Posted on Sunday, 15th September 2019 by

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We can look forward to a COLA increase for 2020 of between 1.6% to 1.8%, a significant decrease from last year’s 2.8%. The Social Security Administration estimated a 1.8% increase and the July issue of Kiplinger magazine suggested it may be lower at 1.6% based on their projections.

The Social Security Act specifies a formula for determining each COLA. According to the formula, COLAs are based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). CPI-Ws are calculated on a monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the Socials Security Administration, a COLA effective for December of the current year is equal to the percentage increase (if any) in the CPI-W from the average for the third quarter of the current year to the average for the third quarter of the last year in which a COLA became effective. The fourth quarter isn’t used to determine the upcoming year’s COLA because that number isn’t available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics until mid to late January. Our COLAs are adjusted on January 1 before the 4th quarter data is available.

Health Care Open Season The 2019 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) open season will run from November 11 through December 9, 2019.  Each year Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. Health care service providers are required to submit benefit and rate proposals for the contract term beginning January 1, 2020 on or before May 31, 2019. OPM generally completes negotiations in August so we should have updates and new rates shortly. When they are published, I will send out a message to all subscribers.

OPM encourages all carriers to thoroughly evaluate options every year with a focus on improving affordability, reducing costs, improving the quality of care, and protecting the health of their enrolled populations. Any proposed benefit enhancements must be offset by proposed reductions so that premiums are not increased due to benefit changes. Premium increases are inevitable for most participants again this year.

Retirees can Connect to FEHB Open Season Online to review brochures, pricing and submit changes starting in early November. You can actually chat with a Customer Service Representative using their “Live Help” feature.

Jobs Update (Retiree Opportunities) 

Employers continue to recruit federal retirees and post their job vancancies on our Jobs Board. You will find listings for both part and full time positions at locations nationwide. Those with security clearances also have many opportunities to consider. With an unemployment rate of 3.7% the country is at full employment. The only way for companies to find more employees is to attract those who voluntarily stopped working, including retirees. We recently added a part-time Business Development Manager postion for Sams Inc at their College Park, MD location.  Visit our jobs board to explore opportunities in your area.

Request a Federal Retirement Report Retirement planning specialists provide a comprehensive Federal Retirement Report™ including annuity projections, expenditures verses income, with a complete benefits analysis. This comprehensive 27-page benefits summary will help you plan your retirement.

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Find answers to your questions: The best time to retire, retirement income vs expenditures, FEGLI options and costs, TSP risks and withdrawal strategies, and other relevant topics. Determine what benefits to carry into retirement and their advantages. You will also have the opportunity to set up a personal one-on-one meeting with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER. Helpful Retirement Planning Tools / Resources

Request a  Federal Retirement Report™  today to review your projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections

Disclaimer:Opinions expressed herein by the author are not an investment or benefit recommendation and are not meant to be relied upon in investment or benefit decisions. The author is not acting in an investment, tax, legal, benefit, or any other advisory capacity. This is not an investment or benefit research report. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of various federal benefits and potential investment in securities of the TSP and companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. Any analysis presented herein is illustrative in nature, limited in scope, based on an incomplete set of information, and has limitations to its accuracy. The author recommends that retirees, potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment and benefit research of their own, including detailed review of OPM guidance for benefit issues and for investments the companies’ SEC filings, and consult a qualified investment adviser. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice. The author explicitly disclaims any liability that may arise from the use of this material.

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