Financial & Estate Planning

While it’s important for federal employees to understand when they will be able to draw retirement benefits, retirement planning means more than waiting until they hit eligibility. Other vital steps:

* Pay off debt. Before you retire, you’ll be better off if your credit card, mortgage, and other debts are paid off. The money you spend on debt repayment will eat into the amount you have left for other retirement pursuits.

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* Keep up your health insurance. Even after you reach 65 and qualify for Medicare, you either should buy a Medigap policy as a supplement, sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, or if you’re eligible to continue your FEHB coverage, as most federal retirees are, keep that and possibly consider switching to a lower cost plan. Medicare has many gaps that need to be covered. Second-payer plans, as FEHB acts in this situation, fill many of those gaps.

More on FEHB and Medicare coverage at ask.FEDweek.com

* You should investigate long-term care insurance, too. In recent years the offerings on the general market that you might consider as an alternative to the FLTCIP program have been narrowing but there still are options out there.

* Don’t neglect other coverage. You’ll still need adequate home and auto insurance; liability (“umbrella”) coverage also is vital. Ask about discounts for seniors, which are offered by many companies.

Taking Retirement Refund May Make Sense—but Often Doesn’t

Read more on Retirement Eligibility & FERS Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) at ask.FEDweek.com

Report: Have you considered Phased Retirement as an option?

FERS Retirement Planning Guide 2020