Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

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Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:03 pm

I want to be frank and say upfront that honestly I am having trouble comprehending how to manage my finances. I purchased the Bogle investing book some time ago and even though I've read it is an easy read, it isn't for me. I get totally confused and end up throwing it by the wayside.

I'm one of those people that has to have the bare essentials laid out. When given too much explanation and choices and a bunch of terms thrown around, I get confused.

Summary: I don't know what I'm doing and don't even know really why I have my money allocated in certain ways other than some advice I got off of here a long time ago. I honestly am trying to understand. Instinctively, I know there are many knowledgeable people on this forum that have given me good advice in the past, though it has been several years.

I'll do the best I can in giving you information

Emergency Fund-70K (Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund)
Debt: None
Tax Filing Status: Married Filing Jointly
Tax Rate: 25%
Residence: Germany (husband civillian working overseas)
Age: 53 SAHM; Husband: 48 Works for US government; 3 dependent children ages 9, 9 and 12 (yes, I had them when I was 102)
Desired allocation: 60/40

Me:

Individual IRA: VTTVX Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 $35,597 (just hanging around-no contributions)
Roth IRA: VTTVX Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 $35,354 ($230 biweekly contribution)

12 year old son:

ESA: VTWNX Vanguard target 2020 $13,088 (also hanging around-no contributions)

Husband:

Roth IRA: BTHRX Vanguard target Retirement 2030 $41,311 ($192 biweekly contributions)

TSP #1 Reserves: L 2030 (no contributions $1,200)
TSP #2 L 2030 (contributes 10% with 5% match) 250,000

1. Will probably have to go back to USA in next 5 years. No clue where we will go as it will be up in the air. We like being mobile and have no interest in buying a home. Personally wouldn't mind renting the rest of my life.
2. Not overly interested in college funds for kids. I know that may sound terrible for many of you but feel that I can partner with them and find a way if they choose to go. Husband went to school at age 29 while I worked and we easily paid for his college. I just feel there are so many more options then either we pay or they take out massive loans. I am more interested that they feel they can pursue their passions without worrying about money and focus more on living a simple lifestyle rather than making money to fuel an extravagant lifestyle. They certainly don't have to make a decision at the ripe old age of 18. Regardless, we will support them 100% in what they choose to do.

Additional Information:

Each child will receive $10,000 in cash from my father's estate. Sister in USA is going to invest in mutual funds and will act as a guardian. She has used an advisor for years. She will give them the money when they turn 18 or give it to me to handle when I return to the States.

To receive $50,000 in PP&G stock from father. The general advice given when I posted this on the other forum was to sell and put in MMF. Vanguard won't allow me to open up another account because I am overseas. I have the Roth IRA, traditional IRA and MMF with Vanguard. I opened up one with USAA and can put it there too. No problem with selling but then what should I do? What should I look at when deciding where to move it?

I will also receive approximately $70,000 or so in cash in the next 2 months or so if everything well. Suggestions on how I should handle this or what I should consider with regard to investing it?

I don't want to make any rash decisions. Husband will receive the two pensions upon retirement though the reserves will only be about $1,000 per month. Where can I look to see how we are doing as far as saving enough for retirement?

Life insurance: We are looking at USAA for life insurance. Husband has approximately 560,000 (FEGLI) but can't get anymore and I don't feel this is enough so thinking of stopping it and going with USAA. I'm an RN but stopped practicing in 2000 and have no desire to go back. I would have to go back to school too at this point since my license has been inactive for so long. I don't plan working at a full time job again if I can help it. Homeschool the kids anyway. Where do I get information or what should I consider when determining how much to get? We just have to get through questions like have we ever smoked pot in our entire lives and things like that. :(

Thank you for this website. The bottom line is I need a portfolio that is pretty much on autopilot. I honestly just want to know if we are saving enough and want to think about it as little as possible. I'm not dismissing the importance but frankly there are many things going on in my life that require my energy and I don't want finances to be the main focus of my life or a constant worry. Thank you again for all your help

Bonnie
Last edited by bonniecrocker on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Requesting Investment Help and advice on current status

Postby flipflopliving » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Hi Bonnie,

You may want to add in when your goal is the for financial independence (retirement date). I will run with an an assumption of 14 years.

You may also want to add in how much is being saved into the TSP, will run with an assumption of $10,000 a year between deferral and match.

If I tally up all ear marked for retirement, $362,262 at a 6% return for 14 years the projection is $819,039.
Annual savings of $20,972 for 14 years at 6% is projected to be $440,727.
Combined $1,259,776.

In today's dollars at 3% inflation that equals $832,861. Please note, length of time, amount being saved and projected return can move these numbers an incredible amount.

With that lump sum today at 3.5% withdrawal rate, the income would be $29,150 plus the current value of the $1,000 a month tallies to an all in income of $37,083 in today's dollars. If you take all of the $70,000 and set it aside for retirement that would give an extra $3,500 a year in income. You are on track to be able to have both of you retired in 14 years with an income equal to $40,000 today. Some of these assumptions are pretty standard and some are a bit more conservative to give a bit of wiggle room. Am sure others will chime in with more / better insights, but thought I would work through the puzzle a bit too.

Agreed the life insurance is too light. Not sure you need to cancel the group life, perhaps just add a supplemental term life.

One suggestion is you may want to change the title to reflect federal employee as that may draw those with that expertise in.

All the best,
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee requesting advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:00 pm

You may want to add in when your goal is the for financial independence (retirement date). I will run with an an assumption of 14 years.


I'm thinking 2030. Husband will be 65. I'm sure if we can manage it, he would like earlier.

You may also want to add in how much is being saved into the TSP, will run with an assumption of $10,000 a year between deferral and match.


I believe it is more like 14-15K. There is actually 264,000 in it now.

If I tally up all ear marked for retirement, $362,262 at a 6% return for 14 years the projection is $819,039.

Annual savings of $20,972 for 14 years at 6% is projected to be $440,727.
Combined $1,259,776.


Thanks so much! You're like a walking calculator. I appreciate the ballpark figure. Where exactly did you get the $20,972 savings rate? Both IRAs + TSP?

In today's dollars at 3% inflation that equals $832,861. Please note, length of time, amount being saved and projected return can move these numbers an incredible amount.


Absolutely understand. If we go back to the States, some of this will probably change. Right now we don't have to pay for our housing.

With that lump sum today at 3.5% withdrawal rate, the income would be $29,150 plus the current value of the $1,000 a month tallies to an all in income of $37,083 in today's dollars.


When you say the $1,000 a month, you're referring to his reserve pay, correct? Also, is there somewhere to go to determine how much social security might be possible? I know not to rely on it but would like to know. Once upon a time, I use to get a statement but haven't got one in a while now that I think of it.


If you take all of the $70,000 and set it aside for retirement that would give an extra $3,500 a year in income.


Well I told you I didn't really understand. Put in what retirement? I have a Roth IRA but you can only put so much in there, right? My husband has one too. Or put it in a complete separate account? Vanguard isn't allowing me to start a new account but USAA will. Any suggestions on the 50,000 in PP&G stock?

You are on track to be able to have both of you retired in 14 years with an income equal to $40,000 today. Some of these assumptions are pretty standard and some are a bit more conservative to give a bit of wiggle room. Am sure others will chime in with more / better insights, but thought I would work through the puzzle a bit too.


So do you think we are doing okay to have a decent retirement? This 40K doesn't include his 2 pensions or social security or the 50,000 in stock, correct? I just want to make sure I have it all in my head correctly.

Agreed the life insurance is too light. Not sure you need to cancel the group life, perhaps just add a supplemental term life.


I think the FEGLI goes up quite a bit as one gets older and I believe we were thinking about the cost. I don't think the USAA one goes up but will have to check with husband.

One suggestion is you may want to change the title to reflect federal employee as that may draw those with that expertise in.


Done.

Flipflop, you have been a tremendous help. I can't thank you enough. How fortunate to have such an analytical mind. My strengths have just never been along those lines. I actually understood most of what you told me which is so much better than reading a book for me anyway. I took it line by line.

For anyone else reading, any input on keeping everything pretty much in the target retirement accounts? I know most of you will probably laugh when I mention Suze Orman but I watch her program for the sheer entertainment and I thought I heard her say she didn't like the target retirement accounts. I didn't catch why and I could be wrong. I just want autopilot if possible.

Still also looking for some input on the 50,000 in stocks and possible 70,000 in cash for investment.

Thank you to Flipflop and everyone! So helpful.
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Re: Requesting Investment Help and advice on current status

Postby retiredjg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:29 pm

Bonnie, I have just posted something in your other thread - about the stocks. Be sure to read that.

I think it is fine to discuss some of this now, but much of what you are asking about will be determined by what happens with the stock - whether you keep it, sell and invest it, hold it at USAA or Vanguard, keep it separate as your inheritance or mix it in with the family money, etc. So I encourage you not to get ahead of yourself in this thread. Take care of the stock decisions first. Then move to this. Once we know what happens with the inheritance, we can advise better on these questions.

A general word about your asset allocation (stock to bond ratio). You have indicated an interest in a 60% stock/40% bond ratio. However, none of the funds you have chosen are consistent with that. Vanguard's TR 2025 is 70%/30%. Vanguard's TR 2030 is 78%/22%. The TSP L2030 fund is 67%/33%. So you are nowhere near 60% /40%. That does not necessarily mean you have chosen the wrong funds. What you have is not unreasonable, but it is not 60% /40%. So you need to give some thought to what you actually want.

A tip about all target funds - other than using the date to help you get into the right ball park, ignore the date in the name. Pick a target fund by the stock to bond ratio it has, not the date. Again, I'm not saying you have picked the wrong funds. I want you to be sure you have what you want.


I will also receive approximately $70,000 or so in cash in the next 2 months or so if everything well. Suggestions on how I should handle this or what I should consider with regard to investing it?

What will you use this money for? Will it be yours or will it become family money?

I don't think you need to be worried about having enough money in retirement. Your husband's full time pension is likely to take care of much of your expenses. The reserve pension will likely cover the rest or most of the rest. Then there is SS (yours and his). After that, you will have a very nice nest egg which you may not even need. Put those worries aside for the time being.

As for life insurance, I don't know a great deal about this myself. I would DEFINITELY NOT give up the federal group life insurance. If you want to add to it, I'd look at USAA. Many people have said that USAA is great for insurance. If you want more guidance on life insurance, I'd ask that part in a separate thread because insurance people might not be looking at this thread. You can also check out the Wiki. Wiki article link: Life Insurance
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Blues » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:35 pm

Regarding insurance and FEGLI specifically, I would recommend you contact WAEPA. I transferred out of FEGLI to WAEPA years ago due to their better rates and coverage for government employees and their families.
(Even their LTC policies were less expensive (for us) than what became available through the government's optional plan.)

http://www.waepa.org/

It is definitely worth discussing your current and future insurance needs (and getting a quote) with one of their reps.
Last edited by Blues on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Requesting Investment Help and advice on current status

Postby retiredjg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:36 pm

flipflopliving wrote:Agreed the life insurance is too light. Not sure you need to cancel the group life, perhaps just add a supplemental term life.

I don't necessarily disagree with this statement, but there is more to consider.

Remembering that life insurance is supposed to produce income if the income earner dies and knowing that the survivors in this case will continue to receive pension(s)....the life insurance amount may not be as light as it seems.

I say the surviving spouse will receive pension(s) - I believe that can be signed away, but the spouse has to agree. I don't know anyone who has done that. Don't know why anyone would do that.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby retiredjg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:38 pm

Blues wrote:I transferred out of FEGLI to WAEPA years ago due to their better rates and coverage for government employees and their families.
(Even their LTC policies were less expensive (for us) than what became available through the government's optional plan.)

Blues, do you think they might be a better choice while working or only after retirement?
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Blues » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:41 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Blues wrote:I transferred out of FEGLI to WAEPA years ago due to their better rates and coverage for government employees and their families.
(Even their LTC policies were less expensive (for us) than what became available through the government's optional plan.)

Blues, do you think they might be a better choice while working or only after retirement?


I transferred over to them while still employed but I don't think it makes a difference either way. They came highly recommended by colleagues years ago and I've learned nothing in the interim to change my perspective.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee requesting advice

Postby retiredjg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:54 pm

bonniecrocker wrote:Also, is there somewhere to go to determine how much social security might be possible? I know not to rely on it but would like to know. Once upon a time, I use to get a statement but haven't got one in a while now that I think of it.

I'm not sure if they still send statements. Your information is available on the SS website.


For anyone else reading, any input on keeping everything pretty much in the target retirement accounts? I know most of you will probably laugh when I mention Suze Orman but I watch her program for the sheer entertainment and I thought I heard her say she didn't like the target retirement accounts. I didn't catch why and I could be wrong. I just want autopilot if possible.

Pay attention to Suze's financial advice (living below your means). Ignore her investing advice - some of it is just nuts. She may prefer some other vehicle, but there is nothing wrong with using target funds, especially from Vanguard and the TSP. If you want auto-pilot (and apparently you do), target funds are not only a good choice, but probably your best choice.

There are some companies that sell target funds that contain the usual good stuff plus the kitchen sink and a few other things. Some of the funds are so complex they are just un-intelliglble. Some companies have target funds with high expense ratios. And most all companies sell target funds that are somewhat aggressive for the age groups they are supposesd to represent. Suze may have commented on these things - I don't know. They are valid complaints against target funds.

But if you use Vanguard and the TSP target funds and if you pay attention to the stock/bond content, you will be making the best choice available for someone who wants auto-pilot.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby retiredjg » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:57 pm

Blues wrote:I transferred over to them while still employed but I don't think it makes a difference either way. They came highly recommended by colleagues years ago and I've learned nothing in the interim to change my perspective.

Don't think I've heard of them. Thanks for the info. :happy
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Blues » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:02 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Blues wrote:I transferred over to them while still employed but I don't think it makes a difference either way. They came highly recommended by colleagues years ago and I've learned nothing in the interim to change my perspective.

Don't think I've heard of them. Thanks for the info. :happy


You're welcome, happy to help. The rate differences were eye opening and we saved a bundle over the years.
(Plus we've received a yearly return of premium amounting to 20 to 25% every October.)

I think you'll be impressed.

Oh, and I completely agree with your assessment and advice about the TSP and Vanguard "target" funds for those who do not wish to put managing an investment portfolio in the forefront of their lives. :beer
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee requesting advice

Postby mlipps » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:43 pm

retiredjg wrote:
bonniecrocker wrote:Also, is there somewhere to go to determine how much social security might be possible? I know not to rely on it but would like to know. Once upon a time, I use to get a statement but haven't got one in a while now that I think of it.

I'm not sure if they still send statements. Your information is available on the SS website.



They stoppped sending paper notifications a couple years ago, although I think they still send them to folks right around retirement age. You can look up your current benefits here: http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby frugaltype » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:44 pm

bonniecrocker wrote:Not overly interested in college funds for kids. I know that may sound terrible for many of you but feel that I can partner with them and find a way if they choose to go. Husband went to school at age 29 while I worked and we easily paid for his college. I just feel there are so many more options then either we pay or they take out massive loans. I am more interested that they feel they can pursue their passions without worrying about money and focus more on living a simple lifestyle rather than making money to fuel an extravagant lifestyle. They certainly don't have to make a decision at the ripe old age of 18.


Not sure what to say about this. What is the 12 year old decides in a few years that he or she wants to be a doctor or an engineer. Tough luck for them. I suspect the husband went to a 4th rate school or a community college.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Leemiller » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:51 pm

If the $70,000 is an inheritance you may wish to keep it in a separate account, in your own name and not mix the funds.

For the $10,000 for each child why aren't you handling the money for them now? I'm not sure what being a "guardian" for them means exactly legally, but I strongly feel that you should safeguard this money for them yourselves especially given that you won't be saving other money for college. I find your statements about that a little confusing and contradictory, but I won't comment further since that would be off topic.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee requesting advice

Postby flipflopliving » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:59 pm

bonniecrocker wrote:
Where exactly did you get the $20,972 savings rate? Both IRAs + TSP? Yes, although, looking at your answer, this is shy from your actual savings rate.

When you say the $1,000 a month, you're referring to his reserve pay, correct? Exactly.

Put in what retirement? I have a Roth IRA but you can only put so much in there, right? My husband has one too. Or put it in a complete separate account? Vanguard isn't allowing me to start a new account but USAA will. Any suggestions on the 50,000 in PP&G stock? You are doing wonderful. If you have maxed out Roth and TSP, which looks like you have, the next vehicle is a taxable account that is earmarked for retirment. If USAA brokerage let's you open a brokerage, sounds good. Stick with your low cost target funds.

So do you think we are doing okay to have a decent retirement? This 40K doesn't include his 2 pensions or social security or the 50,000 in stock, correct? I just want to make sure I have it all in my head correctly. It isn't too shabby, although only you know how much you need. :wink: This includes the 1,000 you mentioned and not sure if this includes the 2 pensions. It does not include SS. It does inclue the 70,000 although after reading your other thread, it sounds like you have 70,000 cash and 50,000 in stock. If this is true, it does not include the 50,000 in stock. I agree with some of the others that it may be a wonderful stock, but it is only one stock and should be sold to diversify to other investments. This is a tough one as many folks have an emotional attachment and would still suggest you sell and diversify.

I think the FEGLI goes up quite a bit as one gets older and I believe we were thinking about the cost. I don't think the USAA one goes up but will have to check with husband. All insurance, other than whole life goes up as you go older. Most folks only need insurance until retirement. (Huge generalization, but true for most folks.)

Flipflop, you have been a tremendous help. I can't thank you enough. How fortunate to have such an analytical mind. My strengths have just never been along those lines. I actually understood most of what you told me which is so much better than reading a book for me anyway. I took it line by line. Glad I could help.

I just want autopilot if possible. Target funds it is, set it and forget it.


Sorry to read about your loss. :( Am sure he would think highly of you and what you are doing. :happy

All the best, FFL
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby 2stepsbehind » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:25 am

Thanks to Blues for posting about WAEPA! Somehow I had never stumbled upon their services. Do you know if coverage can be maintained at the same rates particularly for associate members if one leaves federal employment?
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Blues » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:44 am

2stepsbehind wrote:Thanks to Blues for posting about WAEPA! Somehow I had never stumbled upon their services. Do you know if coverage can be maintained at the same rates particularly for associate members if one leaves federal employment?


You're welcome. The rates are whatever they are in their charts whether one is still employed or not.
(As I recall they have a chart for the primary and another for spouse or family members. Been a while.)
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby 2stepsbehind » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:20 pm

Sorry again to hijack again, but Blues could you talk a bit about getting LTC insurance from WAEPA (screening, premiums etc)? TIA!
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Blues » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:49 pm

2stepsbehind wrote:Sorry again to hijack again, but Blues could you talk a bit about getting LTC insurance from WAEPA (screening, premiums etc)?
TIA!


You'll really need to contact them. I've had mine for a dozen or so years and I'm sure the rates and procedures have changed in the intervening years to the point that our experience with getting our LTC policy may be irrelevant. Bear in mind that WAEPA is not the insurance company. Our policy through them is with John Hancock but I don't know if they are using multiple insurance companies or not.
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Re: Requesting Investment Help and advice on current status

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:37 pm

Bonnie, I have just posted something in your other thread - about the stocks. Be sure to read that.


I did and thanks. I responded.

A tip about all target funds - other than using the date to help you get into the right ball park, ignore the date in the name. Pick a target fund by the stock to bond ratio it has, not the date. Again, I'm not saying you have picked the wrong funds. I want you to be sure you have what you want.


Geez.....well I guess I'll be reevaluating it and maybe picking something a little closer. I think the TSP would probably be okay for now but will try and find more information and think about it.

I will also receive approximately $70,000 or so in cash in the next 2 months or so if everything well. Suggestions on how I should handle this or what I should consider with regard to investing it?

What will you use this money for? Will it be yours or will it become family money?


I'm thinking either the stock money of 50,000 or this should go to some retirement fund and the other to a fund that might go toward a big ticket purchase in 10 years or maybe less. As I told you in the other thread, we don't have a house and have been renting in Germany. We enjoy being mobile and I didn't particularly enjoy having a home when I had one. It didn't have any major issues but I couldn't help but feel the amount of money I was paying in interest on the loan and the time invested in upkeep wasn't worth it to me.

After my parents divorced years ago, my mother got the house and my father rented until his death. He could have easily purchased a home but chose not to. That was a good thing because he moved to be near my sister, rented an apartment, fell and ended up having to move in with her because he couldn't be alone. This happened two weeks after he moved. If he had purchased a house, it would have been a huge headache. I've read extensively on renting vs. buying listening to both sides of the argument and I've never been convinced buying a home is the best option, especially for us. I want to be able to pick up and move if necessary and if something goes wrong, I want to be able to call someone else. It's simply a place to live in for me.

Anything could happen when we leave Germany but would like to have either one of the lump sumps earning a decent rate of return until we decide what to do with it but have easy access in case we need it. I do have an emergency fund however of 70K and have approximately $1,000 biweekly going into that. Maybe we should cut back on that some and divert elsewhere? Husband has worked for government 20 years so I feel his job is stable. I'm an RN and if worse came to worse, I could reactivate my license after going back to school but highly unlikely I would do this. It would have to be an act of desperation.

Just as I wrote this a thought occurred to me. My husband will be furloughed for 11 days so I probably should cut back on the amount going to the EF for at least 3 months until he gets his full pay again.


I don't think you need to be worried about having enough money in retirement. Your husband's full time pension is likely to take care of much of your expenses. The reserve pension will likely cover the rest or most of the rest. Then there is SS (yours and his). After that, you will have a very nice nest egg which you may not even need. Put those worries aside for the time being.


I hope so and I'll try to put my concerns aside. Just want to be on the right track so I can devote my energy elsewhere.

As for life insurance, I don't know a great deal about this myself
.

I'm actually looking now at the WAEPA that someone else mentioned. Thanks for the link.

Thank you for the wealth of information. I've really been educating myself since I posted these questions and have already learned quite a bit. I've been lax in this area for a while.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:39 pm

Regarding insurance and FEGLI specifically, I would recommend you contact WAEPA


We actually have heard of them so thank you so much for the reminder. We are checking into them now.
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Re: Requesting Investment Help and advice on current status

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:44 pm

I say the surviving spouse will receive pension(s)


True plus social security for the kids so I wouldn't need as much as I was thinking. I think the max you can get at WAEPA is 750K but that would be plenty with the pension and kids social security.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee requesting advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:51 pm

Your information is available on the SS website.


Thanks! Will check it out.

If you want auto-pilot (and apparently you do), target funds are not only a good choice, but probably your best choice.


You are correct. I do so good to know I've chosen what is best for my situation.
bonniecrocker
 
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee requesting advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:55 pm

They stoppped sending paper notifications a couple years ago, although I think they still send them to folks right around retirement age. You can look up your current benefits here: [url]http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/[/url


Now I know why I haven't received anything. :happy

Thank you for the link.
bonniecrocker
 
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:28 pm

Not sure what to say about this. What is the 12 year old decides in a few years that he or she wants to be a doctor or an engineer. Tough luck for them. I suspect the husband went to a 4th rate school or a community college


Why would you think "tough luck" That would never occur to me. You seem to be limiting yourself to two choices which is that only those who save up will be able to get their children though college with little to no debt and those who don't will be foisting tons of debt on their children. That's too self limiting to me. I've always partnered with my children to look at every available option when it comes to getting what they want, even far fetched ones and so far it is working out very well.

My children have never been educated within the walls of an institution. I appreciate the concern but there are tons of options for them out there including creating a life where they wouldn't have to work full time. Their parents will always be there to support them in what they want to do. If they want to go to college, they will go.

My husband went to college in his late 20s and I got my 3rd degree in my late 20s. I don't know about a 4th rate college or a community college. What's wrong with that? I made my best money with the degree I got from a community college, much more than I would have ever made with my Bachelor's.

My husband went to a community college and then transferred to the Citadel in SC. Ever heard of it?






















































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bonniecrocker
 
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby bonniecrocker » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:40 pm

If the $70,000 is an inheritance you may wish to keep it in a separate account, in your own name and not mix the funds.


What would be the value in keeping it separate? I don't have any problem with it becoming family money.

For the $10,000 for each child why aren't you handling the money for them now?


My sister was just trying to help me out and has an advisor that she has had for years and said she would just put it in mutual funds for them. I didn't particularly see a pressing need for me to handle it. I trust her. Is there a reason why you think it should be handled by me right now? With my limited knowledge, she would probably do better.

I find your statements about that a little confusing and contradictory, but I won't comment further since that would be off topic


I'm not trying to be contradictory. You may be referring to my statement that I'm not really saving for their education. I do have $13,000 in an ESA for my oldest one. I just feel there are many options out there for my kids.

Thank you for your help.
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Re: Spouse of Federal Employee Seeking advice

Postby Leemiller » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:32 pm

What I meant was that following your dreams for a career or even an education is much easier with money. I had extremely limited, less than $10,000, support for all of my undergraduate education and when it came time to decide between film school and law school the practical route of law school (with a full scholarship) won out. I'd like to think that by saving money for my daughter's education she will have choices and opportunities that I didn't. I also did start out at a community college and became very successful considering, but I'm the exception, not the rule. Just my experience and perspective.
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