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Federal Benefits and Retirement

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FEGLI Open-season is starting soon...

The following are common enough that we made them into a short list:
1.Open season happens every year.
Myth- While open season occurs every year for Health insurance, life insurance open season only comes around about once a decade -the last open season for FEGLI was in 2004.

2. Open Season allows me to obtain life insurance coverage immediately.
Myth- While open season allows you add life insurance, coverage will not begin until October of 2017.

3. I can sign up for FEGLI any time in the month of September 2016.
Fact- You can indeed add coverage for yourself and or family members anytime during the month of September 2016. Again, coverage will not begin until Oct 2017.

4. I am retiring in 2018 and don’t currently have coverage. I’m going to add the basic and option A, and keep that coverage into retirement.
Myth- If you haven’t had each FEGLI option for 5 years prior to your retirement/separation date, then you cannot keep those options into your retirement. *This corrects previous information given.

5. I have exhausted the information available from personnel and OPM but I’m still not sure about my individual situation- at this point my best route is to just add all the options and sort out later what I should keep depending on cost.
Myth- In addition to the general information available, both agencies and individuals are able to obtain specific training and/or individual guidance at no cost.

If your agency could benefit from a FEGLI workshop, or if you have specific questions about your own situation, feel free to reach out to us.
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To those who have served our Great Nation, who have protected the women and children of your homeland from the brutalities of war, spared the young from lifetime's of horrific memories and granted the old the luxury of dying in peace, who put yourselves "between [your] loved homes and the war's desolation"- Thank YOU! Words are trite in the face of such selfless sacrifice yet are the only thing of which we, your beneficiaries, can avail ourselves. Your collective sacrifices will not and truly cannot be forgotten- they are etched on the soul of your country.
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Here's a video by the Government Accountability Office talking about the Social Security fixes it sees. Some portion of these was part of the budget act. But Spoiler alert: before your hopes get too high for Social Security getting fixed quickly and efficiently, we need to note that the GAO has also been warning about the group life insurance (FEGLI) for federal employees for decades but nothing has changed there.
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We've been hearing increased pessimism about Social Security lately. Congress didn't bolster the confidence of the American people with it's budget act shenanigans last fall in the middle of the night. While limiting draw strategies and borrowing from the "Old age and Survivor" portion to fund the almost broke "Disability" portion made sense in some ways- the education around the decision left something to be desired.

But we still believe that Social Security will be there as our population ages, albeit with different rules. While changes must be made, we think they will look alot like last time they adjusted them in the 80's.

That said- sound advice is to invest with the TSP as if it won't be around and you won't regret it either way.
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We've finished a number of workshops and training sessions in March and April. Right now we're booked through June but if you've got time this summer, don't hesitate to contact us.  If your department is one of those with VERA and VSIP rolling out across JBSA, let us know and we'll give your group priority scheduling. Call or email us today!
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I've been asked quite frequently about the best place to invest money in excess of the 5% TSP match.

Here is the rule of thumb: Unless you have maxed out the TSP for the year at $18,000 and/or have a large portfolio- don't even think of going somewhere else!!

To better understand the question, you need to look at the underlying assumption: different uses for the title "Financial Advisors" and how that ambiguous title has been hijacked by salesmen for insurance companies and large Broker/Dealers.  They are NOT looking out for your pocketbook but rather theirs. 

To make it simple to identify them, you only need to ask who they work for. One of the best ways to ask this is to ask if they are a fiduciary.

If they are not a fiduciary, they don't work for you!
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OPM is undermanned- either through budget cuts or inefficiences. The go-to solution for personnel management problems: send employees to the internet. But people are looking for is individual help. This includes personnel. Someone recently remarked to me that personnel reps are also often not getting personalized training- but being sent to the internet. This is often where we can help.
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