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Retirement Planning


Whether you are close to federal employee retirement or just starting out in your career, this is the place to share ideas with your federal colleagues on creating a secure financial foundation.


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Martin62  
#1 Posted : Monday, January 4, 2021 6:41:49 AM(UTC)
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Thanks in advance for any assistance you may provide!

Here is my status. I will be retiring within the next 16 months. I feel like I'm prepared for this in terms of my financial situation and in other general ways. However, I am still confused about the actual steps necessary to complete the retirement process. I do know there is an application to be filled out within six months of retirement and other preliminary paperwork. My concern is with comments made by my previous coworkers who've already retired. Most of them indicated to me they felt the process was quite confusing and they were never quite sure if they'd done everything they needed to do. This was exacerbated by the fact that they'd received almost no guidance from our agency.

So, my question is did any of you receive guidance for the process from your respective agencies? If so, what did this guidance entail, a checklist, a seminar, or something else? I'm sure I could piece this process together unilaterally as others have, but would prefer to have some assistance along the way.

Once again, thanks for your comments concerning this matter.
Raoul  
#2 Posted : Monday, January 4, 2021 5:22:59 PM(UTC)

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I retired from DOD.
Went out on a VERA/VSIP, deciding on the last day, so I only had four weeks after submitting paperwork.
My retirement went smoothly.
We had an HR section and I recall there was a checklist that required signatures where applicable.

I was pretty much done with regular work when I gave notice as I was a hand receipt holder signed for about 1.5 million.
It took the four weeks to get my name off the inventory.

My last day was July 1st. It was a Friday and a training holiday as Monday was the 4th of July.
My cubicle was bare on Thursday, June 30th. The computer guy took my computer, the phone guy took my phone, the supply guy took my stapler.
All but three people in the office were taking Friday off for the long weekend.
I looked at the empty cubicle and said, "Oh, hell no."
I didn't go in on Friday and I've been on the run ever since.






Retired July 2011
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Martin62 on 1/5/2021(UTC)
Tanker1497  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 4:10:14 AM(UTC)

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Don't know which agency you work for but OPM should be the same. The booklet is striaght forth! Unless you took loans not paid or sick leave that is owed back. Any lost time over 80hrs a year, the need to buy Military time? If you have been divorced and was Married more than 10 years some automatic things happen! If you want survivor benifits and your wife is more than five years younger than you pay 5% more for every five years! If your younger than 65 you can get life insurance but it decreases at 65 till it reaches 10k.
But you still get a call with OPM and they go line by line. And don't start till three months out to many things can change in 6 months.
The booklet is large but there are two types of retierments in the book, and each has duplicate pages in the back of booklet. I think mine was only 5 pages and most of it on the sheet was my name and 1/4 was blank and the other was info!
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Martin62 on 1/5/2021(UTC), someoldguy on 1/5/2021(UTC)
Martin62  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 5:52:16 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Raoul Go to Quoted Post
I retired from DOD.
Went out on a VERA/VSIP, deciding on the last day, so I only had four weeks after submitting paperwork.
My retirement went smoothly.
We had an HR section and I recall there was a checklist that required signatures where applicable.

I was pretty much done with regular work when I gave notice as I was a hand receipt holder signed for about 1.5 million.
It took the four weeks to get my name off the inventory.

My last day was July 1st. It was a Friday and a training holiday as Monday was the 4th of July.
My cubicle was bare on Thursday, June 30th. The computer guy took my computer, the phone guy took my phone, the supply guy took my stapler.
All but three people in the office were taking Friday off for the long weekend.
I looked at the empty cubicle and said, "Oh, hell no."
I didn't go in on Friday and I've been on the run ever since.









Thanks so much for the response! That makes me feel better realizing it's probably not as confusing a process as I thought. It's just the not knowing and wondering if you've completed everything.

Edited by user Tuesday, January 5, 2021 5:57:42 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Martin62  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 5:56:53 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Tanker1497 Go to Quoted Post
Don't know which agency you work for but OPM should be the same. The booklet is striaght forth! Unless you took loans not paid or sick leave that is owed back. Any lost time over 80hrs a year, the need to buy Military time? If you have been divorced and was Married more than 10 years some automatic things happen! If you want survivor benifits and your wife is more than five years younger than you pay 5% more for every five years! If your younger than 65 you can get life insurance but it decreases at 65 till it reaches 10k.
But you still get a call with OPM and they go line by line. And don't start till three months out to many things can change in 6 months.
The booklet is large but there are two types of retierments in the book, and each has duplicate pages in the back of booklet. I think mine was only 5 pages and most of it on the sheet was my name and 1/4 was blank and the other was info!


Thanks so much for the information! So it sounds like OPM provides most of the guidance. The good news is I bought back my military time years ago and I don't have any of the other issues you mentioned. One more question, what is the large booklet you were referring to? Thanks again for your help.
GWPDA  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 7:11:27 AM(UTC)
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Or, pretty much on a whim, OPM "Retirement Services" will be unable to locate part of your employment record and unilaterally cancel your health insurance, without notice. That, however is why there is an IG. I just hate being accused and convicted of fraud because OPM refuses now to accept proof - in the form of the relevant SF50 - that they're wrong. Nothing like doubling down on an error.
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Martin62 on 1/5/2021(UTC), SD Analyst on 1/21/2021(UTC)
old fed  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 11:28:56 AM(UTC)
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print off your eOPF before you retire.
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SD Analyst on 1/21/2021(UTC)
Martin62  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 1:16:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: old fed Go to Quoted Post
print off your eOPF before you retire.


I try to do that periodically. Thanks for the advice.

someoldguy  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 2:33:54 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Tanker1497 Go to Quoted Post
And don't start till three months out to many things can change in 6 months.
That's an interesting twist, had not heard that. What kind of stuff can change? Doesnt that all get addressed after you retire and they start the final processing?

From what I understand, yes, OPM does the final processing of the retirement package but your HR has to put it all together and if stuff is missing you have to work through them.

DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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Martin62 on 1/6/2021(UTC)
Raoul  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, January 5, 2021 7:59:11 PM(UTC)

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At the end of the day this is not a moon landing.
There are about 100,000 federal retirements each year.
99% are seamless, so about 1,000 have issues.

As Alfred E. Neuman would say, 'What, me worry?'
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Martin62 on 1/6/2021(UTC)
wlls  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 11:47:25 AM(UTC)
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Martin62  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 12:28:29 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: wlls Go to Quoted Post


Thanks so much! This is a great resource and a great discussion forum.

someoldguy  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 12:45:36 PM(UTC)
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Here's a question I have not found a good answer to: let's say it is 1 February and you decide you want to retire 31 July... six months out, plenty of time, just like they say you should do. So you start the process by notifying HR or whatever the first step is.

Now its June and you decide you want to stay a little longer... do you withdraw the whole application? Do you have to give them a new date? Does the whole process have to be started again when you make the final decision.

I thought I had the answer when a friend told me he had decided to retire a couple of times before finally going through with it, but it turns out he never actually submitted the paperwork until that final decision was made.

Anybody start the retirement process then have second thoughts?
DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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Martin62 on 1/11/2021(UTC)
TheRealOrange  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:03:17 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Here's a question I have not found a good answer to: let's say it is 1 February and you decide you want to retire 31 July... six months out, plenty of time, just like they say you should do. So you start the process by notifying HR or whatever the first step is.

Now its June and you decide you want to stay a little longer... do you withdraw the whole application? Do you have to give them a new date? Does the whole process have to be started again when you make the final decision.

I thought I had the answer when a friend told me he had decided to retire a couple of times before finally going through with it, but it turns out he never actually submitted the paperwork until that final decision was made.

Anybody start the retirement process then have second thoughts?

I have never been involved in the process myself, but my last boss requested to change his retirement date at least three times (at the request of the agency). He simply coordinated the changed date with HR benefits personnel. Since the paperwork is not forwarded by the agency until the employee is actually out the door, it seemed to be a pretty simple change for the agency HR personnel to make.
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someoldguy on 1/6/2021(UTC), Martin62 on 1/11/2021(UTC)
someoldguy  
#15 Posted : Friday, January 8, 2021 4:31:42 PM(UTC)
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This has been an interesting thread so I thought I might add something to the recent discussion.

An article on FedSmith.com suggests that it may take as long as three months to get your first check. And that's not the final verified check, just the interim estimated 80% check!

I knew it would take a while to get the first full pension check, along with any back payments, but I thought that first interim check would come sooner than that.

Anyway the point of the article is to plan for those first couple months with no paycheck AND no pension.

Learn something new every day... if only I didn't forget two old things in the same time frame.

Edited by user Friday, January 8, 2021 4:34:54 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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Martin62 on 1/11/2021(UTC)
roger.d  
#16 Posted : Saturday, January 9, 2021 8:19:12 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
This has been an interesting thread so I thought I might add something to the recent discussion.

An article on FedSmith.com suggests that it may take as long as three months to get your first check. And that's not the final verified check, just the interim estimated 80% check!

I knew it would take a while to get the first full pension check, along with any back payments, but I thought that first interim check would come sooner than that.

Anyway the point of the article is to plan for those first couple months with no paycheck AND no pension.

Learn something new every day... if only I didn't forget two old things in the same time frame.


If someone is financially squared away, they would always have a few months of expenses set aside for emergencies.

Beyond that, this is a prime example of why one might (should) have an IRA along with the TSP. It is very easy to pull funds from an IRA (specifically a Roth account if less than age 59.5) at someplace like Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard verses the TSP. Especially if you are married.
Those who are, know those who are not.

If you think they are after you, what did you do wrong?
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Martin62 on 1/11/2021(UTC)
someoldguy  
#17 Posted : Saturday, January 9, 2021 11:31:09 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: roger.d Go to Quoted Post
...this is a prime example of why one might (should) have an IRA along with the TSP. It is very easy to pull funds from an IRA (specifically a Roth account if less than age 59.5) at someplace like Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard verses the TSP.
That's a good point, too, as I have read that it can take some time for TSP to get notified that you have retired/separated.

This might be a good reason NOT to combine your military and civilian TSP accounts if you have both.

DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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Martin62 on 1/11/2021(UTC)
roger.d  
#18 Posted : Saturday, January 9, 2021 3:36:49 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: roger.d Go to Quoted Post
...this is a prime example of why one might (should) have an IRA along with the TSP. It is very easy to pull funds from an IRA (specifically a Roth account if less than age 59.5) at someplace like Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard verses the TSP.
That's a good point, too, as I have read that it can take some time for TSP to get notified that you have retired/separated.

This might be a good reason NOT to combine your military and civilian TSP accounts if you have both.



I had forgotten about the delay in the TSP being notified that you are retired.

Also, if you are married, when you want to change your withdrawal amount or make a 1 time withdrawal, you will need to have the authorization letter signed by your spouse and notarized.

A PIA that can be avoided with some of your retirement outside of the TSP.

Those who are, know those who are not.

If you think they are after you, what did you do wrong?
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someoldguy on 1/9/2021(UTC)
Dazedandconfused  
#19 Posted : Monday, January 18, 2021 7:36:46 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: roger.d Go to Quoted Post


I had forgotten about the delay in the TSP being notified that you are retired.

Also, if you are married, when you want to change your withdrawal amount or make a 1 time withdrawal, you will need to have the authorization letter signed by your spouse and notarized.

A PIA that can be avoided with some of your retirement outside of the TSP.



Do you have proof of this?

I know someone who closed out their TSP and did not have to do what you stated.

Edited by user Monday, January 18, 2021 7:37:27 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Raoul  
#20 Posted : Monday, January 18, 2021 10:25:20 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: post office carrier Go to Quoted Post


Do you have proof of this?

I know someone who closed out their TSP and did not have to do what you stated.

It depends. You would need a notarized spousal signature if monies are moved to a vehicle where the spouse may have liabilities.
But just to yank cash out of TSP requires a single on-line form (TSP-99 I think), no notary.
I got cash in eight business days, request 20% more than you actually need to cover the withholding.



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