Posted on Wednesday, 22nd October 2014 by Dennis Damp

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According to John Church with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the 2015 COLA will be 1.7%. This is the low range of what many projected of between 1.7 to 2%. We updated our COLA charts this morning to reflect this change and we post all COLAs back to 1999. If your annuity is $2,500 […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 24th September 2014 by Dennis Damp

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Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced on September 16, 2014 that the agency will resume the periodic mailing of Social Security Statements—once every five years for most workers– while encouraging everyone to create a secure my Social Security account to immediately access their Statement online, anytime. The Statement provides workers age 18 […]

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Posted on Friday, 22nd August 2014 by Dennis Damp

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If you know of someone approaching age 65 or younger and signing up for Medicare send them a link to this article. It provides the information that federal employees and retirees need to consider before they sign up. If you are already collecting Social Security benefits you will be automatically signed up for Medicare three […]

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Posted on Thursday, 7th August 2014 by Dennis Damp

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I discovered four years ago that my hearing loss was significant enough to warrant wearing hearing aids. I purchased my first set, a Starkey model,  from the audiology department that is located in the same office as my Otolaryngologist . An otolaryngologists diagnoses and manages diseases of the ears, nose, and throat. They did improve […]

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Posted on Monday, 14th July 2014 by Dennis Damp

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Federal employees have valuable knowledge, skills, and training that can be highly beneficial to companies after retirement or that can be used to start your own business. Today many companies recruit active federal employees.  FERS employees are more easily persuaded to change careers because most of their benefits can go with them, unlike CSRS employees […]

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Posted on Saturday, 28th June 2014 by Dennis Damp

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FEGLI Retirement Options Part (1) discussed how to assess your insurance needs and a general discussion of FEGLI options, benefits, and considerations. FEGLI Insurance Options (Part 2) outlined parts A, B and C options to help readers decide on what coverage to carry into retirement and alternatives to Part B multiples. This article, Part (3), […]

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Posted on Friday, 20th June 2014 by Dennis Damp

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My last column discussed Basic FEGLI coverage and how to evaluate your insurance needs. This article will discuss options A, B, and C and part 3 of this series will discuss changes you may wish to make with certain life events.  If you are approaching retirement print these articles to help you decide on options when […]

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Posted on Sunday, 8th June 2014 by Dennis Damp

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It’s  wise to evaluate your insurance needs before deciding on what  options you will carry into retirement and long before filling out your retirement forms.  Linda Sherman wrote an excellent article titled A Life Insurance Check-up: Assessing Your Insurance Needs that I recommend everyone read no matter where they are in their career; from new […]

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Posted on Saturday, 24th May 2014 by Dennis Damp

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Many approaching retirement and retirees alike express regret at how fast technology is changing our lives.  They recall the days, not too long ago, when we were not a connected society with instant messaging, cell phones, and computerized everything. It’s amazing just how far we’ve gone in such a short time and how our lives […]

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Posted on Friday, 9th May 2014 by Dennis Damp

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Turning 65 often proves to be a pivotal year for retirees.  I’ll be 65 next month and discovered many tasks await us at this juncture in our lives. There are many things to consider and first and foremost I’m grateful that I made it to this milestone; many don’t, including my parents and grandparents on […]

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Posted on Friday, 25th April 2014 by Dennis Damp

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My Aunt Pauline and Uncle Jack preplanned their final arrangements in their early 50s. Uncle Jack had several major heart attacks in his mid 40s and thought for sure he would be the first one to go.  He lived to 81 and my aunt passed away a year before he died. They purchased graves and […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 9th April 2014 by Dennis Damp

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The first part of this series discusses how to ensure your heirs receive what you intended and Social Security’s death and survivor benefits. Part 2 will discuss pre-planning steps that will assist the surviving spouse and children navigate the many challenges that arise when a loved one dies. The subject matter may seem uninviting but […]

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Posted on Saturday, 22nd March 2014 by Dennis Damp

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I recall a bleak winter day in the late Sixties when I heard that Stanley, a childhood friend, died in Vietnam  after only 3 weeks in country.  I was on a school bus when I heard the news and many were shocked that he was gone and never to return.  Stanley, an energetic, friendly, and […]

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Posted on Thursday, 20th February 2014 by Dennis Damp

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What prompted this article was an email from Holly, a federal retiree, who recently moved to Arizona. She had been calling OPM, trying to change her health care plan, for almost 2 months without success because the FEHB plan she had didn’t offer services at her new location. The one time she did get through […]

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Posted on Thursday, 6th February 2014 by Dennis Damp

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The last series of articles focused on signing up for Medicare at age 65 and FEHB plan impact. Here is another update before moving on to other areas. I use Turbo Tax to complete our income taxes each year. When I was entering data from my wife’s Social Security SSA-1099 Form I discovered that Part […]

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Posted on Thursday, 30th January 2014 by Dennis Damp

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The Medicare and FEHB impact series has generated a lot of interest, comments, and questions that deserve additional attention.  One reader commented that the following quote is true for Blue Cross & Blue Shield (BCBS) Standard but not true for BCBS basic. The last article stated that “once Medicare is the primary payer, you can […]

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Posted on Thursday, 16th January 2014 by Dennis Damp

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My last article titled What to Consider Before Enrolling in Medicare B, part 2 of this 3 part series, helped you understand Part B and how it impacts your FEHB benefits and costs. This final article of the series discusses whether a lower cost plan would provide you acceptable coverage at a lower overall cost. […]

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Posted on Thursday, 2nd January 2014 by Dennis Damp

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My last article titled Medicare and FEHB Options – What Will You Do When You Turn 65?, part 1 of this 3 part series, introduced Medicare Part A and general information you need to know to apply.  This article will help you understand Part B and how it impacts your FEHB benefits and costs. The […]

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Posted on Thursday, 12th December 2013 by Dennis Damp

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We receive many questions each year about how Medicare interacts with the FEHB program. This is the first of a three part series that introduces the Medicare program including Part A and how to apply. Part 2 discusses what to consider before enrolling in Medicare Part B and Part 3 talks about whether you should […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 27th November 2013 by Dennis Damp

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OPM recently added a new feature to their Retiree Service Online site at https://www.servicesonline.opm.gov/. You can now download and print out a current copy of your FEGLI Verification of Life Insurance (VOLI) Coverage.  You can also print out duplicate 1099s for 2013 on this site when they are released.  Previously you had to request a […]

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Posted on Monday, 18th November 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Another year is almost over! The older I get the faster the days go by and at an alarming rate. Christmas is around the corner and It seems like I just completed our 2012 taxes and sure enough I’m starting to compile information and purchasing Turbo Tax for 2013. Each year I register for OPM’s […]

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Posted on Friday, 8th November 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Our 2014 Leave Record & Scheduling Spreadsheet is now available for download to your desktop. Use it to automatically track your leave balances in all categories, annotate your schedule, and to establish realistic retirement target dates to maximize your benefits when you leave. This FREE spreadsheet automatically calculates your accrued annual and sick leave balances, […]

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Posted on Friday, 1st November 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Federal retirees, social security recipients, and military retirees will receive a 1.5% COLA next year!  This is the lowest COLA since 1985 not counting the two years we did without one. Based on the average retiree’s annuity the 2014 COLA will add approximately $48 monthly for CSRS retirees and $18 for FERS retirees age 62 or older.  It’s hard to […]

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Posted on Thursday, 17th October 2013 by Dennis Damp

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I would say that anyone who has to borrow to pay their mortgage is in trouble, wouldn’t you! Can you imagine having to borrow not only to pay the mortgage but to just make the interest payments on your credit cards and other debt? Fortunately the government shutdown is over and everyone should be back […]

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Posted on Saturday, 5th October 2013 by Dennis Damp

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I retired in 2005 at age 55, almost 9 years ago! Honestly, I wouldn’t have retired if I didn’t have 35+ years of service at the time and an avocation, my business to fall back on.  Had I stayed I would be retiring with 45 years and a maxed out annuity. What I enjoy about […]

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Posted on Thursday, 12th September 2013 by Dennis Damp

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This is a follow-up to my last article which talked about the potential impact the new health care legislation may have on our FEHB plans. I was going to title this article “The Unintended Consequences of the Affordable Health Care Act” however that really isn’t the case. Those who drafted this plan knew full well […]

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Posted on Friday, 30th August 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Many federal employees and retirees alike are concerned about being forced out of the FEHB program and into local health care exchanges that are mandated by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. I’m not sure why it was called the Affordable Care Act when in reality insurance costs have already increased considerably across all sectors since […]

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Posted on Friday, 9th August 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Many FERS annuitants that retire before age 62 are eligible for an annuity supplement that will end when they reach age 62.  You may be eligible for a Special Retirement Supplement if you retire: After the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) with 30 years of service; At age 60 with 20 years of service; or Upon […]

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Posted on Thursday, 1st August 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Everyone planning their retirement needs to know how much they will have to live on in retirement and how much their spouse’s survivor benefit will be. Frank Cullen, a retired federal manager, friend, and former associate, sent me a comprehensive spreadsheet prior to my retirement that projected my annuity and survivor benefit for the next […]

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Posted on Friday, 19th July 2013 by Dennis Damp

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We purchased a 9 year old home last year and the seller thankfully included a home warranty. Since we moved in we used the home warranty services many times saving us thousands of dollars in repairs. Recently, I renewed the contract and had to call them out shortly thereafter. When we were purchasing our new […]

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Posted on Saturday, 6th July 2013 by Dennis Damp

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I’ve received many emails over the years from annuitants, spouses of deceased annuitants, and estate executors that weren’t aware of the annuitant’s coverage and/or beneficiaries. A number of annuitants forget what coverage they elected (if any) or who they designated as beneficiary. There are a number of things that you, your spouse, and estate executor […]

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Posted on Sunday, 23rd June 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Recently, due to budget cuts, OPM reduced their call-center’s hours and they are now open from 7:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. To talk to a retirement consultant, report an annuitant’s death, request a duplicate 1099 R or other issues call their toll free number at 1-888-767-6738. For those in the DC area call […]

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Posted on Friday, 14th June 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Have you noticed how big, bright, and clear the new large flat screen digital HD TVs are these days? We purchased our first flat screen about 5 years ago and my wife and I were truly impressed with the picture; a significant improvement over the analog TVs that we grew up with. However, it didn’t […]

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Posted on Saturday, 8th June 2013 by Dennis Damp

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The new phased retirement program will permit those eligible to gradually work their way into full retirement. If they don’t like what they see they can opt out and return to full time, can’t ask for much more than that plus phased retirement will increase your annuity when you do decide to pull the plug. […]

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Posted on Thursday, 30th May 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Retirees and employees alike often need extra income to just get by, pay off debt, or to save for special occasions or a rainy day.  There are many part time job offers that you must be cautious of such as advertisements that offer unrealistic wages and annual incomes with little work involved.  Real opportunities take […]

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Posted on Friday, 17th May 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Many obsess about what they will do in retirement and fear finding out too late - after they retire – that retirement isn’t for them. Most retirees discover early on that their time remains a cherished commodity and you will wonder how you ever worked and got anything done. I’ve been retired going on 9 years […]

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Posted on Friday, 3rd May 2013 by Dennis Damp

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Norma, a federal employee that elected to collect Social Security while still working, commented on my last article on this subject. She stated that while it is true you don’t decrease social security benefits if you are still working at age 66 or older you may be subject to taxes on some of the social […]

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Posted on Friday, 12th April 2013 by Dennis Damp

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A site visitor to one of our forums stated that she was 66 and still working and was CSRS offset. A colleague suggested that she think about drawing social security now versus waiting until she retires. Once you reach age 66 you can earn unlimited amounts without reducing your Social Security benefit. She had been […]

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Posted on Monday, 1st April 2013 by Dennis Damp

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The stock market is up and the DOW stock market index has recovered from its low of 6629 in March of 2009 to over 14,000 recently. Interest rates and yields on CDs, treasuries, and savings have remained historically low. The government has artificially maintaining interest rates well below norm to stimulate the economy and to […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 13th March 2013 by Dennis Damp

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The Sequester has many feds concerned about furloughs, possibly an extended pay freeze, and fewer resources to get the job done.  Retirement applications may also take longer to process if HR specialists are furloughed. The good news is that it isn’t happening overnight and Congress is working to reduce the impact when this kicks in. […]

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Posted on Friday, 22nd February 2013 by Dennis Damp

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I received my annual TSP statement several weeks ago and each year I find it informative. It’s a good tool for evaluating your fund’s performance and comparing it to other investments.  The highlights this year pointed out one of the true benefits of the TSP; the low expense ratio that we pay compared to other […]

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Posted on Friday, 8th February 2013 by Dennis Damp

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My 1099R arrived from OPM this week and annuitants should have also received their Notice of Annuity Adjustments, Form R1 20-53 (REV. 12/12), that outlines your new 2013 status and payments. The annuity adjustment statement includes the 1.7% COLA increase and lists any changes to your insurance and elective payments. Each year we receive many […]

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Posted on Monday, 21st January 2013 by Dennis Damp

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I discussed the advantages and limitations of TSP ROTH conversions in my last column. THRIFT Plan participants are currently prohibited from converting their traditional TSP accounts to a ROTH. Changes may be on the way that will allow you to convert part of your TSP to a ROTH. The President approved the American Taxpayer Relief […]

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Posted on Saturday, 5th January 2013 by Dennis Damp

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There is considerable confusion on what federal employees and retirees can do to convert all or a part of their TSP funds to a TSP ROTH.  There are limitations and unfortunately you can’t convert any of your current TSP funds to a ROTH within the TSP program. There are only 2 ways to get ROTH […]

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Posted on Friday, 7th December 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Yes, there are ways to retire with more than you can imagine!  There are many parts to this puzzle that YOU have control over and those who take responsible actions now will be handsomely rewarded when they decide to retire.  Having more in retirement doesn’t necessarily mean having a larger annuity, although that too is […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 14th November 2012 by Dennis Damp

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It’s that time of year again and we all know that our health care premiums, in most cases, will be going up. The (FEHB) Program premiums will increase by 3.4 percent in 2013, which is lower than last year’s increase of 3.8 percent.  The average premium increase for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance […]

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Posted on Thursday, 25th October 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Retirees are getting hit from all directions with hidden taxes, reduced purchasing power, increased healthcare, gas, food, and necessity costs. The size of our annuities, savings accounts and investments are shrinking due to a dramatically increased money supply when we truly need them to maintain our standard of living. I mentioned in my last column […]

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Posted on Sunday, 21st October 2012 by Dennis Damp

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OPM revised and updated several FERS and CSRS retirement application forms in 2012. Before submitting your application check your form’s date to ensure you have the updated version. (Forward this email to others in your organization to give them a heads up about this.) You can download the updated forms online at http://federalretirement.net/retireforms.htm.  The forms […]

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Posted on Friday, 28th September 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Recently, the Congressional Budget Office has suggested that a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment is pending for Dec. 1 that includes military, civilian, retired pay, and Social Security recipients. There was talk of an increase of as high as 1.9%. We will see the increase in our January annuity check. Today, 1.3% doesn’t look that bad […]

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Posted on Friday, 21st September 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Social Security resumed mailing annual statements to all who are 60 or older and I received mine several months ago.  They also started sending a statement to workers when they first turn 25 to give them an idea of what their retirement benefits will be down the road.  For all of those in between you […]

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Posted on Saturday, 15th September 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Most fantasize about retirement while working. I recall telling my wife when I was in my mid 20s that I wanted to stay with federal service because I could retire at age 55, which I did by the way. However, we live in the real world and retirement is a HUGE decision that changes your […]

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Posted on Saturday, 8th September 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Had this program been available when I was planning my retirement I might have considered it to test the waters before leaving altogether? The new Phased Retirement program is authorized under section 100115 of Public Law 112-141, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” or “MAP-21,” approved on July 6, 2012. If […]

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Posted on Saturday, 25th August 2012 by Dennis Damp

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If you are considering a TSP withdrawal be aware of the potential for a 10% penalty. You can always withdraw funds from the TSP after you leave federal service, however to avoid the 10% tax penalty, you must meet one of these exceptions: Additional 10% Penalty Tax If you receive a TSP distribution before you […]

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Posted on Saturday, 18th August 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Did you know that you can retire on any day you choose?  There are many articles online to help you select the best day to retire but when selecting that perfect date, don’t forget that retirements are always effective at the end of a scheduled day. For example, Janet’s normal work schedule is Monday-Friday from […]

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Posted on Monday, 6th August 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Many federal employees had some part time work experience during their careers.  Part-time employees receive full-time credit for retirement eligibility (years of service), but the impact on the annuity can be significant. To determine how your part time service will affect your annuity you have to understand the differences between pre and post April 7, […]

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Posted on Sunday, 22nd July 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Peace of mind, family, good health, and creature comforts are what we all desire throughout our lives. Sometimes the simplest things can make a huge difference. Peace of mind comes from making the right decisions for the right reasons. I recall several times in my life, pivotal points if you will, that caused me to […]

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Posted on Monday, 9th July 2012 by Dennis Damp

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There are many issues to consider when setting your retirement date; some personal and others financial. There isn’t a stock answer for when you should retire and whatever date you choose will impact your benefits one way or the other. For the most part, voluntary CSRS retirements are best the first three days of the […]

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Posted on Monday, 18th June 2012 by Dennis Damp

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My wife and I moved last month and in the process we went through everything to purge what we didn’t need.  We ended up donating, giving away or throwing out many things we accumulated over the decades. I kept all of our check registers back to the late 1960s and as we went through them, […]

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Posted on Monday, 4th June 2012 by Dennis Damp

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I wrote an article titled “Is a Voluntary Early Retirement (VERA) in Your Future” last July about the impending early retirements and the VERA and VSIP programs. We continue to receive questions about these programs and we expanded our Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) guidance to help you decide […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 16th May 2012 by Dennis Damp

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My wife and I recently moved for the tenth time since we married in 1969; Seven years after I retired at age 55! We are both in our early 60s and a move at any age is STRESSFUL. We’ve been looking for many years now and found a home that covered most on our must-have […]

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Posted on Thursday, 12th April 2012 by Dennis Damp

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The Windfall Elimination Provision primarily affects you if you earned a pension in any job where you did not pay Social Security taxes and you also worked in other jobs long enough to qualify for a Social Security retirement or disability benefit. For example, this provision affects Social Security benefits when any part of a […]

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Posted on Saturday, 17th March 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Starting in 2013 newly hired FERS employee’s retirement contributions will increase from .8 percent to 3.1 percent of salary. Originally this was intended to apply to all FERS employees. There is another vote pending in the house that proposes increasing all employees’ contributions by 1.5 percent that will be phased in over a three year […]

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Posted on Friday, 2nd March 2012 by Dennis Damp

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This May the Thrift Savings Plan is launching a new investment option that provides more flexibility for TSP participants. Federal employees and military members will be able to allocate their contributions between a Roth and the traditional plan shortly. The flexibility is in the tax treatment of the employee’s contributions and it may be beneficial […]

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Posted on Monday, 20th February 2012 by Dennis Damp

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There is much to consider before applying for Social Security. I’ll be 63 in May and my wife turns 62 this year. Do you need your Social Security card to apply? Many misplace their card and it isn’t uncommon to lose a card that you’ve had around the house for 40 years or more. You […]

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Posted on Friday, 10th February 2012 by Dennis Damp

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A recent Pew Research Center report titled The Rising Age Gap in Economic Well-being contends that the old prosper relative to the young and they provide abundant statistics to prove their assumption. I’m tired of the constant subtle attacks on anyone that did the right things throughout their lives; saved, worked hard, spent responsibly, paid […]

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Posted on Friday, 3rd February 2012 by Dennis Damp

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For those of you not yet retired this is good to know information. A 1099-R is what retirees receive from OPM for filing your taxes.  It lists your gross and taxable annuity amounts, federal and state tax withholding, healthcare premiums, and other relevant information.  If you are retired and haven’t received your 1099-R yet you […]

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Posted on Friday, 20th January 2012 by Dennis Damp

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We received a question from a federal employee concerning credit for temporary service. Linda was hired as a temporary employee in 1985 and two years later she was hired full time. Last April she bought back her two years of temporary service and her SCD has not changed on her Employee Express Benefits Statement. She […]

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Posted on Friday, 6th January 2012 by Dennis Damp

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Recently OPM clarified a number of issues around interim annuity payments and what retirees can expect when they first leave federal service. It is essential that federal employees have sufficient cash available and are financially prepared when retiring to allow OPM to complete a final adjudication of their claim. OPM is now processing applicants in […]

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Posted on Monday, 26th December 2011 by Dennis Damp

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It has been a busy year; from changing FEHB providers to new business ventures, an operation, travels, and more.  One of the most significant for me and my wife was switching from Blue Cross Blue Shield Basic (BCBS) to the Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) Standard option during the FEHB open season. When I retired […]

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Posted on Thursday, 1st December 2011 by Dennis Damp

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I received an email from Treasury Direct last month informing participants about security upgrades at their site. After you register under the new system you no longer need an access card to log into your account. It went on to say that you will receive an e-mail containing a one-time pass code and the opportunity […]

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Posted on Saturday, 26th November 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Rosemary, a subscriber to our Retirement Planning News Letter, asked for clarification for requesting FEHB open season plan brochures on OPM’s new web site. I mentioned that the web site was easy to use in my article on the FEHB Open Season last week. She visited the site and was confused by the numbers that […]

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Posted on Friday, 18th November 2011 by Dennis Damp

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The Office of Personnel Management expects a number of agencies to request VERA and VSIP authority in FY 2012 after appropriations are finalized.  Agencies may face substantial budget cuts next year according to the OPM director. OPM is expediting requests for VSIP and early-outs and formed a special team to assist agencies with their requests. […]

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Posted on Saturday, 12th November 2011 by Dennis Damp

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We continue to receive horror stories from retirees waiting up to a year or more for OPM to process their retirement paperwork. It is a real problem even for those who thought they prepared knowing that delays were inevitable. David wrote us in early November stating that he retired September 30, 2010 and as of […]

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Posted on Monday, 7th November 2011 by Dennis Damp

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A site visitor has a $50,000 CD maturing and wanted to know what she could do to increase earnings with little risk of losing the money that she worked a lifetime to acquire. Her bank is offering a meager .9% CD yield. I am not a financial advisor and I can only relate what I […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 18th October 2011 by Dennis Damp

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FERS retirees with Post 1/1/57 military service will not receive credit or annuity computation for their military time without making a deposit. If a deposit is made, the employee will receive credit towards his/her annuity computation.  Under CSRS rules, if you served on active duty and will be eligible at age 62 to collect Social […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 5th October 2011 by Dennis Damp

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It has been a trying time for annuitants and Social Security recipients who have essentially been forced to live on fixed incomes these past two years. Finally it looks promising; we may receive a COLA in 2012 of around 3.6% if Congress doesn’t block the payout for whatever reason. If we are fortunate enough to […]

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Posted on Friday, 23rd September 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Saving Grace (Ways to Save) I often mention just how important it is to retire with minimum debt and that means paying off your mortgage and credit cards. I’m not the only one that preaches being debt free in retirement. Money Magazine featured an article titled “Live Well On Less” in their October 2011 issue […]

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Posted on Friday, 9th September 2011 by Dennis Damp

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There has been some confusion around the “Best Date to Retire” and Gary, who is planning on retiring   on December 31, 2011, asked for clarification on this issue.  He has over 240 hours of annual leave to cash in and was concerned about the “Date of Final Separation” that you enter on your retirement forms […]

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Posted on Thursday, 11th August 2011 by Dennis Damp

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A site visitor close to retirement wrote that his TSP was considerably less than it should have been because he didn’t understand the TSP options and mismanaged his account throughout his career. Don’t let this happen to you. It feels like a rerun of the 2008 recession with the Dow at the time of this […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 26th July 2011 by Dennis Damp

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When I attained 25 years service at age 44 I felt a great sense of relief. I knew that with 25 years of creditable service I would at least be eligible for an early retirement and I could apply for a VERA and VSIP if offered. The FAA received VERA authority in the mid 1990s […]

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Posted on Thursday, 7th July 2011 by Dennis Damp

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How to Avoid a Retirement Nightmare We continue to receive reports of significant OPM retirement paperwork processing delays and insufficient partial interim pension payments. A site visitor sent a frantic message to us last week asking for assistance after receiving notice from OPM that he will receive an interim payment of 30% of his full […]

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Posted on Monday, 20th June 2011 by Dennis Damp

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TSP Conversions and Taxes The key to what taxes, if any, are due is in the type of IRA that you wish to convert to.  When you rollover any investment account that hasn’t yet been taxed (TSP, traditional IRA, 401k) to an after-tax investment account, such as a Roth IRA, taxes must be paid to […]

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Posted on Thursday, 26th May 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Six years and Counting I’ve been retired 6 ½ years now and just turned 62… I’m eligible for SOCIAL SECURITY!!! I attended my nephew’s graduation party last week and for the first time understand how my aunts and uncles felt during similar events back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Now Mary and I are […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 3rd May 2011 by Dennis Damp

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We haven’t received COLAs because gas, utilities, food, health care premiums, tuition, and airfares haven’t increased for two years now; RIGHT? Are you paying less for much of anything these days! The inflation rate would equal 10% or higher if the Consumer Price Index (CPI) included food and fuel increases like it did in the […]

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Posted on Thursday, 21st April 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Richard retired last December and he is still receiving only partial monthly annuity payments. Unfortunately, he is only receiving 38% of his estimated annuity payment, too little to pay for daily expenses without digging into his savings. Retirement processing can take six months or more and for those planning on retiring soon be prepared for […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 29th March 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Robert worked for the Federal government for 4 years under FERS. He resigned in 1995 and withdrew his FERS retirement contributions and then returned to government in 1998. He now holds a career position and was not sure if he could obtain credit for his prior service that he withdrew in 1995. We receive many […]

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Posted on Monday, 14th March 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Your last Day How can you ensure that your exit doesn’t cause you or your agency problems? There are many loose ends to sew up the last few days of employment that if not done properly can delay payment of your first check or cause other problems. I still hadn’t received my retirement Personnel Action […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 22nd February 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Please Forward This Email to Others That Would Benefit From This Information Military Credit Clarifications Military credit is one of the most confusing issues for those planning their retirement. We recently expanded our Military Credit section to help federal employees evaluate their personal situation. Buying back your military time can increase your annuity; however, it […]

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Posted on Thursday, 27th January 2011 by Dennis Damp

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I have always been fairly conservative with my TSP account considering that I’m now retired and may need these funds down the road. I look at my TSP performance from several perspectives. First, I compare my contributions to market value for total gain, the amount my account has grown since retiring, and then look at […]

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Posted on Sunday, 2nd January 2011 by Dennis Damp

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Recently OPM clarified a number of issues around interim annuity payments and what retirees can expect when they first leave federal service.  It is essential that federal employees have sufficient cash available and are financially prepared when retiring to allow OPM to complete a final adjudication of their claim. OPM is now processing applicants in […]

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Posted on Friday, 31st December 2010 by Dennis Damp

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Please Forward This Email to Others That Would Benefit From This Information Tighten Up ……. I can vividly recall dancing to this song by Archie Bell and the Drells in the late sixties with my wife of 41 years now. I’m sort of stuck in the 60s these days with XM Channel 6 and this […]

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Posted on Monday, 29th November 2010 by Dennis Damp

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Please Forward This Email to Others That Would Benefit From This Information One – Two – Three……. Remember the lyrics “One, Two, Three, It’s so Easy” by Len Berry from the 1960s? One, two, three That’s how elementary it’s gonna be Just fine and dandy It’s easy Like taking candy from a baby Well, most […]

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Posted on Friday, 29th October 2010 by Dennis Damp

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Please Forward This Email to Others That Would Benefit From This Information Retire Mortgage FREE Here is a viable plan for retiring mortgage free. The TSP recently reported their 2011 Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contribution limits. The limits will be unchanged for 2011 and remain at $16,500 and an additional $5,500 for the catch-up contributions […]

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Posted on Thursday, 21st October 2010 by Dennis Damp

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TSP Taxes & the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty, Updates, and the ELECTION! TSP Taxes and the 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty Yes, death and taxes are two things we can’t avoid no matter how hard we try. Taxes will increase dramatically if the President and Congress allow our current tax schedules to revert back to much […]

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Posted on Monday, 27th September 2010 by Dennis Damp

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A soon to be retired fed contacted me last month about an estimate they received from their HR department with a grossly incorrect survivor benefit cost estimate. The employee was advised that a full survivor benefit for their spouse would reduce their monthly benefit by one third!  Incorrect high estimates like this can put the […]

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Posted on Thursday, 26th August 2010 by Dennis Damp

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The FERS supplement and deferred annuities have attracted considerable attention recently. Many are thinking seriously about early retirement these days. Thankfully we have Linda Duncan, our HR and Benefits Forum Host, available to handle these often complex issues for our site visitors. We recently added a Travel Forum and Nancy Holston’s article titled New England […]

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Posted on Monday, 2nd August 2010 by Dennis Damp

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We receive many questions each month from retirees and federal employees and many are focused on the following subject areas. I suggest copying this article and keep it with your important papers so you and your family will have the answers needed when faced with these issues. Retirement Income Verification If a mortgage company or […]

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Posted on Monday, 28th June 2010 by Dennis Damp

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Changes to the Savings Bond Program OPM recently sent retirees a letter announcing the phasing out of paper savings bonds through traditional savings plans. If you have savings bonds withheld, they will be stopped automatically in October, the last month you will receive a bond. You can continue to purchase savings bonds through the Treasury […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 2nd June 2010 by Dennis Damp

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The TSP and markets in general have been on another roller coaster ride AGAIN this past month or so.  I fortunately shifted all of my TSP account to the G Fund several weeks ago feeling that the market was overdue for a correction.  I discussed my intention to switch to the G Fund in my […]

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Posted on Friday, 30th April 2010 by Dennis Damp

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Everyone, regardless of whether or not you’re retired, could use extra income to do with as you please. Several companies have posted new full and part time job opportunities on our career center recently at http://federalretirement.net/jobsboard.htm. You will find full time, part time, and work from home job vacancies and when you add in the […]

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Posted on Saturday, 27th March 2010 by Dennis Damp

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I receive many calls and emails from federal employees, annuitants, executors, attorneys, and banks asking for contact information and guidance for key benefit areas. There are many organizations and government offices that you MUST be able to contact to effectively manage your annuity, insurance, investments, and estate. I compiled a list of key contacts, with […]

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Posted on Friday, 26th February 2010 by Dennis Damp

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On our latest trip south this winter we discovered some really neat travel aids that helped make the journey enjoyable and safe.  Traveling in the winter months is always a concern and this year we used the web site http://www.trippish.comto determine the best day to leave based on the weather forecasts along the route. This […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 26th January 2010 by Dennis Damp

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Thanks to the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act a number of retirement benefit changes were implemented that will help many federal employees and retirees.  Everything from some retirees being able to keep both their annuity and federal check if they decide to go back to work for Uncle Sam as a rehired annuitant , more […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 2nd December 2009 by Dennis Damp

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Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. The signed National Defense Authorization Act permits FERS employees to apply their accrued sick leave towards retirement. However, the credit is phased in with a 50 percent credit for those who retire now and full conversion after January 1, 2014. OPM  is developing final regulations on this subject […]

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