Retirement Planning Index: 2021 Edition

The annual guide, by topic, to key columns over the years.

This month marks the 15th year I've written this column. If you would’ve asked me back when I started, I would have told you that I would be living my life after retirement by this time. Why am I still working? Maybe for the same reason as many of you still are: My work is rewarding, flexible, and satisfying. And I’ve come to appreciate what many federal employees have learned during the pandemic: You can’t beat a commute from one room of your house to another. 

As I've done at the beginning of each of the years since the early days of writing this column, I am providing an index to past columns that still contain relevant information to help you plan for your retirement. As always, I hope these columns help you set your sights on a new chapter of life in which you grow bolder. 


You Get a Lot More Than a Retirement Benefit September 10, 2020

Retirement Facts and Feelings: A Quiz August 13, 2020

How Your Benefits Have Changed Recently August 6, 2020

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Right Now July 30, 2020

5 Not-So-Fun Facts About Federal Retirement July 23, 2020

Burning Benefits Questions July 16, 2020 

More Retirement Myth Busting June 18, 2020

Retirement Myth Busting June 11, 2020

Solving the Health Plan Puzzle October 31, 2019

Thinking About the Unthinkable August 22, 2019

It’s Time for Change: Make Your Voice Heard July 11, 2019

Do You Need a Financial Adviser? February 14, 2019

How to Seek Help and Advice January 24, 2019

Taking Stock of Your TSP January 10, 2019

The Secrets to a Financially Secure Retirement November 29, 2018

4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating October 24, 2018

Pop Quiz: Can You Tell Truth From Fiction in Federal Retirement? October 11, 2018

What Does That Word Mean? July 26, 2018

A Healthy Tax Advantage July 5, 2018

Avoiding Tax Pitfalls June 7, 2018

Where Retirement Benefits Came From April 12, 2018

Divorce and Your Benefits February 8, 2018

What You Need to Know About Your Health Insurance Choices November 9, 2017

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

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do March 10, 2016

Is FERS Better? Readers Weigh In January 29, 2015

One Big Advantage of Retiring June 5, 2014

A Different Path for Women January 7, 2014


What Happens to My Retirement If I Resign? May 21, 2020

Don’t Let Your Mind Get In the Way of Smart Decisions June 13, 2019

Buy This and Hope You Don't Get Your Money's Worth June 6, 2019

What If New Employees Were Offered a Bunch of New Benefits? May 23, 2019

Can You Count on Social Security? April 18, 2019

Financial Lessons from the Shutdown February 7, 2019

Cutting Through the Open Season Jargon November 15, 2018

When Can You Retire? October 5, 2017

Weighing Your Life Insurance Options July 13, 2017

Your Money and Your Life Insurance July 6, 2017

Can You Retire at 45? May 18, 2017

Life Changes and Benefits Changes May 4, 2017

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

Neither CSRS nor FERS February 5, 2015

Is the Grass Really Greener? February 14, 2014

Don’t Go, Please Stay February 6, 2014

To Stay or Not To Stay in Government January 31, 2014

Retirement 101: Start Planning Now September 20, 2013

Need Money? Save Your Sick Leave July 6, 2012


Cracking the Retirement Code June 28, 2020

Retirement Considerations for Women March 12, 2020

Keys to the TSP February 13, 2020

Paying Your Way to a Bigger Benefit September 19, 2019

Five Tips to a Quicker Retirement September 5, 2019

Let It Be, Roll It Over, Move It or Cash It Out July 25, 2019

The Confusing Factor in Calculating Your Retirement Benefit April 25, 2019

6 Myths About Federal Retirement Benefits November 8, 2018

When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn April 5, 2018

Resigning Instead of Retiring March 15, 2018

Retiring Sooner Than You Expected February 15, 2018

Thinking About Getting Out of Government? Here’s What You Need to Know July 27, 2017

The Perils and Pitfalls of Retiring Really Early May 25, 2017

Buying a Bigger Retirement Benefit April 14, 2016

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

How Divorce or a Job Change Could Derail Your Financial Plan October 29, 2015

Leaving Government Now and Taking Retirement Later March 26, 2015

The Mystery of the Vanishing Service Credit August 2, 2013

Midcareer Checklist July 12, 2013

How Much Do You Deserve? May 25, 2012


The Best Time to Retire January 21, 2021

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Retirement Benefits December 3, 2020

Retirement Gets Real: The Final To-Do List November 19, 2020

Beyond the Money: Finding the Right Retirement Mindset November 12, 2020

Get Real About How Much Money You’ll Have in Retirement November 5, 2020

The Case for Waiting to Retire October 8, 2020

Best Dates to Retire 2021 September 17, 2020

Weighing the Retirement Tradeoffs September 3, 2020

Be Careful of Who is Providing Your Retirement Advice August 20, 2020

In Case You’re Wondering What You’d Make in Retirement April 2, 2020

Setting the Retirement Process in Motion February 20, 2020

Continuing Your Insurance Into Retirement February 6, 2020

Work Long and Prosper November 14, 2019

The Next Generation of Long Term Care Insurance October 24, 2019

3, 2, 1...Retire! August 8, 2019

Achieving Financial Independence July 4, 2019

Life and Death Benefits Decisions June 20, 2019

Separating Fact and Opinion May 30, 2019

The FERS Supplement: Q&A May 16, 2019

De-Stressing the Retirement Process April 4, 2019

Federal Retirement Facts: A True-False Quiz February 21, 2019

If You’re Confused About Survivor Benefits, You’re Not Alone December 20, 2018

Ready to Go? Here’s What You Need to Do First October 18, 2018

More Things To Consider When Making Your Annuity Election July 19, 2018

The Benefits of Retirement Counseling May 24, 2018

Keep These Documents Handy November 22, 2017

The Final Countdown: Filing the Papers November 16, 2017

Are You Mentally Prepared for Retirement? October 12, 2017

Leave Calculations April 27, 2017

What Is the FERS Supplement Worth? October 6, 2016

Is Phased Retirement For You? July 21, 2016

Retirement With Training Wheels July 14, 2016

Comparing Your Income Before and After Retirement June 23, 2016

What Is Your Full Retirement Age? November 14, 2013

Your Own Retirement Savings Plan August 9, 2013

Best Date to Retire Tips March 9, 2012


Looking for a Medicare Advantage December 10, 2020

Will Signing Up for Medicare Save You Money and Improve Your Care? October 29, 2020

The Value of an Annuity Supplement April 30, 2020

A Frequently Misunderstood Benefit April 23, 2020

The Best Date to Start Taking Social Security Benefits April 9, 2020

Protect Yourself, Your Money and Your Benefits From Scammers March 5, 2020

Things You May Not Know About Annual Pay and Benefits Increases January 30, 2020

Turning On Your Retirement Benefits August 29, 2019

What Happens to Your Retirement Paperwork August 15, 2019

Why You Might Want to Take Social Security Early July 18, 2019

Live Long and Prosper June 27, 2019

The Key to a Happy Retirement May 9, 2019

Weighing the Social Security Benefit Decision March 14, 2019

Answers to Questions You Hope You Never Need to Ask January 31, 2019

Medicare Disadvantage August 30, 2018

The Most-Asked Federal Retirement Question August 16, 2018

Retired, But Still Working August 9, 2018

It’s Not Just About the Money June 21, 2018

The Benefit That Already Can Be Cut May 31, 2018

Tax Assessments January 25, 2018

What Makes the FERS Supplement Special September 28, 2017

Paying a Medicare Penalty January 5, 2017

Money-Saving Medicare Tips November 10, 2016

The New Rules of the Social Security Game February 25, 2016

Changing Stakes on Claiming Social Security February 4, 2016

A Rude Annuity Shock July 2, 2015

Not Exactly Getting Rich May 7, 2015

5 Things You Can Change After You Retire September 25, 2014

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

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