by Chris Kowalik of ProFeds
Let’s be honest. Most of us will be incredibly happy when 2020 is finally over. While that may be the case, we’ll still have to stick it out for the next couple of months.
If this year has disrupted your retirement planning, you still have some time to get back on track. As we say, it’s never too late, never too early and never too often to plan!
Here are three moves you should make before the year is over if they make sense for your retirement plan.
1. Contribute More to Your TSP
Many people saw a hit this year to their Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts. If you can afford it, push yourself to increase your TSP contributions. Can you challenge yourself to contribute more to the TSP—even just 1% more? How can you max out the TSP at $19,500 per year? How can you get the full catch-up contribution of $6,500 per year (available in the year you turn 50)?
[Note that the TSP limits for 2021 have not changed. The regular contribution limit remains at $19,500 and the catch-up contribution limit remains at $6,500 per year.]
Wherever you’re at today, how can you step up your game just a little bit and make that work in your budget? Those small increases today can add up to big results in the future and can help make up any losses you may have incurred.
2. Make Any FEHB Changes During Open Season
Now may be the time to take another look at your healthcare coverage with an eye toward retirement. Join us on Friday, November 13th for a special webinar on this very topic.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has a comparison tool that you can use to compare plans and prices to ensure that you still have the best coverage for you and your family.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) open season is from Monday, November 9, 2020, through Monday, December 14, 2020. During open season, eligible employees and annuitants can enroll in, change, or cancel an existing enrollment in a health plan under the FEHB Program.
Open season is also time to consider any money that can be saved on out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses from Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS). Open season enrollments in FSAFEDS are effective January 1st of the following year.
3. Re-evaluate Your Retirement Plan
You may need to re-evaluate your retirement plan if it’s been derailed this year. Prepare yourself to start fresh in 2021 by creating a new plan that takes into account your current retirement savings balance and the years left until your chosen retirement date.
Now may also be the perfect time to seek guidance from a financial professional. A financial planner who specializes in helping federal employees can help you to navigate the complexities of government programs, articulate your goals clearly, anticipate planning challenges and help you to make better decisions based on your true needs.
Whether or not this year has affected your retirement plans, be sure to keep a close eye on your retirement goals and make adjustments as you go to keep yourself on track for the future you want.
TRAINING AVAILABLE FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES:
Virtual and Live Workshop Training: Check out the workshop schedule to attend a FedImpact workshop in your area! Use the SF-182 to request paid time off to attend the training. Don’t see a workshop in your city/state? Add your name to the list to be notified when new locations and dates are announced!
Chris Kowalik is a federal retirement expert and frequent speaker to federal employee groups nationwide. In her highly-acclaimed Federal Retirement Impact Workshops, she empowers employees to make confident decisions as they plan for the days when they no longer have to work.
As the developer of dozens of highly-regarded retirement planning materials for federal employees and the creator of the FedImpact Podcast, Chris has also analyzed the challenging retirement scenarios for thousands of federal employees – helping them to avoid costly mistakes, and highlighting opportunities for them to gain greater financial security in their retirement years.
Chris’ candid and straightforward nature allows employees to get the answers they need, and to understand the impact these decisions have on their retirement. After all, if what you thought was true wasn’t, when would you like to know?