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FERS Retirement Questions? Videos with Answers!

Do you have FERS Retirement Questions?  You’re not alone.  Federal retirement benefits are complex.

FERS Federal Retirement Fact Check Ezine Micah Shilanski, CFP®, is a financial planner who specializes in helping Federal Employees get the most out of their benefits.  Micah has seen the mistakes people (and even some professionals!) make – and he wants to help you avoid them.

Over the years Micah has received an incredible number of questions from Federal Employees looking to understand their benefits.  That’s why each month Micah answers a FERS retirement question in our ezine – FERS Federal Retirement Fact Check.

FERS Retirement Questions – Answered

Check out the list of questions we’ve already answered here…

ROTH TSP Withdrawal Rules

“If I start contributing to Roth tsp this year. I am 56 that would mean I cannot take any contributions from the Roth’s for 5 years at the age of 62? Thanks” […]

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FERS Supplement and Social Security Income Earnings

“I am retiring on 12/31 at the age of 56 – will my FERS Supplement calculation include 2019 earnings – after they get reported to Social Security. I know the Supplement is […]

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The back door to convert Traditional TSP to Roth TSP?

“Is there a back door in which I can transfer money from a traditional TSP account to a Roth TSP account understanding I would be responsible for the tax implications?” – Tony […]

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Benefits Paid By Government for You Reported on Your Leave and Earnings Statement

“I was looking at my LES I noticed the FERS Retirement on deductions section is a different “year to date” amount from the FERS Retirement under “Benefits Paid by Government For you” […]

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The Best TSP Allocation

TSP Contribution.  My spouse recently changed her TSP contribution because her friend told her to. She currently has:  L2030 80%, C-Fund 10% and S-Fund 10%.  She will retire in 4-yrs.  Would you […]

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Using your TSP to Buy or Pay off a Home

“I will retire in 2021 at 59 1/2 with 31 years of service.  My pension will be over $4,000 a month and I have no bills but, I currently rent in DC.  […]

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FERS Retirement Supplement Under Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)

“Dear Micah,  Thank you for this series.  I can retire in October 2019 with 30 years under FERS.  I will be 56 years and 10 months old and did not think that […]

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MRA+10 FERS Retirement

“Firstly, you are a GREAT information source regarding FERS retirees-to-be ! THANK YOU!!! Does “MRA plus 10” apply to my situation?, and if so, what would be my monthly Pension amount be […]

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Feds worry about their TSP

Your TSP and Market Volatility

We have been receiving questions from Federal Employees across the United States this week, wondering if they should make changes in their TSP due to the recent market volatility. The markets have […]

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TSP Survivor Benefits

“My strategy is to leave my TSP untouched and “will” it to my spouse” – Mike As Financial Advisors who work with Federal Employees, we are often trying to help Feds address […]

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Creditable Service

“I early retired to come home to care for my sick parents. At the time of my retirement in 2017, I found out that CPOC was penalizing me 5 years, because I […]

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FERS Pension, Be Prepared

“Can I be on the safe side to estimate my retirement deductions for FEHB, and Life Insurance by using the amount that is being deducted now?”  – Paul Preparing for Retirement A […]

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Using TSP to Pay Off Debt

“I have a tsp question for you concerning the new TSP withdraw options. I retired in 2015 from air traffic control at age 50. Will I be able to make a withdrawal? […]

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FERS Postponed Retirement – Costly Mistakes

Avoid Losing Out On Your FERS Benefits “I recently separated as an attorney from a federal agency at age 61 and ten months.  Because I did not have the time to devote […]

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Recommended TSP Allocations

“Thank you for the great videos, they are very informative. I do have a question for you. I am 59 years old and a retired postal worker, I would like to keep […]

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FERS Deferred Retirement: How to find out if you have CSRS or FERS Benefits

“Hi, I am approaching retirement age am starting to gather data. I worked for the VAMC from 1982-1996. I think I have both FERS and CSRS pension benefits- but moved my Thrift […]

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FERS and Social Security Widow(ers) Benefits

“Hello. Thank you for providing such informative information.  I am a widow benefit; at age 60 if I retire and can later switch to my higher SS benefit, am I still eligible […]

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FERS Survivor Benefits: What’s your Advice for Widows/Widowers?

“Just wondering if you ever give advice to widows/widowers. I believe we are in a unique situation that I seldom find addressed anywhere.” – Valerie FERS Survivor Benefits: When You Lose a […]

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Can I continue my FEHB once I apply for Medicare?

“I am 66 and currently a full time federal employee.  I have a two children under the age of 26. I would like to continue to provide them coverage under my BCBS […]

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Using TSP Funds vs Social Security

“Your TSP is an asset that can be given to future generations and your social security income is not. As the condition of social security worsens, why is it not a good […]

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Do Roth Contributions effect my Traditional TSP?

“If I choose to contribute to the ROTH Component of the TSP, how much can I contribute? Will ROTH TSP Contributions effect my Traditional TSP contributions?” C. We have witnessed an overwhelming […]

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VERA: VISP Working as a “Contractor”

Question “I retired from Federal Service under a VERA / VISP in 2017 with over 32 years of Federal Service and my MRA is 56 and approaching very soon. I returned to […]

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FFFC Is my TSP taxed as ordinary income or capital gain?

Question “Is the money that I withdrawal from my TSP in retirement all taxed as ordinary income or are the contributions that I made taxed as ordinary income and the earnings that […]

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medicare part b

“Should I Sign Up for Medicare Part B?”

“I plan to retire in the next few months from USPS and take my health insurance with me. I am debating signing up for Medicare Part B and have Medicare Part A […]

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ROTH Contribution Limits

“Where do I go to obtain the precise rules about ROTH IRA’s as they pertain to me? I am 55 and working as a Federal Employee and already contribute to the TSP ROTH and a ROTH IRA. I would like to know how the rules change at 59 1/2 with contributions.” – Kim

We have had a tremendous amount of questions from Federal Employees about participating in ROTHs, whether it be in the TSP or the private sector using a ROTH IRA. Tax planning is […]

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Can you have a Roth TSP and a Roth IRA?

“Can you have a Roth TSP and a Roth IRA?”

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) was created under the Federal Employee’s Retirement System Act of 1986 for federal employees and members of the uniformed services. This is an Employer-sponsored retirement account that […]

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HSA plans

Are HSA’s Use or Lose?

HSA Plan Basics Health Savings Plans (HSA) are a powerful savings tool that could work in conjunction with your health plan if you participate in a High Deductible Health Care Plan. The […]

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sign up for medicare

FFFC – “When Should I Sign Up for Medicare?”

We receive a lot of questions from Federal Employees about when they should enroll in Medicare. Medicare is a nationally run health insurance program for residents living in the United States. The […]

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HR Retirement Estimates

FFFC – “Is my HR retirement estimate always correct?”

“Always” Generally, an estimate from your Human Resources (HR) Department on your Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) benefits is a good source of information for you to begin to plan your retirement. […]

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federal pension

“I will likely have 5 years of federal service soon. Assuming an average 3 years of $185k, would I be able to take a pension after 5 years and what would be the estimated amount of the pension? Is the pension subject to income taxes if I am 59 when I retire?” – Nick

Nick poses a great question worth exploring a little more in depth.  The question asks about how several variables in the Federal Retirement System work together.  Nick lets us know that he […]

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TSP Withdrawal Penalty

Is there a 10% penalty for signing up for $1,250 monthly straight withdrawal (not an annuity) from the TSP if I retire at my MRA @ 56 (but will not be 59 1/2)

“Is there a 10% penalty for signing up for $1,250 monthly straight withdrawal (not an annuity) from the TSP if I retire at my MRA @ 56 (but will not be 59 […]

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Traditional vs ROTH TSP

“I have been using the regular TSP, and I am now 5+ years away from retirement. Should I change my allocations to contribute to the ROTH TSP?”

 Traditional vs Roth TSP Understanding the difference between contributions to the Traditional vs Roth TSP is critical to long term financial planning.  Before we dive into answering whether or not it makes […]

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ROTH Contributions

“As a Federal Employee, how much money can I put into my ROTH?”

 Without a doubt since its inception in 1997, the ROTH retirement account has gained tremendous popularity. Named after the Delaware Senator, William Roth, under the established Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, […]

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TSP contributions

“When Is It Too Late to Make Large TSP Contributions?”

One of the great questions that we get from people over age 50 is whether or not it is too late to really take advantage of investing in the Thrift Savings Plan […]

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tsp roth conversion

“How can I convert some of my TSP dollars into my ROTH?”

One of the questions that Federal Employees frequently ask us is how they can convert some of their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) dollars into the ROTH component of the TSP. As a […]

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Applying for the FERS Supplement

“How Do I Apply For the FERS Supplement?”

One of the most frequent questions that we receive from FERS Employees is how do they apply for the FERS Supplement. If you searched online for hours, going deep into the 3rd […]

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“Should I start my Social Security at age 62 when my FERS Supplement Stops?”

 If you were eligible to retire from the Federal Government as a FERS Employee and receive a FERS Supplement, then you are probably aware that the supplement will cease when you […]

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Do You Have a FERS Retirement Question?

If you’ve got a question you’re having a hard time finding the answer to, submit it here…

  • Have a Question About Your FERS Retirement?
    Confidentially submit your questions about FERS retirement benefits for the chance to have it answered in a future FERS Federal Fact Check! You'll also be signed up to be updated when we answer more federal retirement questions, maybe even yours!

Need Personal Help?

Micah shares his experience through  But he also works with individual clients.  Micah helps his clients to understand their federal benefits and how to make the best choices for their personal situation.

If you’re looking for more personalized help in planning your federal retirement, consider a personal consultation with Micah.  Micah is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who specializes in helping Federal Employees get the most out of their retirement system.

Micah Has Unique Experience in Federal Benefits

Micah Shilanski, Certified Financial Planner(tm) ProfessionalMicah teaches in-person FERS Pre-Retirement classes. He is the founder of  Micah has written articles for  He’s been featured in articles for NARFE and GovExec.  Micah has mentored other financial planners and has even taught in-person and online webinars with Tammy Flanagan.

But Micah’s most important experience with federal benefits comes from working one-on-one with his financial planning clients.  Most of his clients are Federal Employees just like you.

Micah helps his Federal Employee clients through all of the nitty-gritty details.  From planning for retirement, to handling the retirement paperwork, and enjoying life after retirement.

But Micah’s experience in unique.  Because most experts in federal benefits know how things should go by the book – but very few have any real life experience helping individual federal employees through the entire retirement process.

Click here to find out more about requesting a personal consultation with Micah Shilanski, CFP®