Your Turn with Mike Causey

By Federal News Network | Hubbard Radio

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Federal News Network Senior Correspondent Mike Causey discusses everything of interest to federal employees, from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes.

Episode Date
Looking for the ultimate gift? Hint: It is NOT a puppy!
00:45:59
The federal government has offered workers and military personnel Long Term Care insurance for years. The idea is people can enroll at group rates which are generally more reasonable than buying a one-person policy. But premiums for LTC insurance nationwide have jumped dramatically in recent years. People are living longer and need services. Enter FLTCIP 3.0, which became available last month for feds and military personnel. It’s administered by LTC Partners on behalf of John Hancock. And that’s the subject of today’s episode of Your Turn, where my guest is Joan Melanson, a top official of LTC Partners, who will explain how the program works and what you should consider.
Nov 25, 2020
Does your health plan pass the BS test?
00:46:21
According to the latest projection, there is at least a 20% chance you are in the wrong health plan. And that you are very likely paying more than necessary in premiums. This is especially true for retirees who may have been in the same health plan for years. So, is that BS... or fact from more reliable sources? Walton Francis is again our guest on Your Turn. He talks about what you should be looking for, and what to avoid, while navigating this year's open season. Walt spent many years in a top job at the Department of Health and Human Services. No BS data in his knowledge base. Just facts.
Nov 18, 2020
Can your health plan survive the coronavirus?
00:46:22
Suppose you or a family member get the coronavirus next year and DON’T die? Suppose you come out of it, maybe with many medical problems to come, but alive. Then what? Between now and early December, you will be picking the health plan that will cover you and yours — during what may be one of the greatest pandemics in history — in 2021. This is not one where you throw a dart at a board and pick whatever gets hit. This requires some homework. To help us with that we are joined by Walton Francis, longtime editor of the Washington Consumers Checkbook Guide to Health Plans.
Nov 11, 2020
Trump or Biden: Who’s gonna cook your TSP nestegg?
00:46:21
Worried about your financial portfolio, your job, and your retirement, not to mention the future of the nation, if that idiot (fill-in-the-blanks) wins Tuesday? Tip from a Washington D.C. insider: The next president’s last name has 5 letters. You take it from there! Seriously. What if you really, for-dead-certain, knew right now whether President Donald J. Trump will be reelected or whether former Vice President Joseph Biden will replace him. Knew for sure. Would that knowledge change whether you decide to add more stocks — the C, S and I funds — to your portfolio? Or would you move more, perhaps everything, into the “safe” Treasury securities G fund? And if you had known last December what 2020 was going look like, would you have done any better? Would your investments — especially those based on political emotions — have been any better? Arthur Stein, a Washington area financial planner, says politics should NOT be a part of your investment strategy. And he talked about it on today's episode of Your Turn.
Oct 28, 2020
Avoiding retirements seven deadly sins
00:46:45
People under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) program will get larger annuities and full cost of living adjustments (COLAs) to keep pace with inflation. But the majority who will this year and in the future are under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). They will have to live with smaller monthly annuities, diet COLAs, and depend on their Social Security and TSP investments for their retirement income. Long range planning isn’t just important, it is absolutely essential. Federal benefits expert Tammy Flanagan thinks this upcoming December-January may produce the tidal wave of retirements experts have incorrectly predicted for decades. But maybe this time it will happen. But whether you are going out this year, next summer or departure day is years away, plan ahead. Starting yesterday. But beginning now is better than nothing. A lot better. Tammy will be my guest today on our Your Turn. She is going to cover the waterfront and focus on the 7 things you should NOT do when mapping out your retirement. Her list is a long one, but trust me your retirement will seem a lot longer and leaner if you skip it.
Oct 21, 2020
2021 COLA mixed bag for retirees
00:45:48
News that they will be getting a 1.3% cost of living adjustment in January 2021 is getting a mixed reception from federal, military and Social Security retirees. The inflation catch-up will to go roughly one in six Americans. And its more than some analysts had predicted based on the low inflation rate over the past 12 months And its 100% more than most retirees — who depend on pensions promised by their private sector employers — will be getting. We talked with many, many feds and picked up more questions and suggestions on the way. So today’s guests on Your Turn will have the answers. They are Jessica Klement, NARFE’s staff vice president for policy and programs, and legislative specialist John Hatton. Listen. Could save you lots of time, money and grief.
Oct 14, 2020
6% raise, followed by a 12% cut
00:45:16
Retired Gen. Mike Meese is president of American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) and an expert on the tax deferral plan and its impact on federal and military paychecks. He talks about how you can avoid going in a financial hole by setting aside your 2020 take-home pay raise to augment or create an emergency fund for 2021 or the future.
Oct 07, 2020
The art of leaving a legible financial footprint
00:46:57
Most people know they are worth more dead than alive. But many — including those who survive them — don’t know how much more. Or where the treasure (if any) is buried. And how you want it to be handled. Many federal workers and retirees, especially if they own property or have TSP accounts and life insurance, are easily worth a million dollars or more. Deciding who gets it (Uncle Sam, the state, your children) isn’t easy but it isn’t rocket science either. And you doing it now can save lots of grief, ill will and money down the road. Might help keep an otherwise tight-knit family from falling apart. So we asked estate and tax attorney Tom O’Rourke what he tells his clients. Most of them are current or former feds.
Sep 30, 2020
Shouting ‘fire’ — or WEP or GPO — in a crowded theater
00:46:22
Many, if not most people, are familiar with the phrase “shouting fire in a crowded theater” — even if they might have trouble recalling who first said it (Justice Oliver Wendell Holms in a 1919 case before the Supreme Court) — and why. The modern day equivalent of the panic-starter is to bring up the subject of the Government Pension Offset or Windfall Elimination Provision in any venue — theater, retirement community, house of worship — with a large number of retired federal or state government employees, or their spouses. The initials may not mean much, if anything, to you, but ask your federal parents or grandparents, then watch their blood pressure go off the charts. So what’s the big deal? Tammy Flanagan will be my guest today on Your Turn. Meantime, for background, each has agreed to share answers and observations from someone seeking help and clarification from Social Security about WEP and GOP issues.
Sep 23, 2020
Trump vs. Biden and the impact on your TSP
00:46:48
Some savvy investors say the President has a major impact on the economy and the stock market. Others say events — not whoever is elected POTUS in November — will determine whether your Thrift Savings Plan languishes or takes off like a rocket over the next four years. Bottom line: What do you think? Is it all important that your candidate win? Or does it really matter when it comes to building and growing a nest egg that, depending on the breaks, may supply anywhere from one third to one half of all the spending money you have in your golden years. Will they be 24 carat, or something less? We asked D.C. area financial planner Arthur Stein for his thoughts on the importance of the November election on the economy in general — and your TSP in particular. Stein has a wide background in economics. He’s also a long-time financial advisor whose clients include several TSP millionaires.
Sep 16, 2020
Life after COVID: Is there a promotion on the horizon?
00:46:22
Kathryn Troutman is a job-hunter/promotion finder coach and author of more than 30 books on getting a job or promotion. And she is the founder of The Resume Place. Kathryn talks about navigating your way OUT of your current federal job into a new agency and position. And why it's a great time to get out of the private sector and into the federal government, which is hiring!
Aug 26, 2020
The end is near! So, what’s for lunch?
00:46:20
A lot of things could have happened this year that are off your radar because you are still adjusting to the many changes the pandemic has brought to our everyday lives. So we’ve called on Washington, D.C.-area attorney Tom O’Rourke for a tuneup. Tom is an estate-tax attorney, a former fed with the IRS and most of his clients are current or former civil servants.
Aug 19, 2020
Your personal pandemic checklist
00:46:49
Six months into an historically-lethal pandemic that potentially threatens everybody on the planet is probably a pretty good time to update or begin your personal financial checklist —In case you unexpectedly check out. Many people, and especially long-time career federal civil servants are almost certainly worth more dead than alive, and by a lot more than they think. Especially true if you can leave a lifetime indexed-to-inflation survivor annuity, subsidized lifetime health insurance coverage, life insurance and more. But how much more? Do you have a clue? Can you think of a better time for a personal tune-up? Benefits expert Tammy Flanagan has spent most of her adult life, in addition to raising sons, probing the mysteries of the federal benefit package, from cradle to grave and beyond. But it’s worth keeping on top of because it is one of the best, anywhere, for you now and for your survivors down the road. She joins us on Your Turn with Mike Causey today to discuss.
Aug 12, 2020
TSP stock funds: Wow and more wow!
00:45:40
After the long-anticipated crash of the record 11-year bull market, a lot of 401(k) investors worried about the hit their stock-fund investments had taken. Others who learned their lessons from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 thought the downturn might be the equivalent of a fire sale. In the case of federal and postal investors, that meant an opportunity to buy more shares of the stock-indexed C, S and I funds. Turns out they were right — that’s what most of the 45,219 (as of June 30) millionaires did. So is it happening again? Arthur S. Stein, a Washington area financial planner, whose client base includes several self-made TSP millionaires, said it would be relatively easy to figure out what ended the bull market, but not so easy figuring out its quick (so far) recovery. He was my guest today on our Your Turn radio show.
Jul 22, 2020
Pandemic problem: Retire, carry on or simply survive?
00:46:28
Back in the day, before you-know-what, there were best days to retire scattered throughout the years. There are times in December and January when you can get higher payments for your unused annual leave, and lower your taxes at the same time. Or times mid-year when it pays, literally, to retire then and not the day before or after. Also there are things you can do right now, whether you’re 25 years old or 80 years old, to make retirement better. So who knows best? We’ve got the answer: Tammy Flanagan, federal benefits expert to the stars (and you too) and she’s my guest today on our Your Turn radio show. Tammy discovered the best-day-to retire concept. She worked for the FBI and her husband is a Secret Service retiree, so she knows the law enforcement side of retirement as well as the maze that regular Civil Service Retirement System and FERS employees must go through.
Jul 08, 2020
When ‘no plan’ is your plan
00:46:22
The problem with estate plans is that two of every three people who need one and should have one don’t. It’s a grim but timely reminder during a worldwide pandemic that seems, in a lot of places, to be getting worse not better. So we arranged to have Tom O’Rourke on our Your Turn radio show today. He’s a Vietnam veteran and former IRS attorney who now specializes in tax and estate planning. He’s based in the Washington, D.C., area and many if not most of his clients are or were feds. And while most are smart and successful, most don’t realize they are worth more than they think — and that most don’t know what they don’t know.
Jul 01, 2020
Teleworking then, now and tomorrow: Where do you fit in?
00:46:20
Today’s guest on our Your Turn radio show is Frank Takacs of Brother International. He works with federal agencies on the unique challenges teleworking brings to their operations and IT. Many experts say Uncle Sam, for whatever reason, has been lagging behind the private sector in taking advantage of teleworking. Reduced traffic, less expense at the office and increased, in some cases, productivity — there is also the downside of equipment failures and employees not getting together to exchange ideas and suggestions. A spokesman for the company said there have been success stories in government teleworking, including places like the CIA. We’ve been told it’s promoting the use of flexible work centers which have computers and printers that are available on a first-come-first serve basis. They are open 24/7, especially in the Washington, D.C. area. So where to do you and your agency fit into the brave new world of change imposed by the pandemic?
Jun 24, 2020
Growing your TSP: Time to time the market?
00:45:38
Many people investing for retirement know that it is risky, dangerous and stupid to try to time the market. To guess when stocks are high and sell them then guess again when they are at the bottom when they become bargains. Then repeat as necessary until your bank account is overflowing or all your hair has fallen out. Whichever comes first. Opponents of the by-low-sell-high, repeat-as-necessary system include Warren Buffet, many Americans’ favorite billionaire and the late John Bogle, founder of Vanguard. Both said they couldn’t do it and they never met anyone who could. Still, lots of people — now with the ‘help’ of apps — think they can. So are you one of the lucky/gifted few who can read the markets when guys like Buffet and Bogle couldn’t. Take a test. In fact you’ve already taken it according to D.C. area financial planner Arthur Stein. He’s a former congressional economist who now advises clients — many of them current or former feds including some self-made millionaires — how to grow their TSP accounts and other investments. Art Stein is my guest today on our Your Turn radio show. He says the recent ups and downs of the stock market, after a record long 11 year bull market, have already tested TSP investors like you. So how would you do in the Am I A Market Timer Test?
Jun 17, 2020
Life after lockdown: New spouse, new career, status quo?
00:46:14
Some retirees, maybe a lot of them, may decide either they are wanted and needed back in the workforce. Both to do good and make more money For many feds, whether long-time or relatively new, the question is: What now? Now, naturally, we turn to Tammy Flanagan. She’s an expert on federal benefits with the emphasis on planning for the best possible retirement from Uncle Sam. Her husband is retired Secret Service so she knows about retirement for law enforcement officers, too. Will the “new” post-pandemic, civil service be hit with a wave of retirements, the long-predicted retirement Tsunami at last, opening up the promotion pipeline? Many think thousands of long-serving (suffering) feds will bail out, deciding they want to spend their golden years on the beach instead of in a bunker. Or will folks who were considering retirement decide to delay pulling the plug. That could be especially true of the economic downside of the pandemic (which could last years) bring with it low inflation which means fewer and or smaller cost of living adjustments for federal retirees?
Jun 12, 2020
Life after lockdown: New spouse, new career, status quo?
00:46:47
Some retirees, maybe a lot of them, may decide either they are wanted and needed back in the workforce. Both to do good and make more money For many feds, whether long-time or relatively new, the question is: What now? Now, naturally, we turn to Tammy Flanagan. She’s an expert on federal benefits with the emphasis on planning for the best possible retirement from Uncle Sam. Her husband is retired Secret Service so she knows about retirement for law enforcement officers, too. Will the “new” post-pandemic, civil service be hit with a wave of retirements, the long-predicted retirement Tsunami at last, opening up the promotion pipeline? Many think thousands of long-serving (suffering) feds will bail out, deciding they want to spend their golden years on the beach instead of in a bunker. Or will folks who were considering retirement decide to delay pulling the plug. That could be especially true of the economic downside of the pandemic (which could last years) bring with it low inflation which means fewer and or smaller cost of living adjustments for federal retirees? So what’s your next career move?
Jun 10, 2020
Life after COVID-19: Finding (and keeping) a federal job
00:46:47
A high percentage of the federal workforce is literally risking disease or death daily, as part of their jobs. Every day, 24/7. They are heroes who’ve always been there, but whom many of us are just noticing for the first time. Most federal civil servants are either working from home or in a furloughed status. But all are getting paid. By contrast at least 40 million American workers have been fired or furloughed and are seeking unemployment benefits. Many have been helped with temporary loans from the federal government. But there are some businesses that aren’t coming back — ever. Many of the relatively few companies that offered workers defined benefit pensions have pulled the plug on those programs, cutting off some workers in mid-career. They may have jobs when they come back but any retirement nest egg they have will have to come in whole or part from them. A lot of feds who, pre-pandemic, were thinking about going into the private sector may have revised plans. Many people in the private sector, who maybe once looked down on bureaucrats, are suddenly anxious to join the ranks. As federal agencies get more authority to dismiss “nonproductive” workers, job turnover could increase. More openings for more outside candidates. So what’s next? Spend some time with my guest on Your Turn today, Kathy Troutman, who wrote the book, literally, on getting and keeping a federal job. She’s expanded her decades-old operation from the time people sent in paper resumes to the various avenues available today to find and secure a federal job. Where to start?
Jun 03, 2020
COVID-19 impact on 2021 COLA, pay raise and WEP/GPO
00:46:23
According to some political pundits the 2020 presidential election may be decided by voters who are 60-plus years old. They supported candidate Donald Trump, age 73, last time but, according to some polls, are leaning toward former Vice President Joe Biden, age 77, as of right now. While many candidates court the younger vote, the numbers show that on election day older Americans out vote their children and grandchildren by a substantial degree. That could be an important factor in places like California, Texas, Florida, Maryland and Virginia where one-third of the nation’s 2.6 million federal retirees and survivors live and vote. Former feds are also an important chunk of the electorate in key states like Arizona (60,826), Florida, (186,027), Michigan (47,422) and Minnesota (31,151). Today on Your Turn, I’ll be talking with Jessica Klement of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees about the possibility of a pay raise, the outlook (grim) for a retiree COLA and the long, as in very long, shot chances of some kind of reform or change in WEP-GPO. NARFE is part of a coalition working on the issues. She’ll explain the difference between plans to repeal vs. revise WEP and GPO, and she’ll explain what its like to lobby Congress in a normal year, vs. times like these.
May 27, 2020
Stocks on sale? Should you buy, sell or sit tight?
00:46:16
A lot of people who know how the market works and what the TSP was designed to do would probably say don’t do it. In part because it involves timing the market — buying when it is low, selling when it is high — which is a lot easier said than done.
May 21, 2020
GPO and WEP: The other pandemics!
00:46:27
Proposals to eliminate WEP and GPO have been around almost since enactment in the 1980s. But repeal has always been the legislative equivalent of mission impossible — probably still is. But what about “reform” rather than repeal? Has the turmoil created by the COVID-19 pandemic changed the political outlook? In the House, 245 members have signed onto a bill that would repeal the Evil Twins. Not likely to happen, but under House rules if that repeal proposal gets 290 cosponsors — 45 more — it has to come up for a vote. And that opens up the possibility of a modification, though not repeal of the two. Long shot, yes, but possible. In the meantime, back to retirement plans for — someday. My guests today on our Your Turn radio show includes benefits expert Tammy Flanagan. She talked about what you should be thinking regardless of your age or time in government so that when you want to/have to leave, you will have enough money to live on. Lots of boxes to check. She’ll explain what they are and why you should have a backup plan. Later during the show we’re joined by Jessica Klement of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees association. NARFE has been one of the leading advocates of repeal/reform of GPO and WEP. She’ll explain what they do and give an update on what Congress might do.
May 13, 2020
COVID-19’s impact on your TSP and taxes
00:46:21
Millions of people who, just a couple of months ago, had good paying jobs, health insurance and vacation plans are now having to make choices between food and rent. Others are still waiting for special checks from the government. A lot of people are trying to figure out what Congress and the White House have done to ease their pain. And what’s next? Tax deadlines were changed so you can delay filing until mid-July. Rules governing things like Required Minimum Distributions for older investors have been waived. Law offices are suddenly swamped with questions and requests from people wondering what they should be doing to make sure, in a worst case scenario, their designated loved ones get what’s due them. A will, witnessed by your buddies on the softball team that you pulled off the internet suddenly doesn’t seem sufficient. Maybe for a good reason? So Tom O’Rourke, estate and tax attorney in the Washington, D.C., area, joined me this morning on our Your Turn radio show. We’ll talk about the latest in death, taxes, estates and new legislation designed to help people in these very uncertain times.
May 06, 2020
Feb. 19: The day the earth stood still?
00:46:50
Experts in the stock market, real and self-anointed, know that historically it has gone up and down due to a variety of things — some predictable, some coming from out of left field. Buying stocks during the Great Depression was, in hindsight, a smart move. Shares were on sale but most people didn’t get it, or couldn’t afford it in the 1930s when they were too busy trying to find work, food and pay the rent. Some TSP investors see the current crisis as a buying opportunity. They are assuming that shares in the stock-indexed C, S and I funds are on sale and that, like during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, this too shall pass. Others are not so sure. Fans of the treasury securities G fund believe recent events have proven that while its yield is low, it never has a loss. So we asked Washington, D.C.-area financial planner Arthur Stein for his take. He knows the TSP well after working with the House Ways and Means Committee and after years as a professor and financial adviser.
Apr 22, 2020
Writing your own obit
00:46:38
When I was a very young reporter assigned to write obituaries, an elderly colleague (a woman of about 45) gave me some good advice. “If you want to be sure you get a good obit in the paper, write it yourself!” Which, lately, a lot of us have been doing. At least in our heads. Regardless of age, sex, health, whether we are still working or retired, most if not all of us are looking at a worst case scenario if we get “it”, and don’t survive, “it!” At some point most people realize , for the first time, they are not immortal. That their time is limited. That one of these days — despite family, friends, kids and grandchildren, a paid up mortgage and a low-mileage car — this is all going to end. But this is the first time in any of our lifetimes that we have all faced our mortality at the same time. The realization that this could be it. We are all, literally, in the same boat. Turns out the inevitable could be very soon. As in days or weeks. And what happens when/if that happens. The planning we meant to do someday may be long overdue. What if this is someday? We don’t have a cure or vaccine. Yet. But we’ve got maybe the next best thing for you. A top-notch pilot and navigator to help us, in a sense, write our own obit. And make it a good one. I asked Tom O’Rourke to be my guest on Wednesday, April 14 on our Your Turn radio show.
Apr 15, 2020
Join the fight of our lives: Uncle Sam wants you back
00:45:49
First responders, doctors, nurses, cops, researchers and scientists have always been heroes. We just didn’t always know it. Now we do! And you can never have enough heroes, especially in a time like this when the residents of Planet Earth, all of us, are under attack. Many of us believe, hope and pray we will survive as a species — that this too shall pass. What we don’t know is if we will be among the survivors, which, maybe, is where you come in. Uncle Sam is looking for thousands of retired medical professionals to come back to work — now, ASAP! So where do you start? Begin by listening to our special Your Turn show all about the rehired annuitant program and the special waiver permitting both full pay and pension. Both guests are from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Jessica Klement, vice president for policy and programs, will talk about the $2 trillion stimulus program which allows for the special rehiring and where re-employed federal experts fit in, and benefits expert James Marshall. Nicole Ogrysko who also first outlined the new program on Federal News Network will join me to talk with the NARFE experts.
Apr 08, 2020
Life (and your career) after coronavirus
00:46:16
The idea of an out-of-the-blue pandemic shutting down America and the rest of the world would be an April Fools Day prank of the worst kind. Unfortunately, this is not a drill. Unlike past major events, 9/11, the Great Recession, which hit all of us but in many different ways, we are all pretty much in the same boat here. It may be better to be young in Idaho than to be 75 in Brooklyn. But maybe not all that much better. Hopefully you’ve got food. Toilet paper. You are taking every precaution. Now you wait. We all do. Federal employees, unlike many other working Americans, will have an annuity, a pension, if they work long enough. Either from the Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employee Retirement System. CSRS costs employees more but produces a more generous monthly benefit that is fully-indexed to inflation. FERS has a less generous annuity formula and its partial catchup-with-inflation feature doesn’t kick in until age 62, except for a limited group of workers. FERS workers are entitled to a generous matching contribution from the government toward their Thrift Savings Plan. Over time its impact is tremendous. Unfortunately the TSP is in the tank, temporarily we assume and hope, until we get out of the current mess. But for now most balances are down for most people to the point where many are rethinking their retirement date. And if not, should be. So where to start? When in doubt, and in all things retirement, start with Tammy Flanagan. She’s been thinking and rethinking your career since the virus hit. And I’ll be talking with her today live, at 10 am EDT, on our Your Turn radio show. You can listen live at federalnewsnetwork.com or 1500 AM in the Washington metro area. The show will be archived on our home page so you can listen later, listen again or pass it along to a friend or coworker. If you have questions for her, send them to me before showtime at mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com.
Apr 01, 2020
Planning to retire, ever? Hold that thought!
00:47:19
Many can live comfortably on their federal annuity while giving their stock-indexed TSP funds time to recover. But for the majority of retirement eligible federal and postal workers, that’s not an option. At least not if they want to maintain a decent standard of living in retirement. The reason? Many, if not most, of the feds eligible to retire are not under the CSRS program. They are under the very different Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Under the 3-legged retirement system, income from the TSP was projected to provide anywhere from one-third to as much as one-half of the income FERS retirees have. The other two sources were the civil service itself, which is much smaller than the CSRS annuity, and Social Security. Hundreds of thousands of feds faced the same situation in 2008 when the market collapsed. Many moved into the safety of the treasury securities G-fund. Many also stopped investing in the stock-indexed C, S and I funds. While they missed out on the big returns of the record bull market many feel vindicated now that the “correction” of more than 30 percent so far has happened. So should you stay or should you go? That’s what we’re going to talk about today with benefits expert Tammy Flanagan, my guest on our Your Turn radio show. Tammy has been there, done that, and has the answers to some questions you probably didn’t know you had.
Mar 25, 2020
Your TSP in the tank: Now what?
00:46:39
Most current and retired federal and postal workers have a 401k plan via the federal Thrift Savings Plan. For those under the Civil Service Retirement System, with its more generous indexed-to-inflation annuity for life, the TSP is a very nice thing to have. But in most cases, not a must. For those who are or will retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System program the TSP is a must. It is at least going to be one-third of their retirement income along with Social Security and their FERS annuity, which is not fully indexed to inflation. Over time that so-called diet cost of living adjustment formula means that normal inflation or anything over 2% will eat into their FERS annuity. A number of long-time TSP investors, though not as many as before, have account balances worth $1 million or more. Many were in the $500,000 to $750,000 category, before the “correction.” During the Great Recession thousands moved money from the stock indexed C, S and I funds into the safety of the treasury securities G fund. That money was “safe” but its growth rate compared to the rebounding stock funds, was minimal. Those who stuck with the stock funds and continued to buy — at what turned out to be bargain basement sale prices — saw their accounts prosper. Things like risk-tolerance, age and how soon after retirement you will need to tap your TSP are key factors in deciding what to do or what not to do. So, when in doubt, ask Arthur Stein. He’s a well-known financial planner with a lot of federal clients in the Washington, D.C., area. He’ll be my guest today on our Your Turn radio show at 10 a.m. EDT. Listen at www.federalnewsnetwork.com or at 1500 AM in the D.C. region. If you have questions shoot them to me before showtime at mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com
Mar 18, 2020
Don’t forget to file: Avoiding an audit
00:46:12
If you haven’t done your taxes yet, no problem. There’s still plenty of time. If you are planning not to pay your taxes, or not to file at all, that is a problem that, worst case scenario, could see you doing time in a federal pen. Most federal workers are paid via tax dollars, so ordinary taxpayers are not amused when they read a rare story about a civil servant dodging taxes. So do feds, for that matter, who pay their fair share on time. And while most people, both feds and everybody else, pay their taxes on time or are on payment plans with the IRS, the big problem comes when non-filers get caught. Many of us know people who haven’t filed, even if we don’t actually realize it. According to the most recent data the IRS has identified 1.6 million non-filers. So what happens if you or a friend are one of them? And what should you be aware of during the filing season? We also wanted to sort out the many scams people use posing as IRS agents or revenue officers. The IRS doesn’t call or email you asking for back taxes. You may hear from them but it will be in the form of a revenue officer, with credentials. To get some answers to tax-time questions, including those you should be considering, I asked D.C. area Tom O’Rourke to join me today at 10 a.m. EDT on our Your Turn radio show. Tom worked for the IRS for many years before going into private practice.
Mar 11, 2020
Forget coronavirus and primaries, time for wallet check!
00:46:30
With all the problems bubbling here in March, is Congress really going to spend real time moving most functions of the Office of Personnel Management to the General Services Administration? Except for some Washington-based technocrats, and some hungry contractors, who cares about that when China is in lockdown and the stock market is free-falling? Good questions: Which we’ll ask today when Jessica Klement and John Hatton from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association join us at 10 a.m. EDT on Your Turn. Listen on www.federalnewsnetwork.com or at 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area.
Mar 04, 2020
Timing your first date with Social Security
00:46:50
Working for the federal government has its rewards and challenges. The same when you retire — a lot of options, which also means a lot of choices. Most working feds are under both the Federal Employees Retirement System plan and Social Security. When they retire they are faced with a number of important financial decisions. Among them: When it comes to money would you prefer less sooner or more later? The answer, like so many financial decisions, comes down to: It depends. Opting to get Social Security at age 62 means you will get the maximum number of monthly payments for life. But delaying getting a Social Security benefit means it will go up dramatically each year you wait. The maximum monthly benefit in 2020 is $2,265 for those retiring at age 62; $3,011 for those retiring at the full retirement age of 66; and $3,790 for those retiring at age 70. So should you go for it earlier or wait to get the maximum? The now-or-later decision is just one of many facing both active duty and retired federal civil servants. Knowing the options, and what to do with them can add tens of thousands of dollars to your retirement. And there is no one-size fits all answer. Which is why we’ll spend this morning talking to federal benefits expert Tammy Flanagan. She was a long-time fed, now retired and heading her own company. Insight by Mapbox: Federal practitioners delve into issues surrounding geospatial information and its use in applications in this exclusive executive briefing. Tammy will be my guest on today’s Your Turn radio show at 10 a.m. EST here on www.federalnewsnetwork.com or in the Washington area on 1500 AM. She’s going to answer some of the most common and complicated questions she gets including:
Feb 26, 2020
How long will you live? How’s your cash flow?
00:46:26
For many people nearing retirement, running out of money is one of the top fears. Unless they work for the federal government. With the Federal Employees Retirement System annuity, Social Security and cost of living adjustments the fear of running out of money is not a major worry for federal and postal workers. But does your retirement plan include maybe 20 or 30 years of doing things, needing things, without that regular paycheck every two weeks? On today's Your Turn radio show financial planner Arthur Stein talks about planning for what could be a very lengthy retirement. You may be retired for as long as you worked — think about that. You can listen at 10 a.m. EDT on Wednesdays at www.federalnewsnetwork.com or in the Washington, D.C., area at 1500 AM.
Feb 19, 2020
Downsizing your pay/pension for life
00:46:50
The FY 2021 budget plan is similar to previous proposals in that offers civilian federal workers a smaller January 2021 pay raise of 1%, than the 3% proposed for the uniformed military. It would also change the way retirement benefits are calculated basing them on the employees’ highest five-year average salary instead of the current high-three formula. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees estimated this would cost future retirees $8 billion over the next decade. The plan puts the FERS supplement benefit on the chopping block again. It is a payment that FERS employees get if they retire before they are eligible to collect Social Security. That gap payment, often worth tens of thousands of dollars, would be a gut punch to air traffic controllers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and others who are forced to retire up to five years before they are eligible for Social Security. NARFE puts the financial loss to them at almost $20 billion over 10 years. To learn more about its prospects in Congress tune into our Your Turn radio show at 10 a.m. EST today. My guests are Kenneth J. Thomas, president of NARFE and Jessica Klement, vice president for advocacy.
Feb 12, 2020
Good at putting things off? Here’s the last checklist you’ll ever need!
00:45:59
Nobody likes to think about dying. But it happens whether we prepare for it or not. And if you don’t do some advance planning it can cause even more longer lasting pain and grief, not to mention money and strained relations for your loved ones. Many people don’t think they have an “estate” but odds are — house, car, stock, Thrift Savings Plan balance, insurance — you do. Odds are you are in fact worth more dead than alive, in a manner of speaking. So we asked Tom O’Rourke for some words of wisdom. He’s an estate-tax attorney in the Washington, D.C. area, also a long-time IRS employee and Vietnam vet. He’s been working with clients — many of them active or retired feds — for decades. And he’s my guest on today’s Your Turn radio show at 10 a.m. EST. You can listen at www.federalnewsnetwork.com or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area. Shows are archived on our website so you can listen again anytime or refer it to a friend. If you have questions for Tom, send them to me before showtime at mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com.
Feb 05, 2020
Timing your last day at work (Part 2)
00:42:45
On any given day, the obituary section of almost any big city newspaper may contain the death notice of someone who was retired longer than he or she worked — nice! And on the same page there may also be a write up on an individual who spent 40, 50 or even 60 years on the job — also good! Sometimes, like in the Washington, D.C. area, both the early retiree and the job-for-life person were federal workers. So who won, who got it right? Today we turn to retirement expert Tammy Flanagan. She knows all the rules and regulations but she says there are times when, after you’ve done all your pre-retirement homework, you need to look inward to see what’s driving you to retirement, or to work until you drop.
Jan 29, 2020
TSP thermometer: 2018 bad, 2019 good, 2020?
00:43:39
Stock markets, like people and wine, have good years and not-so-good years. Investors who try to buy low and sell high don’t have very good track records. But people try. Take 2018, please! That year the C fund, which tracks the S&P 500 was down 44%. But investors who continued to buy shares got a pleasant surprise in 2019 when the C fund was up 31.5%. The story was the same for the S fund (small cap) and I fund (international stock index), which also had bad years in 2018 but bounced back big time — 28% and 22.5% last year, respectively. That means something, but what? We asked Washington, D.C., area financial planner Arthur Stein for his take. He has several self-made Thrift Savings Plan millionaires among his clients. He’ll be my guest on today’s Your Turn show at 10 a.m. EST. You can listen at www.federalnewsnetwork.com or on 1500 AM in the D.C. metro area. The show will also be archived on our home page so you or a friend can listen later. If you have questions for Art Stein send them to mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com before showtime. Meanwhile, he has this excellent example of good years and not so good years for TSP investors:
Jan 22, 2020
Long term care: Time for the talk?
00:44:43
Have you had the long term care insurance talk with your spouse or significant other, or your kids? How about with yourself, can you handle a reality check? The opioid crisis and other factors have stalled the steady increase in life expectancy in many communities and with some groups. But generally speaking reasonably affluent people with good steady jobs, decent pay, good health care and retirement benefits are living longer — people like you and me. But while living longer people in that group aren’t necessarily aging better. Many have trouble taking care of themselves as they age out. If you are counting on your health plan, or Medicare to handle the situation, think again! Not gonna happen. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to have and listen to the talk, so how about today? Tune in at 10 a.m. here on www.FederalNewsNetwork.com or 1500 AM in the D.C. area. to listen to this week’s Your Turn radio show. And if you can’t catch us live, the show will be archived on our webiste so you can listen anytime or refer it to a friend. Our guest today will be Greg Klingler, director of Wealth Management at the Government Employees’ Benefits Association. He’ll explain why you should check out their streamlined LTC plans which may be a better fit for many then the traditional federal LTC program. Also he will talk about how to bring up the sensitive but important program with your adult children, why this plan may be better for singles, or why its gender-based pricing may be better for many women. Not, it’s not a fun subject, but it is one that could save you and your loved ones time, money and unnecessary grief.
Jan 15, 2020
Finding your retirement date
00:43:26
When in doubt, ask Tammy Flanagan. Many feel she wrote the book on federal retirement planning. She was a long-time fed and now operates her own fee-for-service business. Best of all, she’s our guest today at 10 a.m. EDT on our Your Turn radio show. The show is archived on our home page so if you can’t catch it live on our website or on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area, you can always listen later and pass it along to a friend or coworker.
Dec 18, 2019
UPDATED: Long term care insurance: Pray your premiums are ‘wasted’
00:43:47
Today’s Your Turn radio show features Paul Forte and Joan Melanson from Long Term Care Partners Inc. They run the LTC program for the federal government, and they are going to talk about the existing program including its new 3.0 version, which gives policyholders various options when premiums go up in the future, as they inevitably will. The show will stream live at 10 a.m. EST on www.federalnewsnetwork.com and on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area. It will also be archived on our website so you can listen again, or refer it to a friend or coworker.
Dec 11, 2019
Health premiums: Don’t make the $17,000 mistake
00:43:42
So when in doubt and with the deadline fast-approaching the way to guarantee the best coverage is to check out and stick with one of the plans with the highest premiums. If it costs a lot, it’s gotta be good, right? The good news is that many of the highest-premium plans are excellent. The bad news is they cost too much for what you get. In many cases you can get similar coverage with the plan’s basic option, which costs much less. Or if you need to save money only look at the plans with the lowest premiums. What could possibly go wrong, right? What could go wrong is that if you have an unexpected condition or emergency — i.e. the reason people buy insurance in the first place — you might be out of pocket big-time with a low premium plan. Which is why you either gotta shop or maybe continue to shell out big bucks for nothing. So low premium, good, high premium, better! Correct? Wrong, says Walton Francis, editor of Consumers’ “Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees.” He will be my guest on today’s Your Turn radio show at 10 a.m. EST on www.federalnewsnetwork.com or 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C., area.
Dec 04, 2019
Let your health plan fund an IRA, pay your premiums
00:43:34
Folks who do their health plan homework between now and Dec. 9 can in many cases save a couple thousand dollars in premiums next year — right off the bat. And/or they can get started with an “IRA on steroids” paid for by their health plan. Many retirees can have their Medicare Part B premiums paid for them by their health plan. The trick is knowing which plans work best for you, and how your long-time plan, which has been great in every way, may have simply become too expensive. Walton Francis, editor of Consumers’ Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees says the IRA on steroids is available to workers who pick from one of several plans high deductible heal plans (HDHPs) or consumer-driven health care (CDHC) plans that will give you money each year to be used for medical services or, if not used, can be rolled over into an account earns interest. In some cases, he says, participants have built up five-figure accounts.
Nov 20, 2019
Are you overpaying for health insurance? Probably
00:43:44
If wasting a couple-thousand dollars next year is no big deal to you, you can skip this. But if you’d be interested in saving $1,000-$2,000 on your federal health plan in 2020, read on. Walton Francis, who literally wrote the book on the federal health program said that many, many workers and retirees are paying too much because of the plan they are in. And with a little shopping they could save a bundle and still get excellent coverage.
Nov 13, 2019
Bear market: Are you ready?
00:43:30
For the past decade — since the end of the 2008-2009 Great Recession — stock market experts have regularly predicted a major correction, a drop of 20% or more in the stock market, each year up to and including now. So far they’ve all been wrong. This is the longest bull market in history. But eventually they will be correct and the market will tank. Then all their sky-is-falling-in predictions will be filed away and forgotten. In the meantime there is a bear market. The C, S and I funds of the Thrift Savings Plan tank. Like last time hundreds of thousands of TSP investors, both active and retired, will trade in their shares of the stock index funds for the “safety” of the Treasury securities G fund. Then what, are you ready? Which is why we called in Arthur Stein, a Washington, D.C.-area financial planner. Many of his clients are federal workers or retirees. Several are also TSP millionaires who rode out past financial ups and downs, investing mostly or exclusively in the stock market during good times — and especially “bad” times when stocks were on sale. He also worked on Capitol Hill and has been called back to give talks on the TSP to congressional staffers. And he’s our guest today on Your Turn at 10 a.m. EST. Listen on www.federalnewsnetwork.com and also on 1500 AM in the Washington area. The show will be archived on our website so you can listen anytime and tell a friend about it. If you have questions for him please email them before showtime to mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com
Nov 06, 2019
Where there’s a will isn’t always the way!
00:43:32
Many federal workers and retirees don’t bother with estate planning. Mostly because they don’t think of themselves, long-time civil servants, as the estate type. Get a will off the internet, get it notarized and all is well, right? Not necessarily. Wills are great, but if you are or were a career civil servant, if you own a house, if you have money in your TSP account, bank or investments — chances are you have an estate. If you check all those boxes and are still married to your first spouse, you almost certainly do. So what next? Tom O’Rourke, an estate/tax attorney in the Washington D.C. area, says many people have estates but don’t realize it. He’ll be my guest today on our Your Turn show at 10 a.m. EST, streaming here or on 1500 AM in the D.C. area. If you have questions for Tom, email them to mcausey@federalnewsnetwork.com before the show.
Oct 30, 2019
What happens to your TSP when the bull becomes a bear?
00:43:35
Most people know the rule is to buy low, sell high. If you buy that, the problem is knowing when the market has peaked or bottomed out. A growing number of Thrift Savings Plan investors are nervously wondering how much longer the current bull market — 10-plus years without a correction of 20% or more — will last, and can last. So many things could go wrong: Turkey and Syria, Chinese trade and the Hong Kong problem, post-Brexit Europe, or impeachment — a major disaster. Arthur Stein, a Washington, D.C.-area certified financial planner, weighs in on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Oct 16, 2019
Design your own buyout for December and January
00:43:47
December and January are often the best months to retire if you want to maximize your lump sum payment of annual leave that can amount to a “design-your-own buyout.” That’s why the period between Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 sees the largest surge in retirements year-after-year. Benefits expert Tammy Flanagan answers your questions on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Oct 09, 2019
Your bigger-than-you-think-estate
00:43:34
How do you start your search for your estate? We discussed with Washington, D.C. area tax and estate attorney Tom O’Rourke. He worked for the IRS for many years and most of his clients are current or former civil servants, or are related to a fed.
Oct 02, 2019
Pay, Premiums, Retiree COLA: Fall Forecast
00:42:18
For most white-collar civil servants, regardless of their duties, the September-October time period can be education/rewarding/challenging at the same time. Especially if you are preparing your personal budget for the upcoming year. FNN reporter Nicole Ogrysko bring us up to speed on how the immediate future looks for workers and retirees on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Sep 25, 2019
2020 taxes, your TSP, mortgage and health premiums
00:43:32
While some people are already working on their 2020 taxes there are probably many more still trying to figure out what they did right, or wrong, because of the 2017 tax law. Many were surprised to learn that it no longer paid to itemize deductions that had been important in the past. Tom O’Rourke answers your questions on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Sep 18, 2019
TSP: Love it or leave it, big changes coming next week
00:43:41
Effective Sept. 15, major changes will take effect in the TSP, changes that will make it more attractive for life-time investors and more convenient for people who need to withdraw different amounts over their retirement. Jessica Klement, NARFE vice president for advocacy and Mark Keen, certified financial planner and adviser gives us the details on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Sep 11, 2019
Can you afford to retire, ever? How will you know?
00:43:44
Too many people begin their retirement planning too late. If not necessarily catastrophic, it isn’t good. But regardless of your age now, sooner is better than later. Benefits expert Tammy Flanagan is the guest this week. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Sep 04, 2019
Will retirement mean lifetime diet?
00:43:23
Most current federal retirees, and a small percentage of folks still on the payroll, are under the old Civil Service Retirement System. It offers a generous lifetime annuity that is based on salary and length of service, and it is fully indexed to inflation.
Aug 14, 2019
Summer Special: Perform Your Own (financial) Autopsy
00:43:23
Have you had your professional mid-life crises yet? If not this might be a good time to get it over with. To take stock of where you’ve been, where you are going and what happens when its all finished.
Aug 05, 2019
Retirement prep tips: Boost your Social Security benefit 76%
00:40:52
On this episode, Tammy Flanagan covers the basics and then some, to help put more money in your monthly retirement income and reduce costs to you. Your Turn with Mike Causey airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Jul 24, 2019
The TSP stock funds and the coming bear market
00:43:17
The current bull market is more than a decade old and is long overdue for a major correction. Financial planner Arthur Stein has plenty of federal clients and offers his thoughts on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Jul 17, 2019
Are you worth more dead or alive?
00:43:37
Many people accumulate wealth in a variety of forms: Maybe a house or other property, a car or several, insurance, a 401(k) or Thrift Savings Plan? Maybe they have a survivor annuity that will give their significant other a lifetime stream of income that is designed to keep up with inflation no matter how long he or she lives? On this episode of the Your Turn radio show, Tom O’Rourke talks about what everybody, but especially members of the federal family, needs to know about estate planning.
Jun 19, 2019
Is it time to time your TSP moves?
00:43:39
On this episode of Your Turn, Arthur Stein, a Washington, D.C.-area financial planner with a lot of active and retired federal clients, discusses what people should not be doing with their TSP accounts. Your Turn with Mike Causey airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Jun 12, 2019
The 3 Ps: Pay, pensions and premiums going up?
00:41:42
On this episode, we hear from Federal News Network reporter Nicole Ogrysko, who’s been following the pay raise in Congress. We’ll also be looking at upcoming changes in the Thrift Savings Plan designed to make it easier for participants to withdraw money. Military families and veterans get some advice on financial planning from Mike Meese, executive vice president and secretary of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association. AAFMAA celebrates 140 years providing survivor benefits.
Jun 06, 2019
The secret lives of military/federal spouses
00:42:28
For decades, job-hunting spouses of mobile military and federal people have hidden, or tried to hide, the fact that they are not “career” material because of the person they married. Many employers are reluctant to hire, train and promote someone who will be relocating in the coming years. But things may be changing thanks to new military spouse preference rules. On this episode of Your Turn, job-expert Kathryn Troutman, president of The Resume Place, answers your questions and offers tips to make your resume stand out. Your Turn with Mike Causey airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
May 22, 2019
Are you over-investing in the TSP?
00:42:52
When it comes to employer-backed 401k plans, most experts say that the federal Thrift Savings Plan, with its 5% match and super-low administrative fees, is the best deal around. At the end of March, the TSP had 5.6 million participants and was worth $561 billion. Arthur Stein, a Washington area financial planner, spent a day on Capitol Hill last month talking to Senate staffers about their investment options. Most of them were in the TSP, but in some cases, he said they should be investing less. Why? Find out on this episode of the Your Turn radio show. Your Turn with Mike Causey airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
May 15, 2019
How’s your endgame going?
00:43:00
If you’re like most people, you probably have, or will, spend more time deciding how, when and where you’ll retire than you did deciding how, when and where you would spend the majority of your career. Knowing what to ask is very important. Knowing the answers is critical. Where to start? Relax, we’ll come to you. Benefits expert Tammy Flanagan is the guest this week. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
May 08, 2019
Managing your inner millionaire
00:43:41
So you’ve done well, now what? One of the first things you need to do is recognize your true financial value, living and dead, then have a plan. Having a will alone no longer works for many people. Some need a trust and medical directives. But what kind, and how do you know? Tom O’ Rourke, an estate and tax attorney and former IRS lawyer, answers these questions on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
May 01, 2019
Retirement plan tops congressional hit parade — again
00:43:20
On this episode, Nicole Ogrysko, who covers workforce issues on the Hill, outlines the changes feds and retirees may be facing and talks about what the Democratic take-over of the House might mean for plans to curtail your retirement benefits. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EDT at www.federalnewsnetwork.com and on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C., area.
Apr 18, 2019
Will bear market devour your TSP nest egg?
00:43:29
After significant declines during the fourth quarter of 2018, TSP funds rebounded during the first three months of this year. Patience has its reward, according to Washington, D.C.-area financial planner Arthur Stein. Many of his clients are retired feds. Several of them are TSP millionaires who did it by long-term investing without reacting to the market’s ups and downs. On this episode, he explains how a "safe" investment could be a higher risk in the long-term. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EST on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Apr 10, 2019
Timing your retirement isn’t rocket science, but no cake walk
00:40:36
Benefits expert Tammy Flanagan, who first came up with the best-dates-to-retire concept, says feds under FERS also need to consider Social Security. It will be one of the three legs of their imaginary retirement stool which also includes the FERS benefit plus the TSP. Tammy literally has all the answers. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EDT at www.federalnewsnetwork.com or on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C., area.
Apr 03, 2019
Retirement tidal wave: Will you be part of it?
00:43:11
Retirement, is it time for you and if so, are you ready? It’s a timely question because the chaos caused by the shutdown — back pay and retirement claims delayed — has some people questioning how much longer they want to stick around. John Grobe, president of Federal Career Experts discusses how to prepare for retirement on this episode of the Your Turn Radio show. Listen live Wednesday's at 10 a.m. on www.federalnewsnetwork.com or 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area.
Mar 20, 2019
Are you sleeping with a millionaire?
00:43:49
It’s probably safe to assume that hardly anybody (politicians notwithstanding) joins the government planning to become rich. But you could still be well on the way to millionaire status. On this episode, Mike speaks with tax and estate attorney Tom O’Rourke, a former IRS employee who has spent decades advising Washington-area feds in building, keeping and passing on estates to the people they want to get it. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EST on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Mar 13, 2019
FERS Retirees: Treading Water OR Under It?
00:42:21
When they retire after a long career with Uncle Sam many FERS retirees hope for good health, long life and low-inflation. Not necessarily in that order. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) has introduced a bill that would take FERS retirees off their diet-COLA plan. On this episode of the Your Turn radio show, we hear from NARFE's Staff Vice President for Advocacy Jessica Klement and Director of Legislative and Political Affairs John Hatton about the impact of the diet-COLA.
Feb 20, 2019
Mike Causey Federal Report ... Prepping for the final shutdown
00:42:53
Even if Congress and the White House find a way to avoid another partial government shutdown there is another one coming that has your name on it — no escape. Do you have financial and medical powers of attorney in place? If so, are the persons you have selected to act as your agent still proper? And finally, have there been any events in your life — i.e. births, deaths, dementia, marriages, divorces and moves — that could have an impact on your estate plan or that you should at least discuss with your lawyer? On this episode, Tom O’Rourke, a former IRS attorney who now works exclusively on estate planning, tackles these questions. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EST on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Feb 13, 2019
Did you pass the December TSP test?
00:43:19
For the vast majority of federal workers investing in the Thrift Savings Plan is a must, period. Chances are it will provide anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the income they have in retirement, which is a very big deal. It may be the difference between steak and hamburger or, worst case scenario, cat food. And you don’t have a cat! So if you have a TSP account what did you do in December when the high-flying stock market, after wobbling a couple months, dropped big time? On this episode, financial planner Arthur Stein talks us through the highs and lows of investing in the TSP. He has a number of federal clients including several who are TSP millionaires. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EST on1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area and www.federalnewsnetwork.com.
Feb 06, 2019
Temporary shutdown shut down temporarily — now what?
00:43:23
Federal news Network reporters Nicole Ogrysko and Jory Heckman covered the shutdown from a variety of angles. On this episode of the Your Turn radio show they give their takes on why it happened, exactly what happened and what maybe happens next. Also, they share information on what your long-overdue paycheck will look like and when it will show up in your direct deposit. Your Turn airs live at 10 a.m. ET on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area.
Jan 30, 2019
What if shutdown becomes negligent homicide?
00:44:26
On this episode of the Your Turn radio show, we’ll be talking with Ken Thomas, president of the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees, about what the shutdown has already done to government services and how people can get help. NARFE has been working with the federal coalition fighting the shutdown. It has also partnered with FEEA, the feds-helping-feds charity that is helping unpaid feds get by. Your Turn airs live at 10 a.m. ET on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area.
Jan 23, 2019
Is your TSP account shrinking?
00:42:26
Everybody knows the expression what goes up also goes down. Repeat as necessary. We know the stock market retreats and advances. But after the longest running with the bull market for almost a decade, 2018, or at least the last half of it, was a bummer. Many feds, young, old or retired, invested heavily in the stock-indexed C, S and I funds are nervous in the service. On this episode of the Your Turn radio show, we asked financial planner Arthur Stein what’s going on. A majority of his customers are active or retired feds, and several of them are Thrift Savings Plan millionaires. Your Turn airs at 10 a.m. EST on 1500 AM.
Jan 16, 2019
Shutdown assignment: Taking care of number one
00:43:18
On this episode of the Your Turn radio show, we speak with Greg Klingler of the Government Employee Benefits Association. He's director of products and member services for GEBA. He talks about life and long term care insurance for members, 529 college savings plans and options feds have during the shutdown to make changes — or additionals — to their TSP accounts, the pros and cons of self-adjusting Lifecycle funds and ways to possibly get your financial house in better order during and because of the shutdown.
Jan 09, 2019
Is your TSP account suffering pre-recession blues?
00:43:18
According to the experts December is on target to have its worst month since 1931. The erratic, some would say more normal performance of the market this year has made lots of investors nervous — particularly those trying to build nest eggs that will last them through a retirement, potentially 20 or 30 years. Financial planner Arthur Stein shares his review of TSP funds this year, and what participants should look for in 2019.
Dec 19, 2018
Shutdown game of chicken: What’s in a word?
00:43:17
Federal News Network reporter Nicole Ogrysko about the potential for a shutdown. Also on today's the show is Executive Vice President of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association Retired Brig. General Mike Meese to discuss the new blended retirement system for military personnel. He’ll give an update on what military members are and should be doing with their Thrift Savings Plan accounts. The Your Turn radio show airs at 10 a.m. EST here on www.federalnewsnetwork.com or 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area.
Dec 12, 2018
When health premiums and your budget collide
00:43:22
Premiums are important if you are on a limited budget. But so is the plans’ catastrophic coverage (the limit on the amount you will have to pay out of pocket if you have a serious accident or major illness in 2019). Equally important, be sure your doctor(s) will be in the network of the plan(s) you are considering. Fortunately for people looking for good coverage at a low premium there are a lot of choices among the local HMOs and national fee-for-service plans. Walton Francis, editor of Consumers Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans, answers questions from listeners on this episode of Your Turn radio show.
Dec 05, 2018
Open season: Is it time to switch health care plans?
00:43:19
The possibility of a Dec. 7 partial government shutdown is another good reason feds — especially retired government workers — should pick their 2019 health plan ASAP. Walton Francis, editor of Consumers Checkbook Guide to Federal Health Plans, joins host Mike Causey on this week's Your Turn. He talks about best buys and explains why many more people need to switch plans.
Nov 28, 2018
Open season: How to pick the best health plan for you
00:43:05
On this week's episode of  Your Turn radio show, Walton Francis answers your questions. He's the guy who wrote the book on how to pick the best federal health plan: Checkbook's Guide To Health Plans For Federal Employees. Next Mr. Pat Grady, TRICARE Health Plan chief, tells us about changes that active military and veterans should be aware of this Open Season.
Nov 21, 2018
How to get more for less from your federal health plan
00:43:21
If you don’t change plans you will remain in your current plan which, if benefits change or premiums go up big time, could be a mistake. Walt Francis, a federal health plan expert, joined Federal News Network's Mike Causey on Your Turn to help you through open season.
Nov 14, 2018
It's time to sign up for long care coverage
00:42:50
It's open season for federal health care benefits, and this week on Your Turn, Joan Melanson and Paul Forte of Long Term Care Partners join host Mike Causey to talk about the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program and other benefits available to feds, such as dental and vision insurance. November 7, 2018
Nov 07, 2018
Strategies to grow your retirement nest egg
00:41:21
This week on Your Turn, estate planner and tax lawyer Thomas O'Rourke joins host Mike Causey to discuss what you can do to maximize the amount of money you have in your retirement accounts.
Oct 31, 2018
When to retire? Breaking up is hard to do
00:41:19
Leaving Uncle Sam, especially after a lengthy career at a good salary, can be very rewarding and sometimes a bit tricky, too. If you can’t stand your boss, have nothing in common with your coworkers or hate your commute or your job, it’s a no-brainer — leave ASAP. But if you are like most people, the best time to retire is worth checking out, especially when you figure you might be retired for decades — maybe longer longer than you worked. After deciding which year you are going to retire the next question is when are the best dates: Dec. 31 and Jan. 1-3 are most popular, but why? On this episode of Your Turn we’ll be talking with popular benefits expert Tammy Flanagan about the best dates to retire, and why they are the best. She’ll take a look at the pros and cons of CSRS versus FERS, and how to make the most of your plan.
Oct 24, 2018
Ups and downs of 2018 TSP returns
00:41:22
Washington, D.C. area financial planner Arthur Stein joins host Mike Causey on this week's Your Turn discuss how volatility in the U.S. stock market is affecting federal workers' TSP accounts, and whether feds should head for the ‘safety’ of the Treasury securities fund, or stay the course.
Oct 17, 2018
The future of the civil service
00:41:24
The Carter administration’s Civil Service Reform Act is turning 40 this Saturday. So how is the 40-year old reform working out in an era of draining the bureaucratic swamp?
Oct 10, 2018
Federal pay raise & government shutdown: What are the odds?
00:47:50
This week on Your Turn,  host Mike Causey will be joined by Federal News Radio reporter Nicole Ogrysko who brings us up to speed on what has to happen for Congress to approve a 1.9 percent January pay raise for most white collar feds in 2019. Executive Editor Jason Miller also joins to show to discuss Trump administration plans to "re-skill" and "up-skill" what it sees as an aging, tech-challenged workforce and what it might mean for you, your job and your boss.
Oct 03, 2018
Is there a pay raise in your future?
00:41:16
This week on Your Turn, host Mike Causey talks with Federal Managers Association President Renee Johnson and FMA Government and Public Affairs Director Greg Stanford about where we are, what needs to happen to secure the pay raise. Johnson, of the Naval Air Systems Command’s Fleet Readiness Center-East in Cherry Point, North Carolina, has been a fed for 25 years.  Stanford covers Capitol Hill. Later in the show, Mike and his guests discuss what's needed to block proposals eliminating future cost of living raises for FERS retirees while charging FERS workers 6 percent more for their reduced benefits.
Sep 26, 2018
NARFE: Protecting your retirement benefits
00:41:14
The Trump administration wants to cut costs in the giant Federal Employees Retirement System by totally eliminating future COLAs for FERS retirees. If it becomes law the 2019 COLA — assuming there is one — would be the last. Workers under the FERS plan would be required to increase their contributions to the FERS program by one percentage point a year for six years. That would mean a 6 percent cut in take-home pay, if it happens. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association or NARFE is part of a coalition of federal-postal unions and management groups dedicated to protecting benefits, including the retirement plan, from cuts. So what are the odds they can do it again this year? And what about the odds of a 1.9 percent January federal pay raise? Jessica Klement and John Hatton with NARFE's legislative advocacy department, answer those questions on this week's  Your Turn radio show. Your Turn airs at 10 AM ET in the Washington D.C. area.
Sep 19, 2018
The TSP: Investing for the long haul
00:40:48
Stein is today's guest on this episode of the Your Turn radio show. He talks about bull and bear markets, and what people should and should not be doing when investing for the long haul. He discusses when playing it “safe” can actually be dangerous to your long-term financial health. Your Turn airs at 10 a.m. EDT on 1500 AM in the Washington D.C. area.
Sep 12, 2018
Are you close to being a TSP millionaire?
00:43:24
Thanks to steady investing, a growing number of feds and federal couples now have 401(k) balances exceeding $1 million. The vast majority did it the hard way. They started investing from day one, maxed out their contributions and rode out the market in good and bad times. So do you have an estate plan? Tom O'Rourke, a Washington area estate and tax attorney and principal at Miles & Stockbridge, answered questions on this week's Your Turn with Mike Causey.
Sep 05, 2018
Federal unions: The return to the status quo
00:43:18
Federal News Radio reporters Nicole Ogrysko and Jory Heckman join host Mike Causey on this week's Your Turn to discuss the recent court ruling against the Trump administration’s crackdown against federal unions, and why there is a mini-exodus of scientists from the federal government. August 29, 2018
Aug 29, 2018
The past, present and future of the civil service
00:43:18
This week on Your Turn, Federal News Radio reporter Nicole Ogrysko discusses the past, present and future of the federal civil service, and Federal News Radio Senior Digital Editor Michael O'Connell explains how podcasts could help you get ahead in your federal career. August 22, 2018
Aug 22, 2018
Planning for your first TSP million with Arthur Stein
00:43:11
 Financial planner Arthur Stein, who has  many clients who are Thrift Savings Plan investors, even several TSP millionaires. He offers his insight on how to get the most out of your TSP.
Aug 15, 2018
The latest from Capitol Hill
00:46:28
Federal News Radio reporters Nicole Ogrysko and Jory Heckman join host Mike Causey on this week's Your Turn to discuss what’s happening and not happening with pay, shutdowns and appropriations on Capitol Hill.
Aug 08, 2018
Maximizing your retirement benefits
00:43:21
Thanks to the Federal Employees Retirement System, the Civil Service Retirement System and Social Security retirement programs many people will have guaranteed lifetime payments worth $1 million to $2 million. And that is in addition to their investments in the Thrift Savings Plan. Tom O’Rourke, a Washington area attorney whose practice is limited to estates, trusts, tax and federal pension matters, said most active and retired feds are worth more than they think, “especially if you are entitled to receive a lifetime annuity at retirement.” On this episode, O’Rourke talks about what feds and their survivors should be doing to maximize their cash benefits. These include things such as wills, powers-of-attorney (two kinds), trusts and the like to protect you and yours. He also discusses the steps you need to take to minimize tax liabilities, and what you need to include as part of your estate plan. You can listen to the show streaming on www.federalnewsradio.com or on 1500 AM in the D.C. area. Your Turn airs live at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesdays on 1500 AM in the Washinton D.C. metro area and streaming nationwide at federalnewsradio.com. Remember all our Your Turn shows are archived on our homepage so you can listen later, listen again or recommend them to a  friend or coworker. See, you really are worth more than you thought.
Aug 01, 2018
FERS & the federal pay raise: What's the latest?
00:46:26
Earlier this year President Donald Trump proposed a zero pay raise for January 2019. In its place would be a yet-to-come system that would give agencies more flexibility and cash to reward outstanding workers with outstanding raise.
Jul 25, 2018
FERS & CSRS: What's next?
00:43:15
The two largest white-collar federal unions, the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union, are challenging provisions in two of the three executive orders President Donald Trump issued in late May.
Jul 18, 2018
TSP investing: The good, the bad & the ugly
00:43:18
So, how often do you look at your Thrift Savings Plan account balance, and does it affect your investment decisions? Do the ups and downs of your TSP account keep you up at night? Are you financially nervous in the civil service, or do you think you have the wrong mix of funds in your retirement nest egg? If so, financial planner Arthur Stein has the answers to your retirement questions. Stein will discuss these and other TSP investing topics on the Your Turn radio show Wednesday at 10 a.m. Questions for him or Mike Causey can be sent before the show to mcausey@federalnewsradio.com Listen at www.federalnewsradio.com or 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. area.
Jul 11, 2018
Estate planners: Are you richer than you think?
00:41:17
Long ago a financial planner told me the key to success was to have a steady job, invest in any company 401K plan that is offered, get and stay married to the same person, buy a house in an up-and-coming neighborhood, live within your means and wait. Tens of thousands of federal/postal workers and retirees fit the profile, except maybe for the one spouse rule. Even so, the fact is that a lot of people fit the profile of somebody who has done very well financially, especially if they have been with one employer for 20 or 30 years, and if that employer offers a 401K plan, a generous company match and a retirement plan. Maybe they fit it better than they realize. Estate attorney Thomas O’Rourke said the key tools in most estate plans include wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, and trusts. O’Rourke was the guest on this week’s episode of the Your Turn radio show and he talked about things you should be doing to plan for retirement, and how often you should review your plan. Tune in to the show Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at www.federalnewsradio.com or 1500 AM in the D.C. metro area.
Jun 20, 2018
TSP: Can you afford to “play it safe?”
00:41:18
When financial times get tough and a bull market rears its ugly head, many Thrift Savings Plan investors head for the safety of the bond index F Fund or, more likely, the super-safe never has a bad day G Fund. To many people, the U.S. Treasury-backed securities are the safest haven in an uncertain market. During the Great Recession many TSP investors pulled out of the stock market (C, S and I funds) into the G Fund. Although the market bottomed out March 9, 2009, and rebounded with a vengeance, many investors never returned. Certified financial planner Art Stein said there is safety and then there is “safety,” the latter actually used by people to mean a lack of volatility. Stein was the guest on this week’s episode of the Your Turn radio show and he discussed the price that investors pay for safety. Tune in to the show Wednesdays at 10 a.m. at www.federalnewsradio.com or 1500 AM in the D.C. metro area.
Jun 13, 2018
Will Congress change your federal retirement benefits?
00:41:22
The Trump administration has submitted a legislative package that would, among other things, eliminate cost-of-living adjustments for current and future workers retiring under the Federal Employees Retirement System. Under the White House plan, the employee contribution to the FERS program would also rise one percent each year, over each of the next six years. It also proposes eliminating the FERS supplement which is a payment workers now get if they retire before age 62, when they are eligible for Social Security. So what are the odds any of the proposed changes will happen this year? John Hatton, deputy director for Advocacy of the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees outlines the proposals and talks about their chances on this week’s Your Turn radio show. Listen live at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesdays on www.federalnewsradio.com or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Jun 06, 2018
AFGE: The impact of President Trump’s executive orders
00:43:17
In the news business the best way to bury a story is to release or leak it on the Friday before a major national holiday. Such was the case this Memorial Day weekend when three executive orders designed to whip the bureaucracy in shape were issued Friday afternoon via a telephone conference call with reporters. The three EOs fulfill — at least on paper — President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to drain the D.C. swamp and to snip the red tape that makes it next to impossible to prod nonperforming bureaucrats either to action or the unemployment line. AFGE President J. David Cox joins host Mike Causey on this week’s show to talk about the executive orders and their potential impact. Your Turn is a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
May 30, 2018
The TSP: Are the law of averages on your side?
00:43:22
When it comes to the federal Thrift Savings Plan, the average annual returns don’t tell you everything because TSP stock funds do not have many “average” years. “The typical ways to view TSP returns is to look at the total return over a certain time period — annually, quarterly, year to date — or over a number of years,” according to financial planner Arthur Stein. He says patterns are easier to spot when returns are ranked by size. Your Turn is a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
May 16, 2018
Are changes coming to your retirement package?
00:50:49
This week the White House revived old proposals to make feds pay more for, and get less from, their retirement package. The Trump administration submitted a proposal to Congress that, if approved, would: eliminate the gap payment, require current FERS employees to contribute an additional one percent a year and eliminate the cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for current and future FERS retirees. National Active and Retired Federal Employees President Richard Thissen and Federal News Radio reporter Nicole Ogrysko discuss on Your Turn with Mike Causey. They'll explain the proposed changes, their cost to you and the odds of any, or all of them, becoming law this year — and what, if anything, you can do about it. The show airs at 10 a.m. EDT at www.federalnewsradio.com or 1500 AM in the metro Washington area.
May 09, 2018
The ‘7 rules’ of retirement
00:46:38
When people close in on their retirement date many become anxious about life after a steady, bi-weekly paycheck. The old Civil Service Retirement System provided a much more generous pension/annuity than the Federal Employees Retirement System, which covers most working feds. So what to do? We ask John Grobe, a former fed, and benefits specialist, to crunch some numbers — the numbers you need to know before you retire. He discusses the “Rule of 7 Rules” to protect your retirement nest egg on this episode of Your Turn, a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
May 02, 2018
Teleworking: Here to stay or going away? You tell us
00:43:23
Is it true, as many believe, that when it comes to working away from the office, younger workers embrace it while older employees view teleworking with suspicion? Also, where is the dividing line between younger and older. Is it 40 years old, 50 years old, or what? A lot of questions about teleworking but few good — as in provable — answers persist. Which is where, maybe, you and the gang at the office come in, we hope. Federal News Radio is finding out what workers think about teleworking. Does it increase productivity, cut down on pollution and traffic jams as advertised, and is there a downside to teleworking? Does it hurt communication and collaboration? And what about the bottom line: What impact does it have on the customers?
Apr 25, 2018
The TSP: Is 2018 going to be a down year?
00:43:25
Your Thrift Savings Plan account has had a rough start this year. The TSP is not performing at its hot 2017 levels, so what’s happening and what’s going to happen the rest of the year? Washington area financial planner Arthur Stein will answer those questions when he joins host Mike Causey on this week’s Your Turn radio show. Listen if you can at 10 a.m EDT on 1500 am in the Washington DC area or online at federalnewsradio.com. It will also be archived on our home page so you can listen anytime. If you have questions for him email them to Mike Causey before air time: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com
Apr 18, 2018
Civil service reform: The SEA perspective
00:43:21
Many say the thin red line between partisan politicians of both parties and the career civil service is the 9,100 members of the career Senior Executive Service. The SES came out of the Carter administration’s effort to revamp the civil service and make top executives more mobile — and responsive — to their political bosses. Some SES members belong to the Senior Executives Association which generally works closely with federal professional groups, unions and retiree organizations such as the National Active Retired and Federal Employees Association to protect federal benefits which have been under attack for more than a decade. That includes everything from pay freezes under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, to major cuts in the Federal Employee Retirement System. SEA president Bill Valdez is my guest on this episode of Your Turn, a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Apr 04, 2018
Does telework need to be restricted, or improved?
00:43:10
We take a look at teleworking on this episode of Your Turn radio show. My guest is Frank Landefeld from MorganFranklin. He’s an expert in business development and engagement in federal, state and local governments. Rather than restricting telework, he says, “the federal government needs to make it easier to incorporate flexibility” rather than shrink or restrict it as the Agriculture Department plans to do. Landefeld says the pros of a well-managed, flexible teleworking plan are obvious. “It keeps workers off the roads during the terrible D.C. commute (which applies to other major federal centers) and can reduce the real-estate footprint of the federal government, ultimately saving tax dollars,” he said. He also believes agencies should develop A and B schedules for telework policies that would increase productivity and decrease the need for office space. Your Turn airs live at 10 a.m. EDT at www.federalnewsradio.com or on 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Mar 28, 2018
A breakdown of the top federal news stories
48:55:00
What are the odds of another shutdown either because of man-made political gridlock or because a late March snowstorm ordered up by Mother Nature? Now that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been ousted who’s next? And what’s happening to career employees at the State Department, EPA, Interior and other places who may be deemed as disloyal, or non-team players by their political bosses? What’s going on at the Department of Veterans Affairs? Is it in trouble and can it be saved? Federal News Radio correspondents Nicole Ogrysko, Jory Heckman, Eric White and David Thornton talk about the hottest topics on their beats and what may be ahead for active and retired feds. Your Turn airs live at 10 a.m. EDT at www.federalnewsradio.com or on 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Mar 21, 2018
The bull market: How long can it last?
00:00
One of the longest-running bull markets in history is celebrating its ninth birthday this month. So how long can it go? Weeks? Months? Years? And when it does correct — how low will it go? We asked Arthur Stein, a Washington-area financial planner who tracks the Thrift Savings Plan. He’s our guest on this episode of Your Turn, a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Mar 14, 2018
Tracking the retirement tsunami
42:52:00
For many years experts have predicted that the government was facing an immediate brain drain. A "retirement tsunami" that would leave Uncle Sam without institutional memory and operating without the help of long-time experts and specialists. But the tsunami hasn’t happened. Federal News Radio has been tracking the outflow of government workers on a monthly basis. And the numbers are interesting and surprising to lots of tsunami predictors. Following the November 2016 election and the Inauguration — both of which were supposed to trigger a mass exodus of feds — the number of retiring feds actually dropped most months compared to previous years. It was less, not more, than in the past even though 31 percent of the workforce could leave today and 45 percent of the federal workforce will never see age 50 again. While more feds filed for retirement in 2017 than in 2016, the larger retirement surges —100,000 plus per year — took place in 2011 through 2014 when the government was undergoing shutdowns, furloughs without pay and three years without the regular statutory January pay raise. Those numbers clearly mean something. The question is what? Federal News Radio reporter Nicole Ogrysko has been tracking the tsunami. She’s our guest on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey. Your Turn airs Wednesday’s 10 a.m. ET at Federal News Radio or WFED 1500 AM.
Mar 07, 2018
Congress & your pension plan: Should you be worried?
00:43:22
In addition to a proposed pay raise freeze in January 2019, the White House and Congress are recommending that Congress do away with cost-of-living adjustments for both current and future retirees under the FERS program, which covers most feds still working. They also want to, among other things, reduce the rate of return on the Thrift Savings Plan’s Government Securities Investment (G) fund, and base federal pensions for new retirees on the average of the highest five years of salary instead of the highest three. So what do these proposals mean? What are the odds that any (or all) of them will be enacted into law this year? Or at some point in your career? Jessica Klement, staff vice president, advocacy; and Jill Talley, deputy director, public relations, from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association discuss. So what do these proposals mean? What are the odds that any (or all) of them will be enacted into law this year? Or at some point during your career? We’ll find out when we talk with Jessica Klement, staff vice president, advocacy; and Jill Talley, deputy director, public relations, from the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association on this episode of Your Turn with Mike Causey. Your Turn airs Wednesday’s 10 a.m. ET at Federal News Radio or WFED 1500 AM.
Feb 28, 2018
Protecting your TSP account
00:43:18
Did the recent stock market nosedive send you moving money from the stock indexed C and S funds into the G fund for safety? If so, was that a smart move? And what’s next? Are you waiting, as in sweating, a much bigger correction that many experts say is long overdue? We asked Arthur Stein, a Washington-area financial planner who tracks the Thrift Savings Plan what he thinks is going on. Did the recent stock market nosedive send you moving money from the stock indexed C and S funds into the G fund for safety? If so, was that a smart move? And what’s next? Are you waiting, as in sweating, a much bigger correction that many experts say is long overdue? We asked Arthur Stein, a Washington-area financial planner who tracks the Thrift Savings Plan what he thinks is going on. He’s our guest on this episode of Your Turn, a radio show (Wednesday's at 10 a.m. EST) streaming on Federal News Radio or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Feb 21, 2018
The 2017 Tax Act: How does it affect you?
00:43:08
This week on Your Turn from Federal News Radio, Washington area estate tax attorney Thomas O’Rourke joins host Mike Causey to discuss the 2017 Tax Act and how it affects your tax and estate plan. Topics include: Do I need an estate plan in view of the changes in the estate tax law? If I do need an estate plan, what should be included as part of this estate plan? Wills, trusts, powers of attorney? Does it still make sense to contribute to the TSP? You can listen live at www.federalnewsradio.com or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area. If you have questions for Thomas O’Rourke, send them to me before showtime at: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com.
Feb 14, 2018
TSP: Big changes are on the way
00:43:22
Big changes are coming to the Thrift Saving Plan. Kim Weaver, director of External Affairs for the TSP, joins host Mike Causey on this week's Your Turn to talk about the changes, which include making it easier for participants to make withdrawals from their accounts.
Feb 07, 2018
SOTU reactions & more
00:43:12
We have a triple-header on this Your Turn radio show. Reporters Jory Heckman and Nicole Ogrysko will talk about plans to decentralize federal operations based in the D.C. area and the outlook for feds in 2018. Morning Drive anchor Tom Temin will give us his take on President Donald Trumps State-of-the-Union address.
Jan 31, 2018
The 2018 shutdown: Whats next?
00:43:23
Now that things are back to normalfor three weekspro-fed politicians are explaining why they voted to continue this weeks government shutdown even though they profess to hate them. Democrats and Republicans are each claiming victory which seems to be the point of most shutdowns.

Meantime people in federal centers around the country are watching the calendar to see if we are going to go through this again. Maybe for a more extended period. Or if maybe, just maybe, career politicians have learned that shutting it downwhile they continue to get paidis not the way to run a government.

What next? So what happened this time? And whats likely to happen when Congress revisits the shutdown threat in February? Today on Your Turn, Greg Stanford, director of Government Affairs at the Federal Managers Association will talk about what led to the shutdown and the quick resolution and whats likely to happen in three weeks.

You can listen live at 10 a.m. EST at www.federalnewsradio.com or on 1500 AM in the D.C. area.
Jan 23, 2018
TSP: A year in review
00:42:15
This week on Your Turn, certified financial planner Arthur Stein joins host Mike Causey to talk about the Thrift Savings Plan and how to grow your retirement nest egg.

He said returns were excellent for all the TSP stock funds last year, but the not-so-good news is that stock markets are overdue for major and even minor stock declines.
Jan 17, 2018
Protecting your retirement benefits in 2018
00:43:50
Jessica Klement, staff vice president for advocacy at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, talks about the save-the-benefits effort and what you can do about it. She also gives us background on what was threatened but didn't happen last year and talks about why 2018 may be different. And not as forgiving.
Jan 10, 2018
Whats ahead for feds in 2018?
00:43:21
This week on Your Turn, Federal News Radio reporters Nicole Ogrysko and Jory Heckman join host Mike Causey to discuss what happened in 2017, what didn't happen but could have, and why. Also what might (as in M-I-G-H-T) be ahead for federal workers, postal employees, retirees, spouses and federal contractors in 2018.
Jan 03, 2018
2017: A year in review
00:00
This week on Your Turn, Federal News Radio reporters Nicole Ogrysko, Scott Maucione and Meredith Somers join host Mike Causey to discuss the top federal news stories in 2017 and what is (maybe) going to be on tap for 2018.
Dec 20, 2017
The new, improved TSP: What does it mean for you?
00:43:23
When they leave or retire from the government, just over half of Thrift Savings Plan participants move most or all of their TSP balances someplace else.

This despite the fact that the TSP has some of the lowest administrative fees in the business and is subject to oversight by the Treasury, the Labor Department and many if not most members of Congress and their staffs belong to the TSP and have keen interest in seeing it does well.

But now that Congress has authorized a modernization of the TSP, many suspect that it will be more attractive to feds when they leave or retire and that they will stick with it.

Financial planner Arthur Stein will explain why when he joins host Mike Causey on this weeks Your Turn. He will also talk about how the changes implemented under the TSP Modernization Act will affect you.
Dec 13, 2017
Medicare Part B: Do you need it?
00:40:36
Nearly half the questions health insurance hunters have involve or revolve around Medicare Part B. As in, do I need it? Can I afford it? What, if any, are the alternatives to Medicare Part B? What happens to the premium if I delay taking it? And by the way, what is it?

The short answer is that it depends. On your age, health, financial situation, etc.
Dec 06, 2017
Your health plan in jeopardy
00:43:23
Nov 29, 2017
Is it time to change your health plan?
00:43:23
Most feds will stay in the same health plan theyve been in for years. Maybe even decades.

Walton Francis, editor of Consumers Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, says thats a mistake. Francis says all of the plans are good, but some may be wrong for you. Or too expensive for what they cover.

Francis will be the guest today at 10 a.m. ET on Your Turn. Hell be answering questions sent in by listeners over the last two weeks. If you have one, fire it off to host Mike Causey (before showtime) at: mcausey@federalnewsradio.com.

Listen at 10 a.m. ET on Federalnewsradio.com or at 1500 AM in the D.C. area. The show will also be archived on our home page so you can listen later.
Nov 29, 2017
Switching partners? How about switching health plans?
00:43:23
Every year Uncle Sam holds an open season, when federal workers, retirees and their survivors can update, enroll in or change their benefits package.
Nov 22, 2017
Open season with Walton Francis
00:43:17
Nov 15, 2017
The pros & cons of the blended retirement system
00:43:17
Nov 08, 2017
Estate planning: Where do you start?
00:43:24
Your federal retirement could last decades so it pays to plan ahead. As in having a plan.

Doing the right/smart thing now means a payoff for you, for your spouse/significant other and your children. And peace of mind. The way you get your financial ducks in a row can be a major gift emotionally as well as financially for those who may wind up taking care of you.

So do you have an estate plan? Does it include beneficiary designations and property ownership arrangements? Do you know the difference between a will and a trust? And which is best for you?

Tom O'Rourke is a Washington area attorney who specializes in estate planning. Many of his clients are active and retired federal workers. He says that many feds are worth a lot more than they think.
Oct 25, 2017
Are changes coming to your retirement plan?
00:45:45
Are there people in your office who love their jobs and dread retirement but who are putting in their papers effective at the end of this month? Why are so many federal workers suddenly very nervous in the civil service?

Some, maybe many, feds are convinced that Congress is going to make big-time, devastating-to-feds, changes in the retirement plan. There are a half dozen plans that if approved by the House and Senate would deal a major body blow to some or all of the retirement program.
Oct 18, 2017
Tips for protecting your retirement nest egg
00:43:10
Are you excited, dazzled and worried sometimes at the same time by the stock market boom? Are you concerned about what many experts say is a long-overdue market correction? Do you still have the occasional nightmare about the Great Recession? If so, welcome to the club.

Obviously, nobody knows when, if and for how long, any correction might be. But we asked financial planner Arthur Stein for his take.
Oct 11, 2017
Buyouts: What, if anything is likely to happen?
00:44:48
Are you one of hundreds of thousands of federal workers who could retire tomorrow if you wanted to?

What if Uncle Sam made you a once-in-a-lifetime cash offer you couldnt refuse. And what if that payment, now $25,000, was bumped up by $15,000?

Does the possibility of a $40,000 buyout however remote tempt you to hang on to see what happens?

The good news is that the Senate may (as in MAY, MAYBE, MIGHT) consider and pass legislation that would raise the maximum for all government buyouts to $40,000. Currently, only Defense can offer feds that much money to take regular or early retirement. Other agencies are limited to $25,000 which, after all those deductions, doesn't have the buying power it did in the 1990s.
Oct 04, 2017
Is there a buyout in your future?
00:43:18
Although buyouts are out there, the odds that you personally will get a $25,000 to $40,000 payment to leave are slim and none. You can wait, and hope, and maybe, just maybe get lucky. But the deck is stacked against you.
Sep 27, 2017
Are retirement changes coming in 2017/18?
00:43:08
Congress and the White House are considering several proposals to slim down or eliminate portions of the federal retirement program. Will they pass and if so, how will they affect you? Find out when NARFE Legislative Director Jessica Klement joins host Mike Causey on this weeks Your Turn. September 13, 2017
Sep 13, 2017
Congress is back! What does that mean for you?
00:51:12
Sep 06, 2017
Is there a buyout (or a layoff) in your future?
00:42:04
Aug 30, 2017
Index Funds & The TSP: Follow The Money
00:43:24
The biggest gains federal worker and retiree investors have made in their Thrift Savings Plan accounts have come from the stock-indexed C, S and I funds. But whats an index and whats an index fund. And why do you need them in your portfolio? Check out the Your Turn with Mike Causey program featuring financial planner Arthur Stein.
Aug 16, 2017
What is your plan B?
00:43:21
Are you planning to retire soon or leave your federal job? What happens to your benefits? Find out when benefits expert John Grobe joins host Mike Causey on this weeks Your Turn. July 26, 2017
Jul 26, 2017
What does the future hold for your TSP?
00:43:18
This week on Your Turn, financial planner Arthur Stein tells feds and retirees what, if anything, they should be doing now with their Thrift Savings Plan accounts.
Jul 19, 2017
SES: Alive & kicking
00:43:20
How things are going for the SES and SEA.
Jul 12, 2017
Should you stick with TSP after you retire?
00:00
Why do so many federal employees move out of TSP when they retire from the government? What should you do?
Jun 28, 2017
Do you have a plan B for your TSP?
00:42:17
Have you protected your TSP from the next stock market crash? Financial planner Arthur Stein will explain what you should be doing now to protect your financial assets when he joins host Mike Causey on this weeks Your Turn.
Jun 21, 2017
Your benefits package from A to Z
00:00
Do you know whats in your federal benefits package? If not you should. Federal benefits expert Tammy Flanagan will explain why when she joins host Mike Causey on this weeks Your Turn.
May 10, 2017