Time to retire?


Q: I am contemplating retiring Dec. 31. At that time, I will be 63 with 24 years of FERS service. I am a GS14 step 7 with a step increase to GS 14 step 8 due in June. My high-3 average will be in the area of $125,500 with an estimated TSP balance of $250,000 at the time of retirement. I also will have approximately 200 hours of accrued sick leave and 240 hours of annual leave accrued. Considering the current two-year pay freeze (with the possibility of a five-year freeze), and the possibility of changing from the high-3 average to a high-5 average, would you recommend retirement on Dec. 31, or should I stick it out longer?

A: Even someone who is paid to give advice, such as a financial adviser, would be hard pressed to offer a recommendation. There are too many tangible “ifs” in the equation, not to mention the less tangible ones of personal attitudes toward work in particular and life in general. In short, you’re on your own.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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