Q. I bought back my military time and will have 15 years (combined military/federal service) in 2013. I am under FERS. My husband has a rare form of cancer that has left him permanently disabled and his prognosis is unknown due to the rarity of the cancer. Is it possible for me to retire early — I am 49 — and keep my benefits so that I can take care of him?
A. Unfortunately, no. The earliest you could retire would be at your minimum retirement age, which is 56. Even then, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62.