Mid-Career Planning

Meets OPM’s Financial Literacy Education Strategy



LENGTH OF COURSE:   1 – 2 days (can be expanded to 1½ or 2 days to meet needs of client – see Optional Course   Add-Ons  Section)

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Federal Employees at least 10-15 years from retirement.

OBJECTIVES: This Mid-Career Planning Seminar is intended to help employees optimize the retirement years by better understanding:

  •   Their retirement benefits and various insurance benefits and choices,
  •   The Thrift Savings Plan and how current participation decisions affect retirement,
  •   Important financial planning and money management steps to enhance financial comfort,
  •   Impact of leaving government service before retirement eligibility
  •   Challenges of the “Sandwich Generation”,
  •   What employees and retirees need to know about estate planning, and
  •   Introduction to  retirement lifestyle planning




  •   Assessing your financial health
  •   Need for action plan for maximizing retirement; considering the range of lifestyle decisions
  •   Balancing retirement planning with current family issues and concerns


Overview of Your Retirement System(s)

  •   What system are you in and why?
  •   Retirement eligibility rules
  •   Maximizing creditable service (unused sick leave, military and civilian deposits and redeposits)
  •   Survivor benefits before and after retirement
  •   Parameters of reductions to annuities
  •   How annuities are computed
  •   Relationship between annuity supplements and Social Security


Benefits Planning

  •   Requirements for carrying health and life insurance into retirement, spouse/family considerations
  •   FEHB and dental and vision insurance
  •   FSAFEDS (HSA and DSA), HDHPsLife Insurance (FEGLI or private)
  •   Long Term Care financing options
  •   The Federal LTC Program
  •   Social Security and Medicare:  the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Introduction to Financial Planning

  •   Projecting financial requirements in retirement
  •   Types of investments & risks
  •   TSP ( including investment options, contribution limits, FERS & CSRS, withdrawal options, tax issues , loan program pros and cons, withdrawals)
  •   Understanding basic money management and Investing strategies
  •   Tax planning considerations


Brief Overview of  Estate Planning

  •   Critical documents
  •   Relationship to beneficiary  forms
  •   Gifts, transfer, and inheritance tax
  •   Dealing with uncertainty of future laws and regulations


METHODS:  include interactive lecture, discussion groups, question / answer sessions, short film vignettes, and power point presentations.

OPTIONAL COURSE ADD-ONS:  Based on client’s needs, one and a half day or two-day sessions can be arranged.  Clients may select:

  •   Expanded coverage on transition, lifestyle, relocation, and second career planning issues;  and/or
  •   Expanded coverage of benefits, financial planning, and estate planning.



BONNIE M. WESTBROOK has more than 30 years of Federal Government experience, with extensive experience in management, human resources, training, and organizational development fields.   Prior to her retirement in 2005, she served as Assistant Bureau Chief for Management, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In various positions/agencies, she functioned as an internal consultant regarding organizational effectiveness, human resources, and employee relations issues.  She also served as Training Director for an agency and a college.  During her career, she has developed and presented numerous courses, orientations, and briefings involving retirement, benefits, performance management, management and leadership, and career management.

She’s volunteered for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Tax Aide Program by preparing Federal and state income tax returns.  In her post-retirement consulting, she has developed and taught Pre-Retirement Planning seminars, as well as trained managers and employees on performance management, specialized writing, and coaching.

Mrs. Westbrook earned her Masters and Advanced Graduate Specialist Degree (M + 30)) in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland, and a BA in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University.  She has been active in leadership roles for professional/community organizations and presented at the National American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Conference. She is a member of ASTD and NARFE.


What Clients Have Said About Bonnie

Excellent course, excellent instructor. Good handouts and examples. Loved Bonnie.

Thoroughly enjoyed and learned from Bonnie.  Very knowledgeable and fun. Handouts great!

Professional; Super job! Instructor used real world examples to assist in understanding.

Ms. Westbrook was well organized and very enthusiastic. Expert in her field.- not boring.  Great instructor.

Bonnie made potentially boring subject bearable.  She is very, very good at what she does. She made sense of the subject.

The instructor did an outstanding job. Knowledgeable, listened intently to all participants.