Retirement planning checklist

Wednesday - 11/2/2011, 2:30pm EDT

John Elliott, benefits expert

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

It's never too early to start planning for retirement, said benefits expert John Elliott. On Your Turn with Mike Causey, he provided a checklist for federal employees:

  • Attend a retirement seminar

    Elliott, who until recently ran such seminars, said he receives emails from federal employees with questions about retirement. Most of those who email him have not attended a seminar.

    "Surprisingly, I don't get any emails from the people in my seminars because they learn enough and they don't have any questions," he said.

    If your agency does not provide funding for a seminar, Elliott suggests enrolling in a seminar, such as one provided by the National Institute of Transition Planning. (Elliott formerly presented seminars for NITP.)

  • Follow the five-year rule

    You must be covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan for the five years immediately before retirement in order to be covered after retirement.

    "You don't want to leave without the health insurance," Elliott said.

    This is particularly important for federal employees to consider if they are planning on taking an early out.

  • Use a benefits calculator

In the first half of Your Turn with Mike Causey, Mike talked to Steve Losey of the Federal Times about choosing the right federal health plan and updates with the debt reduction supercommittee.