Ep #9: Military Buyback

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Have you served in the military, but aren’t quite sure how to use that military time for your civil service? A lot of mistakes get made in this area, whether it’s misconceptions, not getting documents in order, or even a communication issue with your HR department about what counts—or does not count—for retirement with your military service. If this sounds familiar, this is the episode for you.

Listen in as Micah and Tammy discuss why people should buy back their military time, as well as mistakes to avoid along the way. You will learn the benefit of requesting an estimate of your military basic pay and what exactly this entails. And to all of those of you who have served in the military, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

What We Cover:

  • Why people should buy back their military time.
  • The importance of planning for retirement ahead of time.
  • Why you must know your benefits.
  • The steps required for buying back your military service.
  • How to get the most out of your retirement.
  • The benefit of requesting an estimate of your military basic pay.

Resources for this Episode:

Ideas Worth Sharing:

In order to pay your military deposit, you have to have a record of your military active duty. – Tammy Flanagan Click To Tweet All these small things add up! – Micah Shilanski Click To Tweet This is something you have to do while you’re employed. This is not a deposit that can be made, post retirement. – Tammy Flanagan Click To Tweet

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Full Episode Transcript
With Your Hosts
Micah Shilanski and Tammy Flanagan

You can spend. You can save. What is the right thing to do? Federal benefits, thrifts, savings plans, too. You can save your own way, with help from Micah and Tammy. You can save your own way, save your own way…
Micah shilanski: Welcome to the Plan Your Federal Retirement podcast. I’m your co-host, Micah Shilanski, and with me as usual is the amazing Tammy Flanagan, Tammy, how are you doing, ma’am?
Tammy Flanagan: I’m great, Micah. How are you doing today?
Micah shilanski: Just another day in paradise? How could we possibly complain, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Yep. Looking forward to another session of trying to figure out how to retire from the government.
Micah shilanski: Very much so. This is a topic that we really get a lot, and
quite frankly, it’s one of our top visited pages on our website, which is pretty interesting, talking about military buy back. And it’s such a great topic because number one, thank you to all those who have served in the military. There’s a way that potentially you could use that military time for your civil service, and there’s a lot of mistakes to get made along the way,
whether it’s misconceptions, whether it’s not getting documents in order, or sometimes a communication issue with your HR department about what counts or does not count for retirement with your military service.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah, I agree. I think there’s a lot of misunderstandings here, and sometimes I think it’s where we get half the story. Like, we might attend our new employee orientation and we hear about military buy back, perhaps, if
we’re lucky we hear about it.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: But, we don’t understand the relationship between buying it back and how much value it’s going to add later on. And frankly, I think if I’m 22 years old and I’m still 35 years away from retirement, it’s hard to think that way. But, it’s really critical to understand this early on, because as we both know there’s interest that accrues.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: And it’s not interest that you’re earning, it’s interest that you’re owing. So, we got to make sure that we understand this early in our career, and even if we don’t get it right away and we’re nearing retirement, but yet we still haven’t taken care of this, it’s not too late. I’d really rather see somebody talk about this prior to retirement than find out afterwards, oh well, you missed the boat andMicah shilanski: When it is too late.
Tammy Flanagan: And it is too late, because this is something you really have to do while you’re employed. This is not a deposit that can be made post retirement.
Micah shilanski: So let’s, Tammy, get into it first. We’ll get into mistakes,
absolutely, that get made around this. But first thing, why should people buy back their military time? And when we talk about buying back military time, what are we talking about there?
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah. I think this is a big deal, because people will tell me, I’ve already bought my military time with my service. I served my country. What else do you want me to do? But, what we’re talking about here, it goes back in history a little bit, because there was a time when military service counted under the old retirement system with no buy back. That was because military personnel just like federal employee personnel never paid into social security way back when. But, fast forward to today. If you serve in the military, you’re paying into social security.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: If you work for the government, you’re paying into social security.
Micah shilanski: Correct.
Tammy Flanagan: So, your service is going to count under social security. No question. Your service might also count if you receive retired pay from the military, if you work long enough or serve long enough in the military to qualify. But, let’s say you only serve for four years only. That could be a long time if you’re actually serving.
Micah shilanski: Right. Right.
Tammy Flanagan: But, if you serve for four years in the military, that’s not long enough to qualify for a military retirement. So, when you come to the civilian side of the government, that military service can be used as part of your federal career history so that you can retire perhaps a little bit sooner, and you can have your retirement benefit calculated to reflect that additional service time, which is going to be worth money in your retired pay from your civilian retirement. So, it does increase the value of your government pension. It sometimes can make you eligible to retire a little bit sooner.

Micah shilanski: Sure.

Tammy Flanagan: And you’re paying the money into the Federal retirement trust fund, the Civil Service Trust Fund, as it’s called. So, you’ve already made the social security payment. You’ve already paid the FICA tax. So, now as a civilian federal employee, you’re making a FERS contribution into the Federal
Employees Retirement System, so that you can now count that military service towards the FERS retirement benefit.
Micah shilanski: The basic way that I like to explain this, very few exceptions, is that for time to count for your federal retirement, your civilian retirement, you have had to have paid into the retirement system. So, under military, you didn’t make that FERS contribution, which is, I think what you’re talking about, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Micah shilanski: We got to make that FERS contribution into the system. And this is such a great benefit that’s there, because if you did four years of state law enforcement, then you went into federal service, you’re not going to get any credit for that. You can’t buy back that state time with the feds. But, your military time, you are able to get that deposit for, or of course you can make that deposit for, and that time counts as you said, not just towards your years of service for your eligibility, but it can increase your pension, which is that big thing. That’s really what we’re talking about. It increases your retirement check, and it does it substantially compared to what you put in as a deposit.
Tammy Flanagan: Yes. It’s usually a pretty quick turnaround on your investment. Usually when I see someone who has to pay a military deposit within the first year of their retirement, the increased value of their retirement is worth more than that onetime payment that they made. And they get that over and over again as long as they live, and sometimes on into the surviving spouse’s benefit if they’ve provided that as well.

Micah shilanski: Tammy, let’s talk a little bit about what are the actual steps? We talked about why someone would want to do this, and it’s because it’s going to increase your retirement check. That’s the big reason. But, let’s talk about the steps that take place. And also, the military has a new retirement system compared to the old one. So, are there any changes for our service men and women that are getting out now, if they get a civilian job, is it any different?
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah, that’s a good question. I don’t know about the
answer to that one to tell you the truth. Do you? Have you heard anything?
Micah shilanski: No. And I was hoping you would know. I was looking for it, and I didn’t see anything just yet.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah, I know of the new military system, if anybody
doesn’t know what we’re talking about. If you join the military
now, if you become a service member, you’re going to have
matching contributions on your thrift savings plan.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: You’re going to qualify for a smaller military
pension, or a military retirement benefit. And it’s kind of like the
civilian side, when we switched from the old civil service system
to the newer FERS, kind of like that same thing. I don’t know
anything about that, and I haven’t heard anything that would
suggest that that time still couldn’t be used under FERS.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: I still think it is credible. I think we would have heard
something if it was otherwise.
Micah shilanski: I think so, too.


Tammy Flanagan: But, most of those folks who are under that new
system are still servingMicah shilanski: Still serving, yeah.
Tammy Flanagan: … And have come into the civilian side yet. So, we’ll
probably hear more about that when they do get to get
discharged.
But, in order to pay your military deposit, you have to have a
record of your military active duty. That’s generally going to be
on your DD214, your Military Discharge Certificate. Now, if for
some reason, maybe you had a house fire or maybe something
happened where you’ve lost your DD214, most people guard
that with their life. But, if you don’t have it, you can always send
off to the military personnel record center and get a duplicate.
You can always get a copy of that. So, if you don’t have that,
you’re going to need it.
Once you have your military documentation, then you’re going
to have to document your basic pay. What were you paid? Not
your allowances, not your combat time, but just the base pay
while you served in the military. Most people, I don’t know about
you, Micah, but I don’t save every pay voucher. So. Most
people did not save every monthly pay voucher while they
served. And even those who may have, I would still recommend
requesting an estimate of your military basic pay, because I’ve
seen those come in lower, because they’re a ballparkMicah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: … than the actual basic pay, and you’re going to pay
that deposit based on that estimate. Your HR office can give
you the form that you need. It’s a Retirement and Insurance
Form, or an RI form. It says, actually, RI20-97, if you want to
look for it. You can find that form either on OPM’s website,


opm.gov, or there’s a really good resource for paying back
military service. If you go to DFAS, the Defense Finance and
Accounting Services website. And I know it’s geared towards
people who work for a defense agency, but this works whether
you work for Department of Commerce or Department of
Justice. The basic rules for paying back the military deposit are
the same. You’re making this payback to your agency’s payroll
office. You have to get an Estimate of Earnings. You have to
have a copy of your DD214. You make the payment directly to
your agency, and your HR specialist will calculate what you
owe once you get your Estimate of Earnings back from the
military. So, it’s on you to produce the document and to reach
out to the finance center, to get the earnings estimate.
Micah shilanski: And on those resources, just so you know, we’re going to
put links to those directly on our website for this podcast. So,
planyourfederalretirement.com/nine, because it’s the ninth
episode. We’re going to put the ROI form. We’re going to put
the link to the DFAS website, exactly what Tammy’s talking
about to make it easier for you.
Tammy Flanagan: Perfect. Yeah, that’s a good thing, because
sometimes it does get a little in the weeds when you’re trying to
talk about form numbers, and filling something out, and mailing
it off somewhere, or faxing it. Who faxes anymore? But you can
still fax these forms.
Micah shilanski: ESP.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah. A lot of government still does fax.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: But, yeah. That’s the basic idea, and you do have
some time to do this after you’re hired as a civilian employee
without having to pay interest. It’s a two-year interest free grace


period, but they actually give you almost three years, because
it’s not until your third anniversary that they actually assess the
first interest accrual.
And so, you can pay that back immediately and just get it out of
the way, or you can do payroll deduction and pay it over time.
But every year on the anniversary of your civilian appointment,
you’re going to be assessed interest on the outstanding
balance. So, if you don’t pay it back within the first three years,
you will start to pay some interest. But the interest right now,
luckily, has been pretty low, around 2%.
Micah shilanski: Yeah. And I wouldn’t get scared of the interest. Now, I’m full agreeance, the sooner you pay it back, the cheaper it’s
going to be. But, even with that interest, and I’ve had people
who had service way back when, they were employed in the
’80s. They never bought it back till right at retirement time, 30
some odd years later, and it still made complete financial sense
for them to buy that military time back from the military service
in the ’70’s, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Yep.
Micah shilanski: Started work in the ’80s, retired later. So, don’t get too
scared about it. It’s a motivation to do it, but even if you haven’t,
you still should move forward. Rarely, if ever, I have seen a
case that it does not make sense to buy your military time back.
Now there’s a couple that don’t make sense to buy back, and
we’re going to talk about that shortly. But, nine out of 10, you
want to jump on this. It’s a great opportunity for you.
Tammy Flanagan: This is the one time it pays to be low ranking in the
military.
Micah shilanski: Great point.


Tammy Flanagan: The less money you made, the less you’re going to
owe.
Micah shilanski: Didn’t matter if you’re enlisted or an officer, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Right.
Micah shilanski: A year is a year on the federal system.
Tammy Flanagan: That’s right.
Micah shilanski: So, no, that’s great. One thing I want to point out too,
Tammy, is I always encourage our clients to keep a copy of
their payments deposit information for the military time.
Whether it was payroll deduction, I want to keep a copy of
those LESs. If you wrote a check, I want a copy of that clear
check. And I want the confirmation that you’re going to get
back, that says you made that deposit. That needs to belong in
your personal possession, just in case things get misplaced in
retirement time to show that you’ve made that deposit 20 years
later, when you go to retire.
Tammy Flanagan: It’s funny you say that, because I was just working
with a client who told me he was in the process of repaying his
military deposit, because his benefits office couldn’t find his
original payment. He says, nothing I can do. I didn’t save a copy
of it.
Micah shilanski: Right. Right.
Tammy Flanagan: I don’t have it. So, I’m going through the whole
process to repay it. Now I’ve got to pay all this interest back.
And I said to him, I said, “Did anybody ever contact OPM to find
out if maybe you paid it under the old payroll system, and they
sent that record to OPM?” No, we didn’t know we could do that.
I contacted OPM on his behalf, and lo and behold, they found it
the same day.


Micah shilanski: Oh, that’s amazing. Great job.
Tammy Flanagan: We had it faxed to his agency, HR specialists put it
in his personnel folder, and now he can retire. He’s going to
retire the end of the month.
Micah shilanski: That’s awesome. And, Tammy, this goes back to
something you say quite frequently. Retirement should be
evidence-based.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah.
Micah shilanski: That means we look at your file, what’s inside of there,
and whatever’s in your file, whatever evidence is there, is what
retirement you are going to get. If you don’t have that
information, if you’re missing SF50s, if you’re missing the
Military Deposit Buyback Form, or part-time service, or anything
else you made a deposit for in the previous, if that’s not in your
file, you don’t get credit for it. So, really important to keep this
documentation.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah, there are some secondary resources that can
be used, but like you said, if you don’t have the references,
you’re taking a chance. You can take a chance and maybe you
lose credit for a very valuable period of time.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: I always recommend, I know it’s the computer age,
but I still recommend keeping copies of everything, and that
includes your SF50s, your military records, your beneficiary
forms. We talked about this in previous podcasts that really
important to maintain your records, because nobody cares
about it like you do.


Micah shilanski: Yeah. Amen. And something tells me we’re going to keep
talking about this in other podcasts. That’s how important this
is.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah.
Micah shilanski: All right. So, we talked about why you should buy back
your military time. We talked about the steps. The first steps is
going to that HR, let’s figure out what the cost is going to be.
Then make that deposit. Keep that confirmation.
Tammy, let’s jump into a couple of mistakes that we’ve seen
along the way. What mistakes come up? And I can kick this one
off, is the first one I see is an assumption out there that people
look at their SCD, their Service Computation Date, and they’re
like, oh look, it already includes my military time. Therefore, I
must have made a deposit, or I don’t have to make a deposit
because it’s on my SCD, and it counts towards retirement. But,
that’s not correct, is it?
Tammy Flanagan: No. When you look at your service computation
date, your SCD, generally if you see it on your personnel action
statements or those SF50 forms, in the fine print, probably sixpoint font, in italics, it says leave, underneath where the SCD is
published. So, if you see an SCD published on a Leave and
Earning Statement, on an SF50, that’s your leave SCD. That
determines when you go from four to six to eight hours of
annual leave accrual, and that’s really all that’s used for.
For retirement, and this is where I think it’s a disservice to
employees, but we don’t calculate retirement SCDs until either
you ask for a retirement estimate, or until you actually retire.
Micah shilanski: Okay.
Tammy Flanagan: And that’s a little late to find out-


Micah shilanski: Oops.
Tammy Flanagan: … that oh, by the way, that doesn’t count unless you
pay for it. So, you may want to inquire about that with your
regional HR office, or if you have a local HR specialist, to find
out what you need to do to get the ball rolling, because it’s
really up to you to initiate that payment. Generally, no one’s
going to come out to you, other than us, to say, hey, by the
way, if you served in the military, make sure you take care of
that because it’s very valuable.
Micah shilanski: And I would say it’s increasing. When I first started
teaching retirement classes, I would probably say maybe 20 or
30, this is anecdotal, but probably 20 or 30% of people had
already made a deposit for the military time. Now, I’m going to
say it’s closer to 60 to 70% of people are making deposits for
their military time.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah.
Micah shilanski: Maybe they’re just keep taking my class again and again.
I don’t know. But that message is getting out there, which is
really good to make these deposits.
Tammy Flanagan: Yes. And I think they are covering this oftentimes in
a new employee orientation.
Micah shilanski: Yeah.
Tammy Flanagan: And you get people talking to each other, and
hopefully they get it. But, this year no one’s really talking to
each other, because we’re all isolated.
Micah shilanski: That’s right. That’s right. So you got to hear about it on
our podcast, which is great. Let’s transition this a little bit,
Tammy. Who should not make a deposit for the military time?
We talked about all these great things that it does, but there’s a


handful of reasons not to make a deposit for your military
service.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah. The biggest one is someone who retired as a
full career in military service.
Micah shilanski: Yes.
Tammy Flanagan: So, you left the military, you’re collecting your
retired pay at age 50. Then you take a job in the federal civilian
side of the government, and you work another 20 years or 15
years, whatever. And then you’re going to retire again. You
have an option. You can say, I’m going to take that 20 years of
military, add it to my 15 years of civilian, and give me 35 years.
But if you do that, you have to realize, number one, you have to
pay for the 20 years, and that’s 3% of your military base pay
over 20 years. And on top of that, you have to tell the military at
the time you retire from FERS, or the civilian side, that you
have to waive your retire pay. You’re going to give up your
retire pay so that you can use those 20 years under FERS.
If the 20 years under FERS is worth 20% of your high three, is
that really more than what the military is paying you in your
retire pay? And oftentimes it’s either not more, or it’s not much
more, to make it worth giving that giving up that retire pay in
exchange for a lesser COLA, maybe a different survivor benefit.
There’s a lot of things you have to take into account if you’re
going to combine a military career with civilian service.
I’ve seen cases where it makes sense. Usually it’s when it’s a
high ranking civilian employee who left the military a long time
ago at a much lower rank. Then it might make sense, where
you’re trading in a much higher high three for a much smaller
military retirement. I always say do the math. Run the
calculations both ways. But, if you don’t see a big difference,
then don’t worry about it. Just leave them separate. You’ll retire


on the civilian side, and keep your military retire pay. But, there
are some exceptions to that, too.
Micah shilanski: Yeah, there, there are. But, this is one of those cases.
This was one of the things that I just love about this topic. It’s
just math, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Micah shilanski: Anyway, it’s because I geek out at math. That could be
the reason why. But, let the math be the decision-maker for
you. Just as you said, do the math. Where are you better off
financially, and go down that path that’s going to be there.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah.
Micah shilanski: This isn’t talking about VA pay by the way. Disability pay,
if you served honorably in the military service and you’re getting
VA pay, that’s not what this is referring to. It’s only full-time
retirement, a full military career with a retirement. So, 20 years
generally, in the military. But, if you have VA pay and you make
a deposit for your military time, four or five years, whatever that
time period is, you still maintain getting your VA pay. This does
not change that eligibility.
Tammy Flanagan: And that’s a case where sometimes someone is
retired military, but they’re 30% disabled or 50% disabled.
They’re getting part of their retired pay from the VA.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: Which is, like you said, not retired pay. It’s VA
disability benefits. And they’re getting a much smaller piece
from the DFAS, the defense finance center. So, when they
wave their retire pay, they’re just waving that part that’s coming
from DFAS. That’s a case where you might want to take a look
at combining the two and waiving that retired pay.


Micah shilanski: Absolutely.
Tammy Flanagan: Yep. And then the last one’s a little tricky as far as
retire pay, it’s a reservist.
Micah shilanski: Yes.
Tammy Flanagan: If somebody served 20 years in the reserves or
more, and they have enough credits to collect reserve
retirementMicah shilanski: I’m going to interrupt real fast. I’m going to say if you’re
not a reservist, tune out for the next two minutes, because it’s
going to get a little complicated and it just does not apply to
you. But if you are a reservist, this is a great benefit for you.
Sorry. Please go ahead.
Tammy Flanagan: Right. Yeah. A lot of people, they’ll serve their for
years and they stay on active reserves. They go to summer
camps, they do active duty for training, and once in a while they
get called up, even as a reservist, to perform active duty,
maybe during Desert Storm or Persian Gulf crisis. That active
duty for training, the active duty while they served after being
called up to active duty to take a tour, that all can be counted
under FERS by paying for it or buying it back, in addition to
getting retired pay as a reservist if you qualify at age 60.
One of the ways to tell the difference is, someone who’s full
career retired, they’re already collecting their retired pay when
they come into federal service. A reservist usually comes in still
accruing the points that they need, or they’ve already got them,
but they have to wait until they turn 60 to claim that benefit
under Title 10. But any of their active duty that was outside of
their civilian career can be counted. Now, if they went to
summer camps and they were just using military leave or


annual leave to attend the training, it’s already counted as
civilian service.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: But, if they were called out to active duty for a year
and four months, and most of that was leave without pay while
serving in the military, they still have to pay their military deposit
in order to count that time. Otherwise, they’re going to lose
some credit.
Micah shilanski: But they get to double dip that time, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah.
Micah shilanski: For the reservist. It counts for the reserve time, plus it’s
going to count for the civilian time with that deposit being made.
Tammy Flanagan: That’s right.
Micah shilanski: I’ve got to say, I get a lot of pushback from HRs when I’m
going through this. It’s a rare case, so it doesn’t happen all the
time. But often, and especially this one that I have right now, he
had several years of active duty time where he was able to buy
back. I think it was like six through his career, which is a lot for
a reservist, that he had. He bought six years back, and his HR
keeps telling him, even though we’ve made the deposit, that
he’s not going to get credit for it. So, it’s a fun conversation that
we get to have every time we chat and go through it.
But it’s a wonderful benefit because Tammy, as you said, he’s
going to get an extra six years in his pension, and he’s going to
get his full reserve retirement, I think at 59 and change when
he’s potentially eligible for it. So, it’s a great benefit for him to
do.


So, this is something about knowing and understanding your
benefits across the board, and also being able to push back
politely a little bit from HR. Now, they do a great job. They are
undereducated. They have to know a lot of topics. Good news
about Tammy and I, we just focus on retirement. All that extra
stuff HR has to do, we don’t worry about.
We only worry about the retirement. We have a lot of depth in
this particular subject. Sometimes we can push back politely
with HR OPM to try to get some things clarified. For example,
Academy time, right Tammy? This is a bit of a confusing one
that’s out there right now.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah. I’ve heard people be told from HR and, of
course, it’s all with the best interest in mindMicah shilanski: Of course.
Tammy Flanagan: … that the Academy time doesn’t count. Well, if you
served at West Point, or Annapolis, or the Air Force Academy,
that’s four years of active duty that is not included even if you
stay long enough to retire from military service.
Micah shilanski: Right.
Tammy Flanagan: I would recommend trying to make that buy back
because that’s four years at very low pay while you were in the
college, basically, that’s now going to be credited at your high
three average salary when you retire from civilian service. So,
it’s probably the best money you’ve ever spent. Even if you
didn’t retire from the military, but you have Academy time,
definitely include that with your military buy back.
Micah shilanski: Yeah. This is one of those things, again, making sure you
know your benefits because you are the best advocate for
yourself. HR has great intentions. OPM has great intentions.


But, they’re evidence-based with what they know, and they may
or may not know more than you about your benefits.
A good example of this, is sometimes I’m working with other
CPAs and they give some tax advice in retirement accounts
that is not exactly correct. Now, I’m not a CPA, but I’m able to
talk with them and work through it and get it educated. Same
with yourself and OPM. Same with yourself and other HR
departments. You got to be able to do that same thing. Even
though you’re not the HR specialist, this is your retirement.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah.
Micah shilanski: And it’s your benefits that you signed up. For making sure
you get them as really, really important, because Tammy, as
you said at the beginning of this podcast, if you don’t get them
while you’re an active employee, you will not get them after
you’ve separated from service.
Tammy Flanagan: Yeah, I remember one time, this sticks in my mind
because it was so wrong, and I was glad I was able to catch it
before the lady retired. She told me that someone in HR, again
trying to be helpful, but telling her absolutely wrong, that oh,
you only served for six months. You had six months of active
duty for training. So, don’t worry about it. It’s just half a year.
Don’t go through the whole trouble paying it back.
Micah shilanski: Yeah. Not that much money.
Tammy Flanagan: I’m like, holy cow. I said, that’s only a small amount
that you’re going to own, 3% of six months of military wages.
Micah shilanski: Right. It’s just base pay.
Tammy Flanagan: That’s half a year. Yeah, that’s half a year. It may
only be half of 1% of your high three, but hey, if that’s $500 a
year just for paying back 200 bucks, to me that’s worth it. So, if


that HR specialist doesn’t want the $500, then tell her not to pay
hers back.
Micah shilanski: That’s right.
Tammy Flanagan: But, yeah, even if it’s a short period of time, I still
think it’s worth looking into, most definitely.
Micah shilanski: And it’s one of those things, too. All these small things
add up. Just six months here. Okay, well it’s an extra 500,000
bucks a year, but it’s your money, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Right.
Micah shilanski: If you had $500 in your bank account, your bank said, oh,
we’re just going to keep that. It’s only 500 bucks. Don’t worry
about it. Would that be okay? No. This is the same equivalent.
This is your money and your benefits, whether it’s knowing your
high three, whether it’s knowing your RSCD, knowing your
service history to make sure you get credit for it. Have you
made that deposit in military time or not?Knowing the tax
implications of your retirement income? All of these things
we’ve talked about in the podcast, you really need to
understand so you can get the most out of your retirement.
Tammy Flanagan: Absolutely. Yes. I’m still of the generation where I
clip the $3 pizza coupons. I’m happy to save three bucks, let
alone a hundred dollars. So yeah, I think money is still very
valuable to us, and it helps us in those retirement years when
you live on a sort of a fixed income. So, more money, the
better. Make your retirement years much more comfortable.
Micah shilanski: So, this podcast is all about you learning your benefits
and not only that, but taking action on them. If you made it this
far more than likely you have military time. Make that
confirmation. You need to do one of two things from this


podcast. Either number one, go make a deposit for that military
service if it makes … Well, number one, run the math. I guess
that’d be the first thing. If you have military service and you
haven’t made a deposit on it, go run the math. Does it make
sense to make this deposit or not? That’s the first thing you
need to do.
Now, if you’ve already made a deposit for your military time,
then beautiful. Where’s the confirmation? And don’t tell me it’s
in your EOPF. I want it in your personal records. Where’s that
confirmation that that time counts for your retirement, that
you’ve made that deposit back? Go get those things. Really,
really important.
And the third thing you need to do, share this with your
coworkers. Yep. Selfish plug totally there. But share the
podcast out. It’s growing. We’re getting wonderful feedback.
We’d love to hear your feedback as well. What you think of the
podcasts. Some things that topics you would like Tammy and I
to cover. It’s been great to hear from our listeners. And,
Tammy, we also have a webinar coming up in December where
we’re going to go over some pretty neat retirement stuff, right?
Tammy Flanagan: Yes. I’m looking forward to that to share some of
the, what are we talking about? Some of the mistakes people
make, and how to avoid making those mistakes?
Micah shilanski: Yeah. We’re going to hit the top seven classic mistakes
people make, federal employees make, when they’re preparing
for their retirement. So, it’s seven mistakes, that means it’s
going to be a bit of a fire hose. We’re going to spend 45
minutes, an hour, going through this pretty quick. But, it’s a lot
of great stuff that you’re going to want to pay attention to.
Invites are coming out for that. If you haven’t received one,
jump on our website, planyourfederalretirement.com/nine,


which is for this episode, and you can get more information on
it.
Tammy Flanagan: Sounds great. Can’t wait.
Micah shilanski: Perfect. Until next time, happy planning.
Hey, before you go, a few notes from our attorneys. Opinions expressed
herein are solely those of Shilanski & Associates, Incorporated, unless
otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from
reliable sources, and no representations are made by our firm as to other
parties, informational accuracy, or completeness. All information or ideas
provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant, or legal
counsel prior to implementation.
Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should
not be used or construed as investment advice or recommendation
regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that
any forward-looking statements or opinions provided will prove to be
correct. Securities investing involves risk, including the potential loss of
principle. There is no assurance that any investment plan or strategy will be
successful.

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