The professional retirement counselors at GPIS have counseled thousands of federal employees over many years, a few major themes seem to recur time and again:
- After 20 to 35 years of government service, so many if not most are burned out and really want to move onto something else.
- However, like millions of baby boomers, many are anxious and even fearful about doing so for several reasons but mainly two:
- “Will I have enough money to last if I live a long time in retirement?”
- “No, I really don’t have a plan for retirement for the long haul.
The Money Issue
Let’s address the money issue first. While over 50% of retiring Americans have insufficient savings and are mostly relying on Social Security and help from family members and other government programs, that should never be the case for federal employees because of what we call the three legged stool of retirement as it applies particularly to FERS retirees. Namely: (1) Pension (2) Social Security and (3) income from TSP accounts.
Many are reluctant to retire because they are only thinking about the fact that pension income is going to be only about 1/3 of current income, having not taken into account the other two legs of the stool. So it’s always amazing to us how many times, when we help employees dig deeper and put all the numbers together, how they see that they may well have more net income in retirement than they are bringing home now. If you haven’t had your FREE benefit review, call our office today (866-201-7829). You might find your way out the door sooner than you expect while learning how to turn your money into income you can’t outlive.
Feeling Anxious About Retiring?
Now, let’s assume you are one of those individuals feeling great relief that you might just be in fine shape financially. What’s next? It’s quite natural, after having the nose to the grindstone for so many years, to not really think a whole lot about what you are going to do. It does take some planning and dreaming and it doesn’t have to be completely laid out by the time you retire. Frankly, once you do retire, you’ve got the time and mental relaxation to get creative.
We speak to many retirees after they are out the door and here is a typical representation of the comments we hear: “I no longer have high blood pressure and we are having the times of our lives. I only wish I’d started sooner.” The last thing you want to do is go home and sit in front of the TV drinking beer and smoking cigars. We all know those individuals who did that and were dead within a couple of years after retiring.
In order to enjoy that money you worked so long and hard for, stay active and healthy, eat right, pursue hobbies and travel to places you only previously dreamed about. Perhaps even have a part time job you enjoy to get you out of the house and add a little extra income. After all, isn’t retirement all about doing what you want to do, when you want to do it and being able to afford it? HAPPY RETIREMENT!