Financial Awareness for Mid-Career Employees

HHS is partnering with the Social Security Administration to encourage you to plan thoughtfully for retirement – starting with creating a Social Security account .  This secure online account provides you with convenient access to your Social Security Statement for estimates of your future Social Security benefits. 

A financial planner ranks your debts from most to least urgent

Most of us would like to be free of debt.  That’s why stories of regular people paying off thousands are so inspiring: If they can do it, maybe we can too. However, before setting our sights on completely paying off our mortgage or eliminating every cent of our student loans years ahead of schedule, it’s important to meet any other debts that might take priority, explains certified financial planner and certified public accountant Jordan Niefeld from Raymond James Financial. “Choosing to pay off the wrong debt may be very costly,” he explains. You should always be making at least minimum payments on your debts, so before committing your cash to make extra payments on a single debt, this business insider article lists from most urgent to least urgent the debts Niefeld recommends making sure you can cover.

3 Good Reasons to Break Up with Your Credit Card

Summertime is wedding season, which can provide ample opportunities to reflect on our personal relationships. But now is also a good time to take another look at your relationship with your financial products – especially your credit card. As with finding a mate, picking the right credit card is all about chemistry. Most of us kiss a few frogs before we find the right one, but don’t let a mismatch hang around for too long. You don’t want to lose time you could be spending with a better fit. Here are three surefire signs you and your plastic should call it quits.

How to Estimate Your Retirement

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) determines exactly how much each federal employee will get in retirement benefits when the time comes to leave federal service. But that process can take a long time. Currently fewer than 70 percent of new retirement claims received by OPM are processed in less than 60 days. And, once your application has been processed, it’s too late to make sure you understand just how much money you’ll have in retirement. Make sure that you understand how to estimate your retirement .

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Sometimes, life comes with unpleasant surprises. From a financial planning and retirement preparation perspective, one of the most difficult is divorce. Dan Jamison, CPA and retired FBI special agent, shared some information that might help those going this process.  Dan specializes in assisting federal employees and annuitants with the division of retirement benefits in divorce and also has written the popular FERS Retirement and Benefits Guide. The number one misunderstanding, in Dan’s experience, occurs when a former spouse of a federal employee is granted a pro-rata award of a federal retirement benefit and also a survivor annuity without the level of survivor annuity being defined. In such cases, OPM interprets it as a full survivor annuity. Read various situations that could cause the misinterpretation of your retirement annunity disbursement.

A Female Focus on Retirement

Women face an uphill climb when it comes to saving for retirement. How can employers help them become retirement ready? A longer life expectancy, lower wages, and a greater tendency to step out of the workforce to raise children or care for ailing parents -- these and other factors have created a "perfect storm" when it comes to women's retirement readiness .

The NIH Retirement & Employee Benefits Branch does not endorse private companies. We provide our employees with helpful information they may use. As a result, our website may at times link to an article that provides information on a specific topic. However, this does not constitute an endorsement of a specific individual or company. All Federal employees are free to pursue financial planning with any source they choose.