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Podcast: Do Federal Employees Need a Financial Planner? (EP13)

For many people, a “need” is something you can’t survive without. So, can federal employees survive without a financial planner? The answer is, of course, yes. However, their lives will be significantly easier with a financial planner guiding them. In this episode, Michael, Tommy and John will be sharing the value you can receive by having a financial planner and the common mistakes federal employees make when they don’t have financial guidance.

Anybody can benefit from some financial advice, but federal employees have many benefits that come along with their positions, so the "need" for retirement help isn’t quite as strong. However, having a financial planner can be the difference between being great and being just average in your financial goals. With the right advisor, you can be sure you’re not leaving money on the table and you are making the most of your income.

Listen to the full episode here:

What you will learn:

  • The value of having a financial planner. (1:10)
  • Why young people are less likely to "need" a financial planner. (4:10)
  • How to create a forward-thinking financial plan. (9:10)
  • Why having a financial advisor can give you the peace of mind that you’re not leaving money on the table. (14:20)
  • How to find a qualified financial advisor. (19:05)
  • Why it is important to remember that you get what you pay for. (21:40)
  • The emotional side of having a financial advisor. (26:30)

Ideas worth sharing:

“Getting bad financial advice can be far more detrimental then trying to just do it yourself.” - Mason & Associates, LLC

“Financial planning and a financial advisor should add value to the equation.” - Mason & Associates, LLC

"Roth IRAs are like a Swiss Army Knife of a tool.” - Mason & Associates, LLC ” - Mason & Associates, LLC

Resources from this episode:

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Read the Transcript Below:

Congratulations for taking ownership of your financial plan by tuning into the Federal Employee Financial Planning Podcast, hosted by Mason & Associates, financial advisors with over three decades of experience serving you.

Michael Mason:          Welcome to the Federal Employee Financial Planning Podcast, hosted by Michael Mason, certified financial planner; John Mason, certified financial planner, and Tommy Blackburn, CFP and CPA's certified public accountant. Mason & Associates have over three decades of experience helping federal employees with their financial plans.

This episode, it's kind of weird that this is going to be the episode, we're the Federal Employee Financial Planning Podcast and John, federal employees, do they need a financial planner?

John Mason:      Well, it's a really interesting question, right? So, a need, I looked it up on Merriam-Webster — need is something you must do or must have. And then when I think about need, it's like can't survive without.

So, it's an awfully strong statement to say yes, federal employees need a financial planner.

Michael Mason:          So, as we think about it, let's say you're six years into your career and you are going to be a federal employee. So, you're 30-years-old, you're six years into your career, you've kind of sold out to this as your career, you're married, you have two children: do you need somebody helping you with your financial plan?

John Mason:      Mike, I don't think really anybody, whether they're young or old absolutely needs a financial planner, but I think the three of us have seen in our career, Tommy and I, 11 years, you and Ken over three decades of experience serving federal employees — anybody can benefit from sound financial planning advice.

But I don't think in your example, that a 30-year-old absolutely needs a planner. And the reason for that is because they have great benefits. Disability insurance is already taken care of, life insurance is basically an easy to enroll, no questions asked when you're hired.

They've got a great TSP program. And unfortunately, maybe we'll come back to this; when people hear a financial planner, most of the time all they hear is retirement plan. They're not thinking about taxes and what have you. So, from a retirement income perspective, how much planning needs to be put in advance as a 30-year-old who's going to have a monster pension? Probably near as much as somebody who's not going to have that great guaranteed income.

So, maybe we need to talk a little bit about what is a financial planner, but the answer to your question is no, they probably don't need one until they need one.

Michael Mason:          Yeah, they could … you know, as I wrote some notes down, and I've said this multiple times, over 35 years in the business, you are on track for a fine retirement as long as you don't screw it up yourself.

You're going to have a pension that's taking care of itself, all you have to do is do the time. You'd be crazy not to put at least 5% into your Thrift Savings Plan, because it's getting matched at 5%. Health insurance is taken care of.

You know, maybe in that TSP you could do a 70/30 or a 60/40 equity split. But the thing is, is just don't do anything stupid and you're going to be just fine.

John Mason:      And maybe the counterpoint to this, because when we think about financial planning, we think about it as a very long-term, something that we're going to revisit annually or more often. But as we think about that 30-year-old who's maybe early career, maybe a onetime financial plan would be awesome for them.

Because let's face it, one of the reasons that young people maybe don't need a financial planner, guys, is because the chances of a young person dying are very low. The chances of going out on disability are very low. The chances of a minor child two parents dying and inheriting a big life insurance policy is relatively low.

But when we've worked with young professionals over our careers, these are the things we're helping get these in place.

So, do they need it? I'll go back to this again. They don't need it until they need it, but from a retirement income perspective, they're on a great path. There's a lot of other things that we can be doing and cleaning up to make the financial plan that much better.

Michael Mason:          And Tommy, as I was thinking about this, just fine, and we're going to come back to this as well, but many people want to be great versus just fine. But we do those simple things. We save 5% of the TSP, you may need some help figuring out how much life insurance you really need.

John, you make a great point; an early financial plan that just keeps you on track would be pretty good. I don't know that it is just that simple in my scenario because you guys have children as well and you're going to be facing college education and whatnot.

So, is it just as simple as take advantage of your benefits and don't do anything stupid?

Tommy Blackburn:    On the surface, yes, you hit a lot of points there. And we'll talk about too, you almost want to make sure you avoid bad advice more than … like the impact bad advice or a charlatan financial planner could have on your plan, I think is way more detrimental than getting a hold of, or trying to do it yourself.

And maybe you didn't do the best job, but the damage that could be done by the wrong advice, doing something stupid, I completely agree that could be extremely detrimental.

Flip side as we've seen with many of our clients, I think we get the comment quite a bit of “Wish I would've met you guys, wish I would've met you all years ago. I didn't know the things that you all are teaching me right now and how powerful this is” and that's why we didn't have advocates for the firm.

So, it's kind of like both sides of that equation and the one that scares me and I think us the most, is when somebody can actually do harm to you who probably even had good intentions, but they just didn't know what they were doing or maybe they did have bad intentions.

So, just try not to do anything stupid, but yes, you can do this on your own, particularly if you have that good blueprint laid out in front of you, like John said. Maybe you don't have an ongoing relationship because maybe that's just not in the cards with your financial situation right now, but just having the direction could be very helpful.

So, doing the simple things like funding that 529 for college, you don't have to get super fancy. Just do one of those aggressive or wherever life might be funds that are usually set up for you. You've got FEGLI in place, keep that FEGLI basic.

You could buy Option B, get the extra multiples in there. You know, we'll talk about ways we can make that better through some more advanced planning, but you could take advantage of that. Get a 20 or 30-year term policy, very cost-effective, particularly when you're young in life and you're still healthy.

So, you could do that for your spouse because she wouldn't have access or he or she would not have access to FEGLI. You can probably be just fine as long as like you said, you avoid making some catastrophic mistakes along the way.

Michael Mason:          Yeah, I would say that as you look on the surface, the federal government's done a really good job of helping you avoid stupidity. They've given you great health insurance, they're going to match dollar for dollar effectively up to 5% in your Thrift Savings Plan.

You don't have so many choices in TSP that you're overwhelmed. So, you've got that early on, this scenario that I painted for the 30-year-old, from 30 to about 45, even FEGLI Option B is a reasonable cost.

So, as I thought about this podcast, I thought about, okay, if you just had some basic training in financial planning and somebody made sure that you had the right amount of life insurance to cover your family if you're hit by, as a friend of ours used to say, the Uber car and you're taken out, you've got the right amount of life insurance.

Even if you did that in FEGLI, you're going to be okay. If you just use the standard 529, you're going to be okay. If you have the government health insurance and the government pension and you don't do stupid things, you're going to be okay.

Where we'll take this next is, do you just want to be okay or do you want to run up the score? As one of my friends used to say, “I'm going to run up the score, I want to be better than okay.” And that's where we talk about what a financial planner may be able to bring to the occasion or to the equation.

So, as we think about that, how can we be better than okay? And let's just do the first one John, you have a choice FEGLI Option B, five times your pay. Maybe somebody should help you understand that yeah, it looks really good for the next 10 years, but a life event happens and you're uninsurable, you're kind of locked in, right?

John Mason:      Mike, this takes me back to when we used to present the public seminars and we would say, “Are you ready to plan or are you going to continue reacting?”

And in a financial plan, what that means to us, the three of us and our partners, is looking forward. Thinking about, well, what happens if a spouse dies or what happens if both parents pass away or what happens if we lose our job?

Like being forward-thinking, financial planning is about looking forward. Not about getting the cheapest insurance that you can get today or not about like saving every penny that you can save today. But it's planning on not only cash flow, but also having to plan on the fringes a bit.

Because the thing in life that ruins a financial plan is not, do you have a million in your TSP or 900,000? That doesn't ruin a financial plan. What ruins a financial plan is not having the right amount of life insurance as a 40-year-old. What could ruin a financial plan is not having enough long-term care insurance, if there's a long-term care event.

So, we have to do a certain amount of planning on the fringes, those “what if” scenarios, because the center, when people just think about retirement income, that's solid. As a federal employee, that's solid. We can't mess that up, but we still need to work and plan on the fringes.

Michael Mason:          And like I was going, you just do the standard 101 advice, a Dave Ramsey, stay out of debt, get 10% into your TSP, buy five times your pay in life insurance. I mean, how many times have you heard those things?

You know, that's a standard and you'll probably be okay. Many people won't just do that though. Many people will pinch a penny and not buy the life insurance and they need a financial planner to push them over the top.

Tommy, sometimes it may make more sense for that couple to save in Roth IRAs than in 529s. And this is where we're getting away from being okay to being great and looking over the horizon.

Tommy Blackburn:    Sure. This financial planning and financial advisor should add value to the equation. And some of that is through, or maybe a lot of that is through that outside-of-the-box thinking that you're talking about.

So, you mentioned Roth IRAs instead of 529s and just to elaborate, a reason we might get outside of the box and think that way is that Roth IRAs are like a Swiss army knife of a tool. We can pull our contributions out any point in time, tax and penalty-free, what we put in there.

So, we kind of have a second-tier emergency fund there. In addition, we can use that for qualified education expenses, so that meets our 529. So, it's not that we shouldn't use 529s but maybe when we think this way, and when we prioritize where we should be saving, maybe we're looking at Roth IRAs first and taking advantage of that annual, license that 6 or 7,000, we can put in there each before we move to 529.

So, this is great example, Mike, of how a financial planner — and that's not even necessarily specific to federal employees, which is how a good financial planner can add value to your plan.

John Mason:      And Tommy, to that point, because the name of this episode is Do Federal Employees Need a Financial Planner?

So, you guys are just talking about Roth, which is super cool, right? So, we put those contributions in, whatever it grows to, assuming you meet the requirements is tax-free, basis can come out tax-free, penalty-free at any time.

I could just save in a brokerage account or I could just save in a savings account or a CD, right? So, when it goes back to need, it's like, well, you could have funded your kid's college in several different avenues.

But in Tommy, your example, you gave the ability to not only fund college, you actually then transferred into tax advice and retirement income advice. So, you're solving for multiple things.

That person who doesn't hire a financial planner may just be sticking it under the mattress, putting it in a 529, not having that tax-free growth for retirement. So, I just feel that is a perfect example, guys, of what we're talking about. It's no, you don't need it if you're a good saver, but the proper location makes a world of difference.

Michael Mason:          Yeah, you'll be okay. You'll be okay because you're trying to do the right things. We just want to push you over the top to be a little great.

John Mason:      And as we think about again, the title of the show: Do Federal Employees Need a Financial Planner? I think what we've all experienced in our careers is that there's a lot of federal employees out there who are searching for advice, right?

They call TSP, 1800 TSP. They call their human resources, but what's the most dangerous? The water cooler financial planner, right? All their buddies in the cubicle next to them, the people at the coffee bar, these are the people.

So, federal employees, by nature, guys, back me up here — they're inquisitive. They're asking their friends like how do I maximize all of these things? So, they're very inquisitive. They're looking for this information.

Michael Mason:          Yeah, and as we approach the final chapter of this episode, we're going to talk about the most dangerous to your financial plan, and that's unqualified advisors. And that unqualified advisor can be that water cooler financial planner.

As I was looking at some of my notes as we're talking about this, that going from good to great or fine to great, it's you should know when you're 30-years-old, that when you retire, you're going to take survivor benefits, right? You should know that.

If you wait until 60 to 62 to take it, then you may have made some mistakes along the way by buying expensive, permanent insurance. You should know if you're a tither … and how many federal employees — we've got a lot of federal employees that donate to church and charity; there should be a strategy around that. Don't you think?

John Mason:      Absolutely, there should be an accumulation and a distribution strategy tying all of this together and being able to make the most efficient choices. So, we can do things like QCDs, bunching our itemized deductions so that we take advantage of a high standard one-year and a large itemized.

We can give appreciated securities. That is one of the biggest tax planning opportunities out there where we can get double, triple tax benefits depending on how we do it.

So, there's a lot of value that can be had if it's done correct, and a really empowering financial plan can be put in place that hopefully allows you to do more with your plan over time.

Maybe allows you to do some things you didn't know you could do, but also will hopefully, over time, provide you that peace of mind of one, knowing you're not leaving money on the table, but also knowing that you're working with the right people who you can rest easy.

Michael Mason:          And as I think about this and toss it back to you guys, because this is where we've talked about some 501, financial planning 501 strategies, giving strategies. Are we thinking at 30-years-old, should I do everything pre-tax to minimize my income tax bill or should I do some in the Roth and some in the pre-tax?

You really need somebody guiding you if you're going to accept that financial plan. And again, the subject is, do you need a financial planner or not?

If you don't do stupid things, you'll be okay. If you want to be great in your financial plan, then you probably need an experienced credentialed financial planner. But what's the kind of problem for that early career to mid-career person, and finding that qualified financial planner?

John Mason:      How you're going to compensate that person for delivering massive value. And unfortunately, the industry is very, Mike, very geared towards 59 and a half asset under management firms like us who have minimums of 700,000 or more.

It makes it hard to serve younger generations who maybe don't have the cash flow to compensate us for our fee, or don't have the ability to transition assets under management.

But so primarily, for us, we're asset under management based, but there are a lot of firms out there who are doing fee for service, financial planning, whether it's hourly, retainer-based, subscription-based, however you want to call it — XY Planning Network is a big movement.

So, there are financial planning teams out there that specialize in the early to mid-career. There are financial planners who specialize in getting out of debt. There are financial planners who specialize with federal employees.

So, I think if you're a young person listening to this podcast, you can absolutely get value from a financial planner. You're just going to have to find one where the fee schedule and the method of compensation aligns up with your budget and your assets and how you can fairly compensate them for their time.

Michael Mason:          And Tommy, how would you … what credentials, how would you encourage folks to go about finding that financial planner? Because many people call themselves financial advisors, financial planners, and some of them come with life insurance licenses only. So, how would you guide the audience to find some qualified help?

Tommy Blackburn:    I think John, threw out one that I would recommend as well, which is XY Planning Network. They have find a planner and you can, like John said, do they specialize in debt education, potentially federal employees, and how do they charge, what are their fees?

And to be on XY Planning Network’s platform, you have to be a CFP. And you have to be fee-only. So, and it's not to say that people who aren't fee-only can't be a good financial advisor, but it's clear, fee-only means the only person paying that advisor is the client. So, it's just a little more transparent of what their interests are.

And having that CFP designation, I think is kind of table stakes to know you're working with an advisor and XY Planning Network is a good platform to see some people that charge those fee for services, like John was saying, might be willing to do some hourly work or a onetime financial plan for you.

Michael Mason:          Right. And what we have to understand is that most of your assets … now, every now and then you can come into the federal service out of military and you've had a 20-year career and you've got assets that somebody like us could manage.

And it's high enough in that fee-based world that we're in, that it compensates us to have you as a client. But many times, your assets are tied up inside of the places they should be tied up: in your 401K, in your TSP and whatnot.

And you just need to understand, really understand that when somebody is giving you advice — and I'll go back to this one from ages ago; if you're 30-years-old and you're a federal employee and you have those two children and you're going to make it a career, and somebody's calling themselves as a financial advisor and they're selling you whole life insurance so that's sometime in the future you won't have to take survivor benefits, understand it's a conflict.

It's the only thing they can make money on because they can't invest. If they invest your 6,000 into an IRA, they make $60 a year at 1%. That's the only thing they can make money on.

So, be very clear, how are you getting paid? Because sometimes, the no-cost advice is the most expensive advice.

John Mason:      Well, you get what you pay for is what you're saying.

Tommy Blackburn:    Follow the money.

John Mason:      You get what you pay for. Follow the money, you get what you pay for. You know, there are high quality financial planners out there who we respect. We've never met, but we respect, who do an initial plan for free, with the expectation that they're going to manage a million dollars or more, that it's going to be a long-term engagement, that they're going to provide tons and tons of value over that relationship.

But the initial plan is free, but you understand what those fees are going to be over time and understand where they're going to add value. That type of relationship is completely different than somebody who's asking you to purchase an annuity or somebody who's asking you to purchase an insurance contract and you're paying them via commission. The insurance company is paying them. Those are completely two different things.

So, we have to understand is the “financial plan,” is that a sales tactic to get you to purchase something or is it actually a roadmap to deliver massive value over your lifetime? And I think as we guys talk about do our federal employees need a financial planner, quantifiably, let's talk about do they need a financial planner? And what about emotionally, do these folks need a financial planner?

Tommy Blackburn:    I guess again we come back to need and that's always makes you feel like a stretch because we've kind of laid out, you will be just okay, but maybe you won't be great. Quantitatively, a good financial advisor can add … I mean, it's hard to quantify that, I guess that goes back to the qualitative.

A good financial advisor should be able to add probably hundreds of thousands to potentially, millions over your financial plan over time. I know it sounds, how can he throw those numbers out there? Some of it, we've seen quantitatively with the tax strategies we put in place. But we also know, even in this example, a 30-year-old, you have 60 years in that financial plan, apparently.

So, even small moves early on, that can amplify throughout the rest of your financial plan. So, it could add quite a bit. And it brings me back, I know I'm going to talk about the positives here, but the wrong advice could detract and kind of just thinking about what Mike was saying with that whole life policy and so forth.

Try to make sure you select the right advisor who's going to add value and not detract because we've got survivor benefits, like Mike said, and there's a lot of features to SBP that somebody who doesn't know what they're doing, they're not advising you correctly.

John Mason:      Well, Tommy, I always go back to thinking we add value on the tax side, right? So, financial planning, we know we can save people money on switching from FEGLI Option B to a term life that's quantifiable savings in your pocket.

We know that we can do things like switching to Blue Cross Blue Shield basic, can potentially save you monthly premiums and then get you that Medicare reimbursement account.

So, there are little things — I shouldn't say little; little things that add up to big numbers on just general financial planning. But I typically think about the tax savings and the tax distribution strategies where we add massive value.

But what you said really hit home to me. For a 30-year-old being able to say, stay the market, right? Don't abandon ship, don't be in G Fund. Like all of these things, if we quantify that over a 40, 50, 60-year career, not only are we able to add a ton of value on the distribution side, we're making a huge difference on the accumulation side as well.

And let's face it, not everybody is strong enough to not sell when COVID happens. Not everybody is strong enough to not sell 2000 through 2002, and then miss that rebound.

So, there's a lot of ways that we can add value mathematically, quantitatively. I think the value that we provide, Mike, more than as much, is the emotional side of financial planning.

Michael Mason:          Well, that's where I've been wanting to go chomping at the bit, wanting to go to the emotional side because what you just said is part emotion, part quantitative. You've got to hold the line when all your buddies are telling you that, “Oh yeah, I sold before that market went down in 2008 (you know, if they really did) and I won on that bet in Las Vegas (if they really did).” And they never tell you about the bet they lost either.

You know, so the emotional side is the strength behind this and it's the experience. And the emotional side says, “Yes, you have a baby that is going to be delivered eight months from now, so you have a life insurance need now, and I'm going to help you take care of that life insurance need. And the power of compound interest, you are going to bite the bullet and you are going to save 10% into your TSP.”

So, that emotional side, that guidance is huge to keep you doing the right things. The things you don't want to do, we don't want to spend money on things that only pay off when we die. We want to spend them on the things we can enjoy today, but a good financial planner is gong to help you do the things you need to do, right, while you're doing the things you want to do.

John Mason:      We've said time and time again, “you only,” meaning the federal employee, a non-financial planner, you only live, retire and die once. We've done these things hundreds of times over decades.

Do you want to make that Medicare decision on your own? Do you want to make that social security decision on your own? Do you want to submit that standard form 3107, I think is the number and retire on your own without having somebody review it?

All of these things are onetime events. Are you really going to become an expert in every tax law that's changed over your life expectancy? Are you really going to become an expert in all of these aspects or do you want to outsource that? Do you want to delegate that to a team of professionals whose livelihood is helping you enhance the good plan that you've already made?

That's the value of a financial plan. And I just think about all of the pictures that we get from our clients as they travel, the nice comments that we get, “I'm able to do this because I know you guys have my back,” it's a warm fuzzy for me and I know we're providing that value to our clients.

Tommy Blackburn:    Having a team you can rely on, people you can rely on to take care of things when you delegate these tasks, as well as when you're looking for them to add value, it's tremendous.

And we think about when we go on vacation, how nice is that or what's the peace of mind there of going to Antarctica on a cruise or going to the beach with your family, whatever it is, and not having to think about what is the market doing right now, what's going on with the tax laws? Should I have done this or that?

But know I've got a team that I can trust. They're doing the best job they can for me. And I can focus on the other things that are important in life right now, and really enjoy this experience.

John Mason:      And I think I've come home from vacation guys a couple times and my grass has been cut, and it looks beautiful. It's like April, May, June, it's green fescue. And I come home from vacation and it's perfectly manicured and cut. And I think about wow, that makes me feel good. And that's just grass. I like my grass, but that's just grass.

I imagine that when we can add that value to our client's financial plan, they get to come home from every trip and it's that feeling of coming home to a well-kept yard, to a well-kept financial plan, knowing that there's a team of professionals.

So, if you're a federal employee listening to this podcast and you've ever had your grass cut and you think wow, that feels great — well, that's what having a financial plan in place feels like every single day.

Michael Mason:          Yeah, it's even wonderful to come home after playing golf on a Saturday and sit on your patio and it had just been cut for you.

John Mason:      So, Mike, maybe as we wrap up the podcast for today, let's talk a little bit about what future episodes are going to look like because we've done a few educational episodes already. What are future episodes going to look like going forward?

Michael Mason:          We want to not just take you down an education path of what is federal employees’ group life insurance, but we want to take you down maybe the emotional path of why having a financial planner in your life is a good one. We want to take you down the experience path.

We have things, moments at Mason & Associates that we've actually labeled and named. You know, there's a Clarence moment at Mason & Associates, and a Clarence moment is Clarence from the movie it’s a Wonderful Life. The angel that showed George Bailey what life would've been in that town without him.

We don't get to have a Clarence moment 365 times a year, but there are moments when the advice we gave or give is so profound, we can see how that reverberates through that person's life forever.

So, a Clarence moment, another one is a hero story, right? And we want to recant those because that's what real financial planning is. It's not, “Ooh, I was a hundred percent in the C Fund and I made 28% last year and you only made 14 because you were 50/50.”

Tommy Blackburn:    Yeah, I think we want to do all of that, which I think is going to be a lot of fun to share. We almost want to do like an office hours, is kind of how I think of it, of just what's on our minds, what's the firm thinking about these days, and also, what questions have come in that we can answer?

We get those for the radio so we can potentially share those on the podcast as well to continue to reach a larger audience. John, what else do you think?

John Mason:      I think as we talk about the future of the podcast, it's designed for our federal employees. So, leave us some comments, send us an email to Let us know what you want to hear about going forward on future episodes, and we're going to start bringing in experts.

We're going to have a show on federal long-term care. We're going to bring in an insurance expert to do some interviews. So, not only are you going to hear from the three of us at Mason & Associates, we're going to start bringing in some experts in other fields to continue to build out the podcast as not only just reciting OPM manual, but bringing it all together in a comprehensive holistic financial plan.

Michael Mason:          Yeah, as I close out my piece of this, I just want to say to you that finding a great financial planner in that early to mid-career is difficult. Remember, at Mason & Associates you're going to have this podcast to listen to, you're going to have a radio show the first and third, Tuesday.

It's okay to get your financial planning through us while you are working to the point to be able to be a client of Mason & Associates at that 59 and a half and 60-years-old. It's okay to do that.

John Mason:      In addition, we've got our blog and please as we said, shoot us some questions. You can either shoot those to the ask on the radio or shoot an email to And if you like what you're hearing, I guess, the number one action item we would suggest is rate us five stars and share the podcast with your friends.

The topics discussed on this podcast represent our best understanding of federal benefits and are for informational and educational purposes only, and should not be construed as investment, financial planning, or other professional advice.

We encourage you to consult with the office of personnel management and one or more professional advisors before taking any action based on the information presented.