)

-

Health Insurance (FEHBP)

-

Thrift Savings Plan

-

Life Insurance (FEGLI)

-

TSP Catch-Up Contributions

FEDVIP (Dental and Vision Supplemental)

-

FEHBP (Health Insurance)

-

FLTCIP (Long-Term Care Insurance)

-

FEGLI (Life Insurance)

-

Other Withholdings

-

FEDVIP (Dental and Vision Supplemental)

-

FLTCIP (Long-Term Care Insurance)

-

Other Withholdings

-

-

-

NET INCOME

$

NET CSRS or FERS RETIREMENT

$

Other Income

+

Social Security Income (4)*

+

+

Thrift Savings Plan Income (5)*

Other Pensions *

+

Other Investment Income, Inheritances, etc.*

+

Post-Retirement Work*

+

Total Salaries, wages and other income:

$

Total Retirement Income

$

  1. Your retirement could be reduced for part-time service, early retirement, unpaid civilian or military service credit deposits, CSRS Offset and survivor benefit reductions. These numbers can be computed on a retirement estimate prepared by your agency's benefits office located in your human resources office.
  2. The FERS Supplement is not payable if you are going to work and earn substantial income after retirement (in 2013, the supplement is reduced by $1 for every $2 that you earn over $15,120). If you are retiring at age 62 or later, the supplement is not payable. MRA+10 and deferred retirements are not eligible for the supplement.
  3. Depending on the state you live in when you retire, you may not need to pay state income tax, or some of your retirement income may be exempt from state income tax.
  4. Social Security retirement is payable at age 62 or later. Up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefit may be taxable. In some cases, your spouse (current, former or deceased) may provide Social Security benefits that could be higher than your own. Social Security will help you find the most advantageous benefit. CSRS retirees may be affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision or the Government Pension Offset.
  5. Go to the TSP Web site to explore various withdrawal options. Calculators are available for monthly payout options as well as the annuity option.

*Use income after deductions for taxes and other withholdings.

**Reduce taxable income by FEHBP premiums, Flexible Spending Account contributions, FEDVIP and TSP contributions

***Reduce taxable income by FEHBP premiums, FEDVIP and Flexible Spending Account Contributions

NEXT STORY: Mum’s the Word on Fed Pay Raise

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.