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Chips and Two Aces

Tricare Plus FEHB – A Possible Health Benefits “Ace in the Hole” Arrangement When You Retire

By: Bob Braunstein, Federal Benefits Specialist

Published: November, 2022

 

Are you military retired? Are you planning to retire from civilian service at the end of this year? Then this article is for you. During the next Open Season consider enrolling in an FEHB plan to gain your Ace in the Hole. Follow the instructions in this article and you will have additional health insurance in reserve for the rest of your life. You will only need to pay for it when needed.

 

Military retirees who retire from the Federal civilian service have a little-known health insurance option that may be too good to pass up.  For a very low cost, they have the ability to expand their health insurance networks beyond Tricare to include an FEHB program.  And when the FEHB coverage is no longer needed, they can suspend paying for it.  To have this option, one would need to be under active FEHB coverage upon retiring from civilian service. FEHB coverage in retirement for non-military retirees typically requires having the coverage for at least 5 continuous years immediately prior to separating/retiring. But, if one has Tricare, this coverage is included in the 5 years provided they are also covered by an active FEHB plan when they retire.

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It’s Never Too Late to Make Smart Money Decisions

By: Karen Schaeffer, CFP®

Published: October, 2022

 

Late in Your Career
 
“Wish I started sooner” is the classic lament for people finding themselves on the far side of midcareer and still looking for the on-ramp to financial confidence. Rather than stress about what could have been, take comfort in knowing with a little focus, there is a path to a comfortable retirement even for the late bloomers. Sorry, no magic wand here, but a combination of making more, spending less, and modifying the goals can get most to a pretty good place.

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Transitioning to Retirement – Your Path

By: Herb Casey, Federal Retirement Specialist

Published: September 2022

In the same way that you developed your career, to have a purposeful and rewarding retirement, you must think about what steps you can take now to prepare for that next chapter. You may have something you put on the back burner during your career that you want to focus on. Transitioning to retirement can be difficult because your whole routine will change in that you will not be going into the office, and you will no longer be who you were.

What path will you take in retirement? To begin the process of finding your next path, determine who you are. You must look inward during this process. You will need to determine your purpose, values, and strengths.

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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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