Countdown to Retirement—A Solid Plan

Countdown to Retirement—A Solid Plan

Approaching retirement? Overwhelmed with decisions? Wondering how your financial situation stacks up? Concerned about monthly income? Don’t know where to start…    WHY BENCHMARK FINANCIAL GROUP? “Our goal is to help Federal employees, retirees, and their families with Benefits that offer choice, value, and quality”.  Knowing what your finances will look like in retirement is extremely important. Having a solid plan is critical and will ease the worry of not having...
So you think you are ready to retire. What’s next?

So you think you are ready to retire. What’s next?

Have you completed enough years of service to retire without a reduction in benefits? Have you decided that now is the right time to retire? Wondering how to get the process started?  STEP ONE: PICK A DATE One of the first major decisions is deciding when to retire. However, there are a few key variables that may impact your decision.  FERS employees may want to consider leaving as close to the end of the month as possible. HR and OPM won’t start crunching the...
Pieces of the Retirement Puzzle—Pensions

Pieces of the Retirement Puzzle—Pensions

In our previous article, we started discussing the pieces that make up the retirement puzzle. We began with Social Security. To learn more about how Social Security fits into the equation, you can read the article here. In this article, we will shift our focus to a different piece of retirement—pensions. FERS PENSION BENEFIT Your Federal Employee Retirement System benefit (FERS) will be a significant source of your income when you retire. This plan became effective...
Pieces of the Retirement Puzzle—Social Security and Required Minimum Distributions

Pieces of the Retirement Puzzle—Social Security and Required Minimum Distributions

Social Security is one of the three primary sources of income in retirement. The benefit is based on your average 35 years of work history and weighted by the years you made the most income. You’re first eligible to start taking social security at age 62, and each year you defer your benefit the payment amount increases. If you turn on social security anytime between Age 62 and your Full Retirement Age (FRA), there’s a limitation on your earned income. If you...
Beyond Retirement Planning: What to Know About Taxes and Leaving a Legacy

Beyond Retirement Planning: What to Know About Taxes and Leaving a Legacy

A lot goes into retirement planning, and it is essential to know what other details lie beyond the planning process. Some of those items include taxes on income moving forward and properly planning details regarding the legacy for your estate. If you are a federal employee and are abou† to enter retirement, you may wonder what income taxes look like moving forward. Unfortunately, income taxes do not go away, but they will change slightly. Federal pensions, Social...
Properly Preparing for Your Retirement to Avoid Delays

Properly Preparing for Your Retirement to Avoid Delays

In January 2021, the Office of Personnel Management retirement backlog hit a new high, rising to 37%. It is typical for many employees to retire towards the end of the calendar year to maximize their benefits. However, the backlog didn’t surge due to an overwhelming number of people electing for retirement. Instead, it was the fact that fewer claims were processed in 2020. Only 7,442 claims on average were processed by OPM, which is the lowest it has been in the...