Flickr user Ben Weiner

The Index: 2017 Edition

Your annual guide to retirement planning, organized by topic.

It is has been my honor and pleasure since 2006 to write this weekly column. From the beginning, I hoped that these columns would be archived so that they would form a cumulative resource to help federal employees plan for retirement at every stage of their careers.

Below is my annual index to previous columns, which I hope will serve as such a resource. I’ve updated it by adding last year’s columns and deleting some older ones that have become obsolete or irrelevant.

I hope you’ll check back from time to time and use the index when you need information to help you prepare for your retirement from federal service.

Topics

1. Retirement Processing

2. Post-Retirement and Phased Retirement

3. New Employees and Midcareer Employees

4. Best Dates to Retire

5. Deciding to Retire

6. Congressional Proposals and Action

7. Things to Do to Get Ready

8. Sick Leave/Annual Leave

9. Service Credit Issues: Civilian

10. Service Credit Issues: Military

11. Survivor Benefits

12. Law Enforcement and Special Groups

13. Eligibility and Computation of CSRS and FERS

14. Other CSRS and FERS Issues

15. CSRS vs. FERS

16. CSRS Offset

17. Disability Retirement

18. Voluntary Contributions

19. Insurance (General)

20. Health Insurance

21. Medicare

22. Life Insurance

23. Long-Term Care Insurance

24. Social Security

25. Thrift Savings Plan

26. Taxes

Retirement Processing

Last Minute Retirement Tips Dec. 22, 2016

Tips and Tricks for a Smoother Retirement March 17, 2016

Retirement Modernization, Take Five Dec. 17, 2015

Get Counseling July 30, 2015

Take Charge of Your Retirement May 8, 2014

Is Paperless Processing the Answer? March 20, 2014

A New Retiree’s To-Do List Feb. 1, 2013

Are You Ready to Apply? Nov. 1, 2012

Benefits Roundup June 8, 2012

Reductions and Withholdings Jan. 13, 2012

Great Expectations Dec. 16, 2011

Diminishing Returns Aug. 19, 2011

Post-Retirement and Phased Retirement

As Costs Go Up, Benefits Don't Keep Pace Oct. 13, 2016

Is Phased Retirement For You? July 21, 2016

Retirement With Training Wheels July 14, 2016

Rushing Retirement Could Cost You Jan. 7, 2016

Don't Forget to 'Turn On' Your Benefits Nov. 5, 2015

Beware of Hucksters Sept. 17, 2015

Beware of Scams Dec. 18, 2014

Trick or Treat Oct. 30, 2014

Retired and Rehired Sept. 4, 2014

5 Things You Can Change After You Retire Sept. 25, 2014

Phased Retirement: Case Studies Aug. 28, 2014

A Phased Retirement Q&A Aug. 21, 2014

Are You Afraid of Outliving Your Money? July 17, 2014

When to Seek Financial Help July 10, 2014

The Incredible Shrinking COLA Nov. 1, 2013

Let The Confusion Begin! June 7, 2013

Phased Retirement: The Bottom Line June 14, 2013

Who’s Getting What? Oct. 5, 2012

Pay Raises and COLAs Aug. 3, 2012

Retired – and Working July 20, 2012

Processing Problems Feb. 10, 2012

Coming Back Sept. 30, 2011

Words of Wisdom May 15, 2008

Delayed Gratification April 4, 2008

Back to Work, Again March 30, 2007

Back to Work March 23, 2007

New Employees and Midcareer Employees

A Retirement Guide for Every Stage of your Career Aug. 11, 2016

Why Your Retirement Spending Estimates Are Probably Wrong Oct. 8, 2015

Who Can You Trust? Oct. 1, 2015

Pay Attention: Nobody Else is Going To Fund Your Future Sept. 3, 2015

Leaving Government Now and Taking Retirement Later March 26, 2015

The 5 Percent Solution to Retirement Security April 3, 2014

Retirement Quiz: The Basics March 13, 2014

To Stay or Not To Stay in Government Jan. 31, 2014

Financial Focus in a Time of Uncertainty Oct. 11, 2013

Retirement 101: Start Planning Now Sept. 20, 2013

Midcareer Checklist July 12, 2013

Get Started Sept. 7, 2012

Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals Sept. 14, 2012

Buyout Considerations July 12, 2012

Happy Financial Literacy Month April 13, 2012

Targeting Early Retirement Oct. 21, 2011

Go or No Go Sept. 16, 2011

Early Outs July 29, 2011

Midterm Quiz June 17, 2011

The List June 4, 2010

The Top Five April 16, 2010

Financial Literacy for Feds April 9, 2010

Where to Start Oct. 23, 2009

Communication Mistakes Aug. 28, 2009

From Day One July 24, 2009

The Early Way Out May 26, 2006

Midcareer Considerations May 1, 2009

Leaving Early May 19, 2006

Really, You Can Retire! March 17, 2006

You Can Afford To Retire! March 3, 2006

Best Dates to Retire

Best Dates to Retire: Taking Your Leave Sept. 29, 2016

Best Dates to Retire 2017 Sept. 22, 2016

More Best Dates to Retire: Middle of the Month June 19, 2014

Best Date to Retire Tips March 9, 2012

Deciding to Retire

Tricks and Treats in Retirement Oct. 27, 2016

8 Myths About Federal Retirement Oct. 20, 2016

Ballparking Your Retirement Benefit June 16, 2016

Are You Financially Ready To Retire? A True-False Quiz June 9, 2016

A Fresh Look at How Much Money You Need to Retire March 3, 2016

Quiz: How Ready Are You to Retire? Aug. 20, 2015

Let's Get Real About Costs Aug. 6, 2015

How to Know When It's Time to Go May 21, 2015

One Big Advantage of Retiring June 5, 2014

You May Be Better Off Than You Think April 24, 2014

Don’t Go, Please Stay Feb. 6, 2014

Is the Grass Really Greener? Feb. 14, 2014

To Stay or Not To Stay in Government Jan. 31, 2014

What is Your Full Retirement Age? Nov. 14, 2013

7 Signs You’re Not Ready to Retire Oct. 18, 2013

Baby Boomers and Retirement Aug. 23, 2013

You Can Afford To Retire! (2013 Edition) July 26, 2013

Let The Confusion Begin! June 7, 2013

Phased Retirement: The Bottom Line June 14, 2013

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire? June 28, 2013

Pre-Retirement To-Do List April 26, 2013

Retirement Resources March 1, 2013

Cliff Divers, Worker Bees and Retirees in Training March 8, 2013

Smooth Sailing Aug. 12, 2011

Waiting Game May 27, 2011

Ready…or Not? May 20, 2011

The Next Adventure Aug. 20, 2010

Taking the Plunge Aug. 7, 2009

When to Go: FERS Edition April 24, 2009

Putting It Off April 17, 2009

Federal vs. Private May 9, 2008

A Little Lower Oct. 12, 2007

Going Private Oct. 5, 2007

Public or Private? Sept. 14, 2007

Retiring Women June 15, 2007

Should I Stay, or Should I Go? Feb. 23, 2007

Congressional Proposals and Action

Fighting To Protect Your Benefits Sept. 1, 2016

Fear of Losing Benefits Aug. 4, 2016

How About Some Good News? April 23, 2015

How to Prepare for a Retirement Storm April 16, 2015

Don't Mess With the G Fund April 9, 2015

Here’s Some Good News About Your Retirement Benefit Aug. 14, 2014

Spared From Pension Hikes Dec. 13, 2013

Pay Raises and COLAs Aug. 3, 2012

Changes for the Better July 27, 2012

TSP, Pensions and More May 4, 2012

Cutting Benefits: Readers Bite Back April 1, 2011

Are Cuts Coming? March 25, 2011

Uncertain Times Sept. 22, 2011

Uncertain Times May 28, 2010

What Congress Gets July 8, 2011

From Law to Policy July 31, 2009

Things to Do to Get Ready

Using the Magic Words to Get What You Want Sept. 8, 2016

A Retirement Guide for Every Stage of Your Career Aug. 11, 2016

Why It Pays To Keep Your Own Records June 30, 2016

How To Make Sure You Get What You Deserve June 2, 2016

Are Your Retirement Dreams Realistic? March 31, 2016

Winning the Three-Legged Race to Financial Security March 24, 2016

The List: A Retirement Resources Guide Jan. 21, 2016

Who Can You Trust? Oct. 1, 2015

How to Estimate Your Retirement July 16, 2015

8 Reasons Why Your Retirement Estimate May be Inaccurate July 23, 2015

10 Things you Need To Do Before Leaving Government June 11, 2015

A Retirement Readiness Checklist May 28, 2015

A Critical Part of Planning, By Any Estimation March 12, 2015

The Importance of Accurate Information March 19, 2015

We Need to Talk About Your Retirement Nov. 20, 2014

Ready, Set, Go Sept. 18, 2014

How to Pick a Financial Adviser Sept. 11, 2014

Retirement Readiness: How Do You Stack Up? May 22, 2014

Test Your Retirement Readiness May 15, 2014

Take Charge of Your Retirement May 8, 2014

Back to Basics Sept. 28, 2012

Free Estimates Aug. 31, 2012

Five Retirement Tips April 27, 2012

The Sites You Need March 23, 2012

Not Quite Right Sept. 9, 2011

Predicting the Future Sept. 2, 2011

Overwhelmed Aug. 26, 2011

Retirement Checkup April 29, 2011

Be Prepared Jan. 21, 2011

Getting Help Sept. 24, 2010

Get an Estimate July 17, 2009

It Pays to Know Jan. 23, 2009

What You Need to Know Oct. 10, 2008

Who's Responsible? Sept. 12, 2008

Time of Transition June 27, 2008

To-Do List June 13, 2008

Countdown to Retirement March 14, 2008

Help! Feb. 8, 2008

Educate Yourself Feb. 1, 2008

Last-Minute Tips Dec. 14, 2007

The Retirement Process June 22, 2007

Retirement Checklist June 8, 2007

Getting Ready Jan. 5, 2007

Smoothing the Transition June 23, 2006

Sick Leave/Annual Leave

Need Money? Save Your Sick Leave July 6, 2012

Sick Leave Credit: The Calculations April 2, 2010

Sick Leave Credit: The Details March 26, 2010

Sick Leave Credit for All March 19, 2010

Leave: Take It or Lump It March 27, 2009

Taking Your Lumps Jan. 19, 2007

Service Credit Issues: Civilian

Buying a Bigger Retirement Benefit April 14, 2016

Are You Getting the Credit You Deserve? April 7, 2016

The Mystery of the Vanishing Service Credit Aug. 2, 2013

What You Need to Know During a Furlough Feb. 22, 2013

Redeposits for the Rehired Feb. 25, 2011

Civilian Payback Feb. 18, 2011

Where Credit is Due Jan. 28, 2011

Refunds and Redeposits Jan. 14, 2011

At Your Service Aug. 13, 2010

Question Time Feb. 12, 2010

Deposit Woes Jan. 29, 2010

Deposit Dilemma Jan. 22, 2010

Deposit Download Jan. 15, 2010

Maxing Out July 18, 2008

Deposits and Credits June 20, 2008

Keep Your Records Feb. 28, 2008

Catch-62 Sept. 21, 2007

A Whole Different Kind of Service June 1, 2007

Crediting Volunteer Service May 25, 2007

Computing Your Service May 18, 2007

Service Credit Issues: Military

11.11.11 Edition Nov. 11, 2011

Credit for Military Service Feb. 11, 2011

From Military to Civilian July 30, 2010

Question Time Feb. 12, 2010

Deposit Woes Jan. 29, 2010

Deposit Dilemma Jan. 22, 2010

Deposit Download Jan. 15, 2010

Military Payback: More Questions June 12, 2009

Payback Time May 29, 2009

Catch-62 Revisited Sept. 5, 2008

Deposits and Credits June 20, 2008

Catch-62 Sept. 21, 2007

Computing Your Service May 18, 2007

Service Interruption March 16, 2007

Mixing Civilian and Military Retirement June 30, 2006

Military Service Payback Feb. 24, 2006

Survivor Benefits

9 Questions (and Answers) for Federal Couples April 2, 2015

Providing for Each Other Oct. 23, 2014

The Most Important Retirement Decision Oct. 16, 2014

What Happens to Your Life Savings? March 27, 2014

Preparing in Advance March 29, 2013

Give the Gift of Cash Feb. 15, 2013

Goin’ to the Chapel June 1, 2012

Safety Net July 22, 2011

Summer Assignment July 15, 2011

For Richer or Poorer, Final Words March 18, 2011

For Richer or Poorer, Part Two March 11, 2011

For Richer, For Poorer March 4, 2011

Thinking the Unthinkable June 11, 2010

The Inevitable Aug. 14, 2009

When You Go June 5, 2009

Spousal Provision March 13, 2009

Survivor Benefits Q&A April 25, 2008

Supporting Your Survivors April 18, 2008

Survivor: Federal Edition Jan. 12, 2007

Federal Couples July 7, 2006

Who's Your Beneficiary? May 12, 2006

Spousal Benefits March 10, 2006

Law Enforcement and Special Groups

Targeting Early Retirement Oct. 21, 2011

Officers' Options July 1, 2011

Special Considerations May 8, 2009

Feeling Special: Q&A Aug. 17, 2007

Feeling Special Aug. 10, 2007

Eligibility and Computation of CSRS and FERS

What is the FERS Supplement Worth? Oct. 6, 2016

Comparing Your Income Before and After Retirement June 23, 2016

Ballparking Your Retirement Benefit June 16, 2016

The Difference Between a Supplement and Social Security May 14, 2015

More on the FERS Supplement Jan. 25, 2013

A Little Extra Under FERS Jan. 18, 2013

How Much Do You Deserve? May 25, 2012

New Calculations Nov. 6, 2009

Eligibility: Facts and Myths July 6, 2007

Deferred vs. Postponed June 29, 2007

Retirement Estimate: The Details May 11, 2007

Basic Retirement Computations May 4, 2007

Estimating Your Benefits April 27, 2007

Supplementary Information Feb. 2, 2007

Supplementing FERS Jan. 26, 2007

Other CSRS and FERS Issues

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do March 10, 2016

How Divorce or a Job Could Derail Your Financial Plan Oct. 29, 2015

What Happens When You Say I Do? March 5, 2015

5 Myths About Federal Retirement Aug. 7, 2014

Found Money April 17, 2014

A Different Path for Women Jan. 17, 2014

How Does Your Retirement Stack Up Against a Former President’s? Aug. 30, 2013

Benefits and Same-Sex Marriage July 5, 2013

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Federal Retirement July 19, 2013

Women’s Issues Oct. 12, 2012

Summertime Q & A Aug. 17, 2012

Rates and Returns May 18, 2012

Divorce Decrees April 6, 2012

Pop Quiz Sept. 10, 2010

Before Your Time July 23, 2010

Spring Cleaning May 21, 2010

Financially Independent Women May 14, 2010

Question Time May 7, 2010

The 2009 Quiz Dec. 18, 2009

Pop Quiz Sept. 11, 2009

Endless Summer, Endless Questions June 26, 2009

No Fooling April 3, 2009

What You Don't Know Feb. 27, 2009

Questions and Answers Feb. 20, 2009

Myth Busting May 30, 2008

D-I-V-O-R-C-E Aug. 24, 2007

Short-Term Benefits Feb. 16, 2007

Single Concerns July 21, 2006

CSRS vs. FERS

Not Exactly Getting Rich May 7, 2015

Is FERS Better? Readers Weigh In Jan. 29, 2015

Unlocking the Secrets of FERS Jan. 22, 2015

CSRS vs FERS, Again Dec. 14, 2012

From CSRS to FERS March 15, 2012

Freefalling FERS March 6, 2009

FERS Flexibilities Sept. 26, 2008

CSRS vs. FERS: 2008 Edition Sept. 19, 2008

CSRS Offset

Sometimes, Your Benefit Really Is Too Small May 26, 2016

A Rude Annuity Shock July 2, 2015

Neither CSRS nor FERS Feb. 5, 2015

Complicating Factors Oct. 7, 2011

Understanding CSRS Offset Sept. 3, 2010

Best of Both Worlds April 14, 2006

Disability Retirement

Disability Decisions Nov. 19, 2010

Disability Decisions March 20, 2009

Facing Disability Feb. 22, 2008

Voluntary Contributions

Your Own Retirement Savings Plan Aug. 9, 2013

A Golden Opportunity Oct. 15, 2010

Voluntary Contributions Revisited May 22, 2009

Voluntary Benefits May 5, 2006

Insurance (General)

Last Chance for Open Season Changes Dec.  8, 2016

Open Season Q & A Dec. 1, 2016

Making Your Open Season Choices Nov. 17, 2016

Solving the Open Season Puzzle Dec. 3, 2015

A Little More Cash During Open Season Nov. 6, 2014

Let the Open Season Panic Begin! Aug. 16, 2013

Thinking About Insurance, Part Two March 22, 2013

Thinking About Insurance Early March 15, 2013

Ten Tips for Open Season Nov. 18, 2011

Dental Check-Up Nov. 7, 2008

Health Insurance

Another Chance for Health Plan Changes Feb. 18, 2016

Getting the Best Health Plan Deal: An Experiment Dec. 10, 2015

Solving the Open Season Puzzle Dec. 3, 2015

Recoup Some Savings During Open Season Nov. 27, 2015

What You Need to Know About Health and Life Insurance Nov. 19, 2015

Open Season Trick or Treat Oct. 22, 2015

The High Cost of Health Insurance Aug. 13, 2015

Who's Paying for Your Health Insurance? Feb. 12, 2015

What Really Happens When You Change Health Plans Jan. 15, 2015

Last Chance to Save Some Bucks on Health Insurance Dec. 4, 2014

Health Insurance Questions and Answers March 6, 2014

Getting Something For (Next To) Nothing Dec. 6, 2013

Five Steps to Picking a New Health Plan Nov. 22, 2013

5 Reasons to Consider Changing Your Health Plan Oct. 25, 2013

Five Open Season Tips Nov. 30, 2012

Taking the Plunge Dec. 2, 2011

(Almost) Free Health Insurance Oct. 8, 2010

Health Reform and Your Children Sept. 17, 2010

Open Forum Nov. 20, 2009

High Option Nov. 13, 2009

The Five-Year Test March 20, 2008

Ensuring a Healthy Retirement June 16, 2006

Medicare

Paying a Medicare Penalty Jan. 5, 2017

Money-Saving Medicare Tips Nov. 10, 2016

Making Sense of the Medicare Mess Nov. 3, 2016

What Really Happens When You Change Health Plans Jan. 15, 2015

Health Insurance Questions and Answers March 6, 2014

The Big Health Insurance Question Feb. 28, 2014

65 and Still Working May 31, 2013

FEHB and Medicare Oct. 25, 2012

Medicare Choices Dec. 9, 2011

Life Insurance

7 Questions to Answer Before Buying Life Insurance Aug. 25, 2016

How Much Life Insurance Do You Really Need? Aug. 18, 2016

Getting the Best Deal on Life Insurance May 19, 2016

The Other Open Season This Year May 12, 2016

A Rare Open Season for Life Insurance Jan. 28, 2016

What You Need to Know About Health and Life Insurance Nov. 19, 2015

Need Money? Rethink Life Insurance June 22, 2012

Life Insurance Options Feb. 3, 2012

Life Insurance Basics Jan. 27, 2012

Life Insurance Lessons Oct. 1, 2010

Checks and Balances Aug. 6, 2010

Your Money and Your Life July 16, 2010

Life Insurance Options, Part Two Sept. 22, 2006

Life Insurance Options, Part One Sept. 15, 2006

Long-Term Care Insurance

What Should You Do About Rate Hikes? July 28, 2016

What If...? May 5, 2016

Why You Should Care About the Long Term April 28, 2016

Be Ready for the Long Term Sept. 24, 2015

Long-Term Thinking June 15, 2012

Long-Term Open Season Oct. 28, 2011

Decision Time June 10, 2011

Fast Facts on Long Term Care April 15, 2011

The Poverty Line March 12, 2010

Beyond Benefits March 5, 2010

Long-Term Crunch Feb. 5, 2010

Buying Long-Term Care Insurance Oct. 16, 2009

Long-Term Care Considerations Oct. 9, 2009

Long-Term Change May 15, 2009

Long-Term Planning July 25, 2008

The Long Haul: Part Three Aug. 11, 2006

The Long Haul: Part Two Aug. 4, 2006

The Long Haul: Part One July 28, 2006

Social Security

Making Your Best Bet On Social Security Dec. 15, 2016

Social Security Confusion Sept. 15, 2016

Social Security: To Delay or Not To Delay April 21, 2016

New Rules of the Social Security Game Feb. 25, 2016

Changing Stakes on Claiming Social Security Feb. 4, 2016

The Difference Between a Supplement and Social Security May 14, 2015

When is a Windfall Not a Windfall? April 30, 2015

Social Security: What’s In It for You? Sept. 13, 2013

Timing Is Everything Dec. 7, 2012

Are You Counting on Social Security? March 30, 2012

The Magic Number Aug. 27, 2010

Social Security 301 Oct. 2, 2009

Social Security's Top 10 Aug. 21, 2009

Understanding Social Security April 10, 2009

Social Issues May 2, 2008

Getting Social March 7, 2008

Gone With the Windfall Sept. 1, 2006

Offsetting Penalty June 9, 2006

Thrift Savings Plan

A Fresh Look at How Much Money You Need to Retire March 3, 2016

TSP Tax Tips Feb. 11, 2016

You Have TSP Questions; We Have Answers Nov. 12, 2015

Looking for Expert Advice? TSP Has It. Oct. 15, 2015

Risk and Retirement: Managing Your TSP Investment Sept. 10, 2015

Don't Rush to Withdraw Your Retirement Savings July 9, 2015

How Your Retirement Nest Egg Stacks Up June 18, 2015

The TSP Quiz June 25, 2015

You’ve Invested for Retirement. Now What? Feb. 19, 2015

Three (or More) Helpings of the TSP Feb. 26, 2015

Beware of Scams Dec. 18, 2014

The TSP by the Numbers Dec. 11, 2014

Making the Most of Your Money After You Retire Oct. 9, 2014

Become a TSP Wizard Oct. 2, 2014

How to Pick a Financial Adviser Sept. 11, 2014

Are You Afraid of Outliving Your Money? July 17, 2014

When to Seek Financial Help July 10, 2014

Managing Your Retirement Money June 26, 2014

The 4 Keys to Boosting Your Savings May 1, 2014

The 5 Percent Solution to Retirement Security April 3, 2014

Advice from a TSP Millionaire April 10, 2014

What Happens to Your Life Savings? March 27, 2014

The TSP’s New Millionaires Feb. 21, 2014

A Case of Savings Envy Jan. 24, 2014

How Much TSP Can You Take? Dec. 20, 2013

Furloughs and Your Retirement Oct. 4, 2013

A New Tool from the TSP Sept. 6, 2013

Leave It or Roll It? Sept. 26, 2013

What To Do With Your TSP June 21, 2013

Beneficiary Beware May 24, 2013

Understanding Your TSP Options April 5, 2013

Required Payouts April 12, 2013

Talking TSP Aug. 24, 2012

Need Money? Look to the TSP June 29, 2012

The Roth Option April 20, 2012

Roth and Taxes March 2, 2012

Cashing Out From the TSP Feb. 24, 2012

Another Look at Annuities June 24, 2011

Grow Your Savings April 22, 2011

Setting the TSP Record Straight July 9, 2010

How to Become a TSP Millionaire July 2, 2010

TSP Payday June 25, 2010

Upgrading the TSP June 18, 2010

Avoiding Annuities February 26, 2010

Income for Life Feb. 19, 2010

Deep Breath Oct. 17, 2008

Take Charge of Your TSP Oct. 3, 2008

TSP and Taxes May 23, 2008

The TSP's Future -- and Yours July 13, 2007

Honey Pot April 20, 2007

TSP Withdrawal Quiz April 13, 2007

Life Expectancy vs. Life Annuity April 6, 2007

Withdrawal Options March 24, 2006

Taxes

You're Going To Have To Make Some Tax Decisions July 7, 2016

TSP Tax Tips Feb. 11, 2016

What You Need to Know About Taxes June 4, 2015

Taxes: Past, Present and Future May 29, 2014

A Tax To-Do List Feb. 8, 2013

Nine Tax Planning Tips for Retirement Sept. 21, 2012

Tax Changes: Part Two Aug. 25, 2006

Tax Changes: Part One Aug. 18, 2006

Photo: Flickr user Ben Weiner

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