Federal News Network Senior Correspondent Mike Causey discusses everything of interest to federal employees, from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes.
Is your estate due (or overdue) for its 36-month checkup?
Most people who have been through a death in the family know that being prepared and doing the best for your loved ones and friends is more than a will you downloaded or instructions that your favorite nephew gets your car (and any remaining payments).
A growing number of people are setting things up as if they have an estate. And that means keeping up with tax law at the federal and state level. Maybe changing your residence. So we called on estate attorney Thomas O’Rourke to join us on today’s Your Turn show.
CEO Switch: Trump To Biden, now what?
For millions of current and retired feds the “evil twins” that reduce or eliminate their retirement benefits are the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Office. NARFE and other groups have been working for years to modify them without success. But things may be changing under the new administration. I’ll ask Jessica Klement about that today of Your Turn.
Is there a STEM job or SES slot with your name on it?
Now, 2021, is the time. According to one of the top how-to-get-a-federal job experts, things have rarely if ever been a better time. Kathryn Troutman, founder of The Resume Place, has been guiding people into and up in government for decades. And she says the impact of the war against COVID-19 has created a golden opportunity for people looking for work — steady work — with Uncle Sam.
Whatever the reasons, the government is hiring at a pace unseen in years, she said. The government is also taking steps to speed up the hiring process. Troutman will be our guest today on Your Turn.
More time to do your taxes — now what?
So the topic of today’s Your Turn radio show is how to make the most out of the extended tax filing deadline while avoiding trouble with the IRS. D.C. area tax attorney Tom O’Rourke will be on hand to answer questions and tell us how to navigate the next few weeks. Meantime, Tom gives us this sneak preview of things you should be thinking about as you prepare to tackle this very important annual chore.
Your TSP’s stock and bond funds: Which is safest?
When people go into something like the Thrift Savings Plan, they think of it as a long term investment. Most believe that things like the bond-index F fund and the treasury securities G fund are the safest. Most also concede — and the long term numbers bear it out — that stocks outperform bonds over time. But what about the F fund out performing the G fund? If that’s the case, and the numbers show it to be true, which is the safest?
Financial planner Arthur Stein says that “safe” is a relative term. And he also says many feds don’t understand that their TSP retirement nest egg is not really an investment. He’ll be my guest today on Your Turn. Stein has lots of clients who are feds, active and retired. Some of them have more than a million dollars in their TSP account. Here’s the guest column he wrote to explain the “investment” part of your TSP.
A 38-year retirement: Can you handle it?
The good old days, a time when there was a long career, a gold watch, then a brief and frugal retirement are mostly gone. Some people are now retired for at least as long as they worked. Which can be a blessing or a curse. Things have changed. Mostly for the better. And yet..
The lead obituary in Monday’s Washington Post was about a 99-year old civil servant who had been retired since 1983. Do the math! 38 years is a long time to do anything, whether its working at the same place, being married or being retired. And in the latter case, you start out with a reduced income and under a cost of living adjustment (COLA) formula that doesn’t keep pace with inflation, especially as you get older and your medical costs go up.
If you are one of the 75,000 feds with million dollar TSP accounts and are under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS ), your financial life in retirement should be pretty good. But most people don’t have anywhere near that amount in their federal 401k plan. Also, most will retire under the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), which has a diet COLA formula, meaning that over time their monthly annuity payments can be drastically reduced by inflation.
So what to do? Work until you drop? Wind up staying 5 years longer than you planned? Leave only to find out later you really couldn’t afford it? You have to live with your decision. That is a challenging thought! But you can do it, and do it right with a little thought and preparation.
Today’s guest on Your Turn is Tammy Flanagan. She’s a former fed who is an expert on all phases of retirement. Planning for retirement isn’t rocket science, but in some ways it is more challenging because ultimately you’ll be riding that rocket however long it takes
Great practical podcast but...
I enjoy all of Mike Causey’s podcasts and listen to each one. I’d give it a five (5) star however, there’s really not much mention of the single, no dependents demographic that planning to retire. It would be helpful if Mike and his guests could work touch on it in the podcasts as we need guidance and the practical steps, too.
Episode 10/14/20 displays how “out of touch” host is with current (younger) federal workforce
Mike, you are a generous and dedicated host.... however, your discussion points on FMLA and the new paid parental leave policy were CRINGEWORTHY, and frankly, scary. “Many employees used to think the 12 weeks of unpaid leave was generous”..... what????! Thank you to your guests, who provided educated corrections and pointed remarks. I appreciate the education and relevant discussions, but could use less of the “federal employees have it so great” propaganda Mike tends to lean into HARD. (Also, thanks for laying off on the “I read the obits everyday” stories as well). ;)
Sincerely, federal employee in their 30s
Enjoy the Fruitful Discussions
Enjoy the podcasts. Good conversations on issues impacting federal employees. Keep up the good work.
However, I do agree with “jkoe1”. I’d like to learn about more topics of interest pertaining to the “single, no dependents demographic”.