Retirement Planning Seminar

Meets OPM’s Financial Literacy Education Strategy


TARGET AUDIENCE:  Federal Employees within 5-7 years of retirement.  Mixed CSRS/FERS groups or separate sessions for CSRS or FERS, depending on client needs.  Space permitting, non-Federal spouses may attend at no cost, with the couple sharing the materials.

OBJECTIVES:  This Pre-Retirement Seminar is intended to help participants gain a better understanding of:

  •   Retirement types and eligibility,
  •   Decisions that need to be made at retirement,
  •   Estimating your retirement annuity,
  •   The benefits (FEHB, Dental and Vision Insurance, FEGLI, TSP, LTC, etc),
  •   Steps to enhance financial comfort, and
  •   Other transition and estate planning considerations.


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



DAY ONE    Introduction

  •   Assessing financial needs in retirement
  •   Making your plan – timeline/checklist of steps
  •   Considering lifestyle decisions
  •   Maximizing your options


Your Retirement System(s)

  •   What system are you in and why?
  •   Defined benefits vs. defined contributions
  •   Eligibility and types  of retirement (early, VERA/VSIP impact, regular, disability, deferred)
  •   Service computation (unused sick leave, LWOP)
  •   Military service (incl.  post – 56 military deposits)
  •   Civilian deposits, redeposits
  •   Survivorship decisions
  •   Taxation (federal, state)
  •   Best days to retire and COLAs


CSRS and CSRS Offset only:

  •   Annuity estimates and shortcuts
  •   Offset explained, including Age 62 and Social Security considerations
  •   CSRS voluntary contributions
  •   Factors can reduce calculations


FERS and TransFERS only:

  •   Annuity estimates and calculations
  •   Relationship between annuity supplements and Social Security
  •   Factors that might reduce annuity calculations


Health and Life Insurance

  •   FEHB  – including survivor benefits
  •   FEGLI – including survivor benefits
  •   Requirements for carrying health and life insurance into retirement


DAY TWO    (Benefits Continued)

  •   Long Term Care financing options
  •   The Federal LTC Program
  •   Social Security
    •      –  Eligibility/ benefits
    •      –  Windfall Elimination and Government Pension Offset
    •      –  Earnings limitations
  •   Medicare 3 parts, enrollment periods, and relationship to FEHB


Introduction to Financial Planning

  •   Projecting financial needs and assets
  •   Types of investments & allocation
  •   TSP
    •      –  Investment options
    •      –  Withdrawal options
    •      –  Tax issues, e.g. early withdrawal penalties
  •   Risk management
  •   Relocation considerations
  •   Tax planning considerations (IRA,Capital Gains, TSP)
  •   Federal and state taxes
  •   States’ treatment of annuities
  •   Legal and estate planning  (wills, trusts, power of attorneys, etc)


Transitioning to Retirement

  •   How to prepare for retirement
  •   Applications and procedures
  •   Contacts and references


Length:   1.5 – 2 days depending on class size



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.


Retirement Program: What Clients Have Said

This was my last class prior to retirement in July.  It gave me the information I need to feel comfortable with my decision.

The course was valuable in helping me maximize the financial areas of consideration as well as bringing me an awareness of other considerations.

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

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

I learned a lot of things I did not know.  The whole class was very helpful.