Every person will come to a point where they need to retire from their work and their career. If you happen to be a federal employee, there are several things you need to plan for before you can actually retire. It’s best to plan everything at least a couple of years ahead before your actual retirement. The civil service retirement system can be tricky to navigate, especially if you didn’t plan for anything.
Here are five things to consider before retiring from federal service:
Take Advantage of Retirement Training Opportunities
The federal government mandates that pre-retirement training be made available to employees when they are within the five-year window of being eligible to retire. This means as early as five years before retirement, you need to be making arrangements, including attending a training program as preparation. Many government agencies provide this training for free for retirement-eligible employees. If yours doesn’t, it’s important to find other ways to receive that training, even if you need to pay for it yourself.
Evaluate Retirement Programs Based on Merit
No employer-sponsored retirement plan is perfect, and that includes the government’s plan. It’s not wise to rely solely on the recommendations of The Office of Personnel Management when it comes to your retirement programs. Although there were certain benefits that have served you well in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will work the same in retirement. It’s still best to explore and evaluate all options based on their merits. There are many retirement planning services out there that could easily help you find the best possible retirement programs for you.
Know Your Federal Service History
If you’ve been working for the government for many years in various capacities and departments, it’s important to know exactly your service history as it will allow you to maximize the pension available to you. Whether you did some time in the military, worked part-time, or held a temporary post, all records of your service should be recorded accurately by your agency. If this isn’t properly handled, you could end up receiving significantly fewer pension benefits than what you actually deserve.
Understand the Real Impact of Taxes on Your Finances
Many retirees are caught by surprise when they see how much tax comes with their financial plan. Having proper tax awareness and tax planning strategies will help you feel more prepared and confident that you know precisely how your income will be taxed once you step into retirement. The key is to become proactive in planning and making all the meaningful changes to your taxes as soon as you can.
Seek Guidance from Professionals
If you want to make the retirement planning process as smooth as possible, work with a financial professional specializing in helping federal employees. My Federal Plan can help you navigate the complexities of government programs. They are also equipped to anticipate any planning challenges and help you make better decisions based on your needs.
The last five to ten years of a federal employee’s service represent a critical period for those planning to retire. With so many factors to consider, any federal employee who wants to retire will have a hard time arranging for retirement without proper knowledge of how the system works. Hopefully, this guide will help you process your retirement easily and without any complications.
Making sure you get the possible retirement benefits is essential, especially if you’re a federal employee. My Federal Plan is here to help you get your finances in order in preparation for your retirement. Our network of agents and financial advisors will do everything they can to help you maximize your benefits and retire with peace of mind. For retirement planning services, schedule a free review and consultation today.