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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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John2787  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 3, 2020 12:07:26 PM(UTC)
John2787

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Hello,

I am currently in the CG Reserves and a federal employee. My wife has never been in the government and in the event of my passing is going to be in no condition to figure out the benefits she is entitled too. I know this - so I am making here a step by step guide/binder with a thumb drive attached that has my scanned in docs (DD214, 20 Year Letter, etc.) I wanted to check in with everyone to see if I am on the right track and if there is anything anyone could add or adjust.

Step 1 – Getting the Life Insurance Money
Take the CG book with all the docs and thumb drive that I made for you to the Veterans Assistance Center (VAC). You will need to make an appointment with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) first, before you show up. At the time of making this (9/1/20) I called the VAC and they said there is no charge to have a VSO help you. Also, I specifically asked if they could help with life insurance and they said yes. Take someone with you who was in the military or you trust to make sure it is a legit VSO.

Also to lookup the VAC to make sure they are on the approved list here is the site. Scroll down and select you state then county.
• https://nvf.org/veteran-service-officers/

Step 2 – Start Our Coast Guard Pension
If I pass away before the age of 60, you are entitled to my CG pension immediately. Tell the VSO that on my RCSBP Election Options, Option C was selected. They will know what this is and just so you know, it is to give my Coast Guard pension to you and to start the monthly payments immediately. If the VSO does not know, look in the thumb drive there is a file labeled “Option C Selected - Reserve Survivor Benefit Guide” with the info.

Step 3 – Keep Your Life Insurance Going
Now that I have passed away (before the age of 60), you will need to keep your life insurance going for the kids. Once you become 60 you can turn off the life insurance, since the VA pension will kick in and the life insurance will start to become expensive at that point, but it is your choice. You have 120 days to make this adjustment (starting from the date I passed away) and you do not have to answer any health questions.

Step 4 – Access for you to Tricare Insurance
Also, you are entitled to my military health insurance. The start date when you can start receiving this is when I would have turned 60 which is XXXX. Go visit the VSO a year before that date, so you can start the process of getting it turned on, so that on XXXX it will be ready for you to have access too.

Step 5 – Burial Benefits
The burial benefits (no cost) are listed below – you still have to buy the casket. Basically they provide the plot and ceremony, but you have to provide the casket and provide a space for everyone to get together after. The VSO should be able to either walk you through this or put you in contract with the people who can. Here is a list of the burial benefits:
• A gravesite in any VA National Cemetery with available space
• The opening and closing of the grave
• Continuous care of the grave
• A government headstone, marker, medallion or burial flag (including faith based markers)
• A presidential Memorial Certificate
• Burial Flag
The main documents you will need is my DD214 (I assume a copy will work), which is in the binder and on the thumb drive and a copy of my death certificate.

Step 6 – Thrift Savings Plan - TSP (with the VA not the military)
So on this one the VSO will most likely not be able help you, since it is with my VA job does not relate to my military benefits. First is my retirement savings. Call the number below and let them know I have passed and need to access the TSP account.
Phone Number: 1-877-968-3778
Website: tsp.gov

Step 7 – Life Insurance through the VA (with the VA not the military)
So on this one the VSO will most likely not be able help you, since it is with my VA job does not relate to my military benefits. Second is my life insurance through the VA, which we have been paying into ever month. FYI - the kids are also covered under this life insurance as well.






Polar Bear  
#2 Posted : Friday, September 4, 2020 10:19:55 AM(UTC)
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When I planned on doing this, I needed to do so with other conditions in mind for my wife. So be sure to have any counseling service available in that packet. Also, don't just dump this on her. Have the conversation about estate planning, drill this stuff. Act as if you're going through the process and see where any deficiencies may lie.
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John2787 on 9/4/2020(UTC)
Polar Bear  
#3 Posted : Friday, September 4, 2020 10:22:00 AM(UTC)
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Do not forget to go over Social security survivor's benefits with her. Explain to her what will happen depending on your ages, how to file, etc. Those benes are only retroactive to the point of application, so if she does not apply she won't get them.
thanks 1 user thanked Polar Bear for this useful post.
John2787 on 9/4/2020(UTC)
John2787  
#4 Posted : Friday, September 4, 2020 10:31:28 AM(UTC)
John2787

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Both these items are great and will do - thanks for the advice.

Please if anyone else has anything thing I am all ears, just trying to get this right just in case.
roger.d  
#5 Posted : Thursday, September 10, 2020 7:46:56 PM(UTC)
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You might consider having all the forms filled out for her an placed in a folder.

Include any/all account numbers for financial institutions and online passwords.
thanks 1 user thanked roger.d for this useful post.
Polar Bear on 9/10/2020(UTC)
SD Analyst  
#6 Posted : Friday, September 11, 2020 4:29:26 PM(UTC)
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You don't seem to have much specific information about your OPM benefits. There are numerous things to consider.
Here is a page on OPM's site:
https://www.opm.gov/reti...ents/#url=DeathSurvivors

https://www.opm.gov/reti...s/death/death-of-spouse/

1. FEGLI (life insurance)
2. FERS pension
3. Unpaid compensation
4. TSP https://www.tsp.gov/for-beneficiary-participants/
5. FEHB (health insurance)

These are separate processes requiring separate forms. You can download some of them at opm.gov

Edited by user Friday, September 11, 2020 4:38:07 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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