Posted on Tuesday, 11th July 2017 by

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How to determine if you are ready for retirement …there are many areas to consider and explore. First and foremost, can you afford it? Also, what about healthcare and what do you plan to do with your time? These are a few questions along with a host of others that will be discussed within this article and are addressed in detail on Federal Retirement Planning, a comprehensive and free online federal employee’s retirement planning guide.  In addition, opportunities on how to ‘get ready’ for retirement will be explained; income, healthcare and opportunities for turning hobbies into part-time work.

First, you will want to jot down several goals and expectations on what your ‘retirement living’ will consist of…whether it is closer to tackling a bucket list, visiting old friends around the globe, taking up a new hobby, or working part-time, you will want to have maybe 5 or so reference points that will serve as your retirement aspirations.  Next, you will certainly want to examine your assets, current and future, so as to see how those top ~5 goals will be achieved or met. Take into consideration any additional funding for hobbies or skills you will need to acquire during retirement and how they will be funded.

Health is next on the list; really take a good look at how your health is; now is the time for any preventative trips to the doctors, dentists, etc. that you may have been putting off. You want to ensure you are as healthy as possible moving into this new chapter of your life. Establishing a support group should  be another task on your checklist since it is an important part of easing your transition. Be sure to include friends and family in your retirement and engage and interact with them during this time. Finally, be prepared for the unexpected; things will happen, and if you have followed many of these suggestions and followed the guidance on the Federal Employees Retirement Guide, you will be better equipped to handle them.


Your FERS or CSRS annuity will be the center of your planning initiatives and are often sufficient to provide a substantial percentage, if not all, of your needs factoring in Social Security and your TSP savings account. This assumption is based on your total net worth which include assets minus liabilities. The fewer liabilities – debts – that you have going into retirement the better. Those working in the private sector often have a greater challenge because most don’t retire with a fixed cost of living adjusted life time annuity like federal employees enjoy. Most retirees require assets between 10-16 times their annual salary to retire comfortably and maintain their current standard of living. If you expect to continue to work part-time, for example, you can get by with less. Librarians, medical assistants, bookkeepers, teachers, etc. can earn a comfortable wage in retirement. Perhaps a hobby can be turned into a profit; research these opportunities beforehand to determine what works best for you and your family.

Use CNN Money’s helpful retirement calculators to determine how much you will need in retirement to live comfortably, whether or not you can afford to retire early and much more. There are 9 calculators for various aspects of retirement.  These calculators use your current savings and projected retirement plan contributions, savings and investments and then lets you know where you will stand financially on your target retirement date. Look at your debt and really determine what you have, what you can work to payoff (soon), and what you are willing to live on as a budget. Determine how your medical insurance will be paid and what additional expenses you will incur (kids college, weddings, etc.) so that you can include them as part of your budget.

With a good support system, great planning and realistic expectations, retirement can be a fantastic new chapter in your life; it’s never too late (or too early) to start planning for a comfortable future.

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


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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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