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Retirement Isn't All About Income

Most people I talk to about retirement are primarily concerned with retirement income, and justifiably so, since many want to retire in the near future. I believe that we get too focused on the income aspect of retirement versus the expenses side of retirement. If you want flexibility in retirement, you first need to gain control of your expenses before worrying about your income.

Federal Employees General
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The Stealth IRA

An HSA potentially combines the tax benefits of the Roth IRA and Traditional IRA in one tax-sheltered account. You get an upfront tax deduction for all contributions to an HSA, the account grows tax-free and distributions for qualified medical expenses are tax-free.

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Have Fun With Your Savings and Spending

I’m not talking about spending wildly, in fact, quite the opposite. I am one of those weird people that gets enjoyment out of getting a good deal. I try my best to get a “good deal” on my savings and spending every year. It has almost become a game to see how much I can make on our savings, so I thought I would share some methods that we have in the past year.

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It Pays to Know the FAFSA

The FAFSA is primarily used determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid. Filling out the FAFSA will determine families Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward their kid’s college expenses. A family’s EFC is the minimum amount they will be expected to pay for college.

College Planning
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Should You Withdraw 4% From Your TSP?

One issue with the 4% rule is that your income remains steady throughout retirement, rising incrementally each year to adjust for inflation. While a steady income may sound good, it isn’t the solution for everyone. Another issue is that most studies on retirement income are based on math and science, and not human behavior and desires.

Federal Employees
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Federal Pre-Retirement Consultation

In over ten years of working with federal employees I have learned that there are many questions around retirement and how federal benefits work in retirement. I believe a federal employee’s financial well-being is vital to a happy and satisfying retirement. Federal employees should know exactly how their retirement will work before submitting their retirement papers.

Federal Employees
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Credit Card Debt and a Good TSP Loan

I wrote a previous article that discussed reasons not to take a Thrift Savings Plan (or 401k) loan. Even though I am generally against taking a loan from your retirement plan, there are times when it can make sense. There are many reasons not to take a loan, but I will refer you back to my previous article for those reasons. Justification of a TSP loan calls for a dire situation, such as high credit card debt.

General Federal Employees
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Stop Cleaning Your Car

Fast forward many years later, and I still have a tendency to do things myself. The main reason I clean my own cars, wax my cars, clean the house, and do the yard work is because I’m tight (or frugal, to put it politely). I don’t like the idea of paying others to do something that I am able to do.

Federal Employees General Doctors
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Five Common Mistakes Retirees Make

Retirement is a goal that most of us aspire to. Even though retirement is often thought of as an ending, it is more of a beginning event. Yes, you may be done working, but a new phase of life is starting. Each phase of life has its own risks and retirement is no different.

Federal Employees
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Avoid Parent Plus Loans

Most families I work with want to help their kids pay for college, and with annual price tags that can reach over $70,000; most students have to take out loans. The latest numbers say 71% of college graduates will have some kind of student loan. For most families, the question is what kind of loan should you get. Here are a number of ways that families may choose to pay for a college shortfall.

College Planning
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Four Reasons Not to Take a TSP Loan

Taking out a loan against your TSP has become a pretty common practice with federal employees. Even federal employees with higher incomes have taken money out of their TSP because it is a “good deal.” As many of us have seen in life, just because it sounds like it is a good deal doesn’t mean it actually is. Despite sounding like a good deal,

Federal Employees
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