I received several emails from federal workers that quit because of the shutdown! They asked how to cash in their FERS retirement . Recently, the Washington Post published an article about federal employee’s facing the decision to “Stay or Quit. “
Certainly, new hires and those with only a few years federal employment were struggling, and I understand that. Many others are living paycheck to paycheck. However, I recommend thinking twice before taking an action you may regret down the road, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Most federal credit unions offered no or low-cost bridge loans , waived monthly payments, and many financial institutions and companies offered some form of assistance. You just had to ask.
Request a Federal Retirement Report  today to review your projected Annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Federal employees have the best of both worlds. We’re furloughed and still eventually get paid. Laid off workers in the private sector apply for unemployment compensation and receive a fraction of what they were earning while employed. Federal benefits are among the best available anywhere. We have generous vacation and sick leave options, excellent pensions and TSP (401K) retirement plans , low cost insurance policies, and many health care plans to choose from. Federal employment is secure, for the most part, and employees often have careers that last a lifetime. Mine did.
My brother worked in the private sector for 45 years, was laid off and had to start over a half dozen times or more. He worked for major corporation; US Steel, H. J. Heinz, the Horne’s Department Store, Murphy’s, the Burlington Coat Factory, and many others that simply downsized or shut down. They left him high and dry, and in most cases without a pension. He had to relocate twice and both times those companies downsized. This is not unusual in the private sector. When he was laid off, he subsisted on unemployment compensation until he found a new job. That’s reality on the other side. Sure, there are great private sector jobs too, finding one may not be so easy
Because federal employment is considered secure, many don’t take the precautions they should to prepare for emergencies, such as a shutdown. I often discuss ways to economize  and save not only for retirement but for life’s uncertainties. Everyone should have a safety net, 3 months of expenses for times like this stashed in a savings account plus other reserves the closer you get to retirement. When I talk to groups and mention this, many say they simply can’t save, they live pay check to paycheck. I tell them it’s possible and you have options to make it painless. You just have to do it, start small and grow your savings over time.
Here is a list of articles and other resources that you may find helpful to save for a rainy day:
- Looking at the Numbers – The Second Time Around 
- How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early  (Retire Mortgage Free)
- How Much is Enough for Retirement? 
- A Way Out – It Pays to Complain! 
- Interest Rates Rising – Saving For A rainy Day 
- Gold if a Better Way… And Other Wealth Building Secrets  (Free Book)
Another shutdown may be coming soon, if the parties can’t agree on border security. Don’t get frustrated, call your representative and tell them to negotiate in good faith. Unfortunately, our representatives spend more time raising money for their next campaign than they do representing their constituents.
Request a Federal Retirement Report™  today to review your projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools / Resources
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- Retirement Planning Guide  TSP Information 
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire  (Free Report)Financial Planning Guide 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- 2019 Leave and Schedule Chart  (Excel chart tracks all leave balances. Use this chart to set target retirement dates.)
- Annuity Calculator (FREE Excel chart estimates annuity growth)
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.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
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