As the big day draws closer, and it seems like you have a million things to do before retirement, it is essential to have a to-do list, so you don’t forget the most important things. Here are some necessary things you should check off your list before you retire.
Ensure You Have Adequate Cash to Spend Before Your First Annuity Check Arrives
Being retired will not stop you from spending money, but it will at first prevent you from receiving some. To take care of this problem, you have to ensure you have adequate cash to spend between the period you receive your last paycheck and the time your first annuity check arrives.
The cash should be sufficient enough to take you through a few months, as a delay might make you go broke faster than you expect. The money will come, and it will be significant, especially if you have accumulated many unused annual leaves, but it might take a while before it does.
File the Retirement Applications Before Time
After you must have decided the date you wish to leave federal employment, the next thing to do is file your applications before that time. Give at least a month’s space between filling and submission of applications and the actual retirement date to avoid rushing the process. Remember that the greater the rush, the easier it is to make costly mistakes.
So, file it early and submit it to the Human Resources Office of your agency. The retirement forms for both CSRS and FERS are available online. While filing the applications, you might need some or all of the following, so get them ready:
- Marriage Certificate
- Spousal Consent form for anything other than full survivor election (must be notarized)
- Divorce Decree (if it affects your benefits in any way)
- Evidence of Military Service (if available)
- Worker’s compensation pending claims
- Records of health care coverage (TRICARE) or partner’s Federal Employees Health Benefits documents
Don’t Forget to Apply for Thrift Savings Plan Withdrawal
Suppose you have decided to withdraw some parts of your TSP contribution to support what you get from Social Security or SRS and FERS annuity. In that case, it is best to apply immediately, so the fund can be ready when you need it.
Don’t Forget to File for Social Security.
For federal employees who are eligible to start receiving their Social Security benefits upon retirement, you should do that as soon as possible. You don’t want to spend your last days in service going back and forth trying to resolve one issue or the other.
Wait for Feedback
You will most likely receive mail on the proceedings and any other things you need to do. So ensure you check your mail regularly.
Properly Document Your Records
Open a file for all of the documents you used while filing for retirement. Also, make copies of records, such as your beneficiary designation forms, insurance election forms, and other vital records that you will no longer have access to after retirement.
Whether you are retiring now or not, it is best to familiarize yourself with the process so that your transition is as hitch-free as you have always dreamed of.