We published the new 2017 Excel Leave Chart back in late October. Since then a few of our site visitors were only able to open the Excel chart in protected mode and couldn’t enter data. If your spreadsheet opens in protected view click the “enable editing” button in the yellow bar at the top of the form. However, if you don’t see the enable editing button you may have an older version of Excel. To remedy this we published two versions of the spreadsheet, one with an xls and the newer xlsx extensions. Visit our Leave Chart Page  for more information and for the links to both versions of the form.
A Microsoft Office consulting firm advised me that If both versions open in protected view the protected view status is a result of security settings on your agency’s LAN and network. Some agencies increase their security settings to lock out certain documents based on the parameters the IT specialist selects. We do include several hyperlinks in our forms to link users to additional supporting information such as the sick leave conversion chart and that may be the cause. If you have this problem when opening the form I suggest talking with your IT people to have them allow the form to pass without restrictions.
Please share the downloaded 2017 leave chart with everyone in your organization. The chart tracks all leave balances and you are able to annotate your work schedule on the chart as well.
2017 Employee Raise Increased
The 2017 pay raise was announced on August 31, 2016 and included an across-the-board pay increases of 1.0 percent plus a .6% locality pay adjustment. Fortunately congress and the president decided in November to increase the federal employee’s raise to match the military service’s 2.1% increase due to improving economic circumstances. The pay raise will take effect on the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2017. The pay tables for 2017  will be posted as soon as they are released by OPM, sometime in late December. This is substantially more than the retiree’s and Social Security COLA of just .3% for 2017!
Then and Now
When young, in your twenties and thirties, most think little of mortality or what lies ahead 30 or more years down the road. We’re young, full of life and unlimited possibilities. I was consolidating my files recently and came across a March 1985 employee list for the Pittsburgh FAA organization I worked for, the Pittsburgh System Maintenance Office (SMO). Of the 109 employees on the list only three are still employed and after this month, that number decreases to two. The two that remain both have over 40 years service, one with 42 plus years! The two still standing could retire at any time.
As I peruse the list I can see the faces of the many friends and associates that I worked with and recall significant events in our lives at the time and since. In 1985 my career was just starting to take off and I landed my first supervisory position that year. I was a young 35 year old working hard to raise a young family and struggling with what all of us go trough in those early years; uncertainty, expectations, and hopefully gaining the wisdom and knowledge to continue growing in our careers and relationships.
Time hasn’t faded my memories and as I look at each name on the list I can vividly see their faces as if it was still 1985! Going down the list many are not only retired but traveled now to the inevitable conclusion of all of our lives, the next horizon.
Life is short and time passes by so fast that many put off retirement planning until it is too late to make meaningful corrections and financial contributions to ensure a rewarding life after work. For those still working it isn’t too late to ensure life after retirement is affordable and rewarding. Explore our retirement planning site  to learn about your retirement benefits, financial, and estate planning moves that can help you and your loved ones best prepare for life after work.
Request a Federal Retirement Report™  today if you would like to review your projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Retiree Jobs Update
Employers recruiting federal retirees and those soon to retire post job vacancies on our Jobs Board . A good number of new part and full time listings were posted recently. One company is looking for a retired Federal Human Resources/Trainer to conduct CSRS and FERS trainings throughout the U.S. Federal Staffing Resources is hiring three retired professionals to work in North Carolina. Other positions are for various positions including several work from home options.
Private companies, contractors, and state government departments use our Jobs Board to hire skilled federal retirees for part and full time positions nationwide. Many opportunities exist for those looking to supplement their retirement income or to start a second career. We provide this free job listing service to companies that are seeking to hire experienced retired federal workers.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- Retirement Planning Guide 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire 
- How to be Emotionally and Physically Prepared When You Retire 
- 2017 Leave and Schedule Chart  (Excel chart tracks all leave balances. Use this chart to set target retirement dates.)
- 2017 Annuity Calculator (FREE Excel chart estimates annuity growth)
- Survivor’s Guide 
- Estate Planning Guide (An 11 part series that will help readers prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile their personal “Survivor’s Guide” binder.)
Visit our other informative sites
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 advisor. 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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