Fed-Life Cycle

STWS Advisor Jennifer Meyer shares what questions she hears from feds at different stages in their careers.

Jennifer Meyer, CFP

What does it mean to go through the Fed-Life Cycle? Let me start with my personal perspective as someone who serves federal employees all day, every day.

As the saying goes, diversity makes the world go round! On a weekly basis, I meet people from all over the world, some are much younger than me, some are older (usually not by much), and many have different cultural and economic backgrounds.

Being a federal government employee is the common thread that connects all of these people. Some are at the start of their federal careers (and they often can’t imagine staying with the government long enough to retire), some are in the middle of their careers (they may find themselves debating if it is worth it to stay until retirement), and some feel that the finish line in sight and they are going to see it through, knowing they have worked extremely hard for the benefits they will receive as a government retiree.

In our weekly webinars for feds, I find myself repeatedly saying that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to the decisions that feds must make as they progress through their federal careers. While this statement is absolutely correct, there are some themes that recur over and over. For example-

  1. I plan to retire as soon as I am eligible – is that a good idea?
  2. Why should almost all career feds work to 62?
  3. Won’t my taxes be lower when I retire?
  4. Since there is a cost-of-living adjustment on my pension and social security, I do not have to worry about inflation in retirement.
  5. My federal health benefits are good enough to cover my health care needs in retirement.
  6. I plan to take social security as soon as I am eligible- I don’t want to miss out on any benefits, especially in case they change the rules.
  7. I make sure to contribute enough to get the match in my TSP- is that enough? Why should I use Roth TSP?

I could easily list many more, but you get the idea.

Helping Feds learn about the best plans and practices for the various stages of their “Fed Life” is the topic of my next article series. I will cover each stage, early, mid, late-career, and pre-retirement, and discuss the choices that can ensure that your retirement is not one of subsistence, but is one that thrives.

How? Because I have seen feds at all income levels successfully build a retirement where they can thrive and prosper. I hear all the time, “I wish I knew this earlier; I would have done things differently.”

Don’t be left behind because you did not take the time to educate yourself!

Look for my first article on how to get started on the right foot early in your career in the first week of April. In the meantime, feel free to schedule a personal consultation with me using the link below- CLICK HERE.

**Written by Jennifer Meyer, Financial Planner. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Jennifer Meyer and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy suggested. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon before making any investment or financial decision. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. **


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Fed-Life Cycle

Fed-Life Cycle