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Looking to Change Careers? How Technology Can Help.

By: George Marchant, Technical Recruiter

Published: August 2022

 

So, you are looking to change careers and you are wondering how to best position yourself to make this possible. Finding the perfect job is not an easy task but modern technology can help you overcome this challenge. Using technology can not only help streamline your ability to connect yourself with jobs you are interested in. It can also help connect prospective companies and recruiters to you with the opportunities they have available. Here are a few simple actions that can enable technology to work in your favor:

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Pre-Retirement Checklist: What To Do Within 6 Months

By: Mercedes Johnson, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published: July, 2022

 

I know you are excited!  You are retiring in a few months and can’t wait to begin the second phase of your life called Retirement.  It is very important that you review your retirement plan and benefits in between your upcoming retirement festivities.  How, you ask? Well, below you will find an easy retirement checklist to follow within 6 months of retirement so that you are well prepared and ready for retirement:

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5 Tips to Increase Your Social Security Benefits

By:  Vanessa Craddock, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  June, 2022

 

Worried about claiming your Social Security (SS) benefits at the wrong time? There are no hard and fast rules about the proper age to draw SS. It often comes down to your individual circumstances at the time you are eligible. However, there are a few tips that may increase the monthly amount you will receive. Let’s look at a few.

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College Savings

By:  Kaitlin Schaeffer Yardley, CFP®

Published: May, 2022

 

They say, “don’t blink.” Before you know it, that cute Kindergartener carrying an oversized backpack filled with art projects, will be heading off to college – complete with a hefty tuition bill plus room, board, and book fees. Psychologists have many strategies for coping with that process emotionally, but for now, let’s focus on how to handle the financial cost.

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Protect Your Retirement: Avoiding Frauds and Scams

By:  Ray Kirk, Ph.D., Federal Benefits Specialist

Published: April, 2022

 

Following the legendary Willie Sutton principle, fraudsters tend to go “where the money is”—and that means targeting older Americans who are nearing or already in retirement. Federal employees and retirees with large Thrift Savings Accounts are tempting targets. Knowing how to protect your savings is an important part of financial literacy.

 

Every two years the Society of Actuaries Research Institute conducts a retirement risk survey to evaluate Americans’ retirement concerns and preparedness, their income and spending in retirement, how they plan for change in retirement, the impact of shocks and unexpected events, and their views on health and caregiving.

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One Last Look: The OPF and Retirement

By:  Vanessa Craddock

Published: March, 2022

 

Question:  I’m about to retire at the end of the year and was told I should check my OPF before leaving. What should I look for?

Answer:  The easy answer is to make sure your personnel records are in order: accurate and complete. This will help expedite the retirement process. Your Official Personnel Folder (eOPF) contains important documents used to determine retirement eligibility and your benefit calculation. While the “Certified Summary of Federal Service” is a form you may request from HR which provides a record of your creditable Federal service, it is your responsibility to confirm its content.

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The Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) / Medicare Wrap-Around Arrangement – Is It For You?

By:  Bob Braunstein, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published: February, 2022

 

If you are a retired Federal employee with FEHB coverage, when you turn 65 you are not required to enroll in Medicare – but enrollment for most will be cost effective and worth it. When you enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B (Part B has an extra individual premium), Medicare becomes your primary payer for hospital and outpatient services. When FEHB is then the secondary payer, the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance you have been paying will disappear. Additionally, many of the newer FEHB plans reimburse for a good portion of your Part B premiums – in essence, you will have an “FEHB/Medicare Wrap-Around” arrangement with regular recurring premiums. Your monthly total premiums for FEHB and Medicare will often be equivalent to or less than what you are paying for FEHB coverage alone, but with no further out-of-pocket costs for your care.

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Making Your New Year’s Financial Resolutions Stick

By: Karen Schaeffer, CFP®

Published: January, 2022

A recent survey found the top three financial resolutions for Americans are to save more, spend less and pay down debt.  No surprises there, but how do we really make 2022 the year of financial success?  Before our great January intentions fade into unfulfilled promises of February, try these tips, culled from financial planners, to stay on track.

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What To Do First When a Loved One Dies

By:  Marc S. Levine, Esq.

Published: December, 2021

 

What are some of the practical considerations when a loved one dies? A lot of estate planning is about planning for low-probability / high-impact events – such as an early or unexpected death, as well as planning for the reality that all of us will pass at some point. This is one of the most important aspects of what we do – helping people navigate what can be a very complicated and often upsetting maze of what has to be done after someone dies.

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Part Time Proration – What It Means in Determining Your Federal Annuity

By:  Bob Braunstein, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published:  November, 2021

 

Believe it or not, there was a time when the calculation of Federal retirement annuities made no distinction between part-time work and full-time work.   Under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), you could retire after the same time as one with the same number of years who had worked full-time.  And, even though you had worked fewer hours, your annuity would have been the same as it would have been had you always worked full-time. This inherent inequity – paying the same annuity to those who work fewer hours due to part-time work schedules – led to the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) changing its annuity calculation rules.  The change became effective on April 7, 1986, and created “part-time proration,” which reduces retirement annuities.

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