Welcome to the retirement services section, AFSA’s one-stop shop of information curated for those from all Foreign Service agencies who are about to retire and also for those who already have taken the leap. Below you will find a full range of retirement-related information from pre-retirement checklists, to articles, videos, and links detailing retirement benefits as well as work post-Foreign Service.
Getting Ready for Retirement
- FSJ article: "Twelve Retirement Pitfalls to Avoid" by AFSA Retiree Vice President John Naland, April 2021
- AFSA Video: Certified Financial Planner Dwayne A Jackson, Principal of RPJ Advisors, Falls Church, discusses "Lifetime Financial Success; A Simple Model to Keep You on Track," March 2019
- AFSA Video: AFSA Retiree Vice President John Naland discusses "Early and Mid-Career Retirement Planning," October 2020
- AFSA Video: AFSA Retiree Vice President John Naland discusses "Retirement Planning 5 to 10 Years Out," January 2020
- FSJ article: Retirement Planning 101 by AFSA Retiree Vice President John Naland, April 2020
- AFSA Tool: Retirement Planning: Mid-Career Checklist, September 2020
- AFSA Tool: Foreign Service Pre-Retirement Checklist, January 2020
- AFSA Tool: Retirement Planning – One Year Out, January 2020
- Department of State Transportation & Travel Management Division A/LM/OPS/TTM Power Point Presentation: Retirement Transportation and Travel Briefing, April 2020
- Department of State ALDAC: Retirement Credit for Prior Service (21 State 10876)
- Department of State ALDAC: Divorce and Foreign Service Retirement Benefits (19 State 53266)
- Department of State ALDAC: Mandatory Retirement for Age (19 State 37982)
- Department of State ALDAC: Retirement Planning 1 Year Out (19 State 35376)
- Department of State ALDAC: Retirement Planning & EBIS (Employee Benefits Information System) (17 State 100146)
- Department of State ALDAC: Retirement Planning 5 Years Out (15 State 35130)
- Department of State ALDAC: Online Retirement Planning Resources (14 State 86376)
- Department of State ALDAC: Retirement Planning Shortfalls (13 State 54796)
- FSJ article by AFSA Retirement Benefits Counselor Dolores Marie Brown: “10 Things I Wish I Had Known: Confessions of a Recent Retiree”, October 2018
Now That You're Retired: The Benefits of Your AFSA Membership
General Information on Retirement Issues
Next Stage: What's Next for You Post-Foreign Service?
- AFSA Video: Panel: “Next Stage - Career Management and Transition Post-Foreign Service with Jim Zaniello, President and Founder of Vetted Solutions, an Executive Search firm,” March 11, 2020
- AFSA Video: Panel: “Next Stage - Post-FS Careers for DS Personnel,” October 18, 2019
- AFSA Video: Panel: “Next Stage - Taking Up the Pen: Foreign Service Authors on How to Publish,” May 22, 2019
- AFSA Video: Panel: “Next Stage - Teaching International Affairs and the Art of Diplomacy,” March 26, 2019
- FSJ article, AFSA News: Stay Tuned for "Next Stage" Programming, March 2019
- FSJ article, Retiree Corner: Teaching International Affairs and the Art of Diplomacy: A Viable "Next Stage" for You?, May 2019
- FSJ article, AFSA News: Next Stage: Foreign Service Writers and Publishers Offer Advice, July/August 2019
- FSJ article, AFSA News: Next Stage: How Your Foreign Service Background Adds Value in the Private Sector, September 2019
- FSJ article: Teaching Diplomacy Today by Jillian Burns and Mark C. Storella, January/February 2020
- AFSA page: Sharing Wisdom (And Curricula!) About Teaching Diplomacy, International Affairs and Other Associated Topics
Post Foreign Service Employment Information
The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
- AFSA Communication: Medicare Basics (Including Coordination with FEHB), January 2021
- AFSA Webinar: American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA) Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President Paula Jakub speaks on “2021 FEHB Insurance and Benefits” (includes Medicare Coordination with FEHB), November 2020
- Link: Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Link: Comparing FEHB Plans - and how they coordinate with Medicare A and B: This tool contains a section that compares how plans coordinate with Medicare A an B. Our retiree members often have questions concerning whether they should opt for Medicare B, which has a cost, if they keep their FEHB plans, which the vast majority do. One approach is to opt for Medicare B and reduce one's FEHB from a high option plan to a low option plan that waives deductibles, coinsurance and copayments when Medicare is primary. March 2020
- Link: The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and Medicare
- Link: Fast Facts on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and Medicare
- Link: Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP)
- Link: State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) SHIP's mission is to empower, educate and assist Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers through objective outreach, counseling and training to make informed health insurance decisions that optimize access to care and benefits. These services are in response to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 which requires all States to provide services, although not all may be well-versed in issues for federal retirees. The link provides information about all SHIP programs in the U.S.
Long Term Care and Life Insurance
Thrift Savings Plan
What Surviving Spouses and Children Need to Know
Re-Employed Annuitant (REA) Program (formerly WAE)
Useful Links and Websites
From the State Department
Retirement Services Division Mission and Work
Our mission is to offer guidance to both active duty and retiree members on a full range of benefit and work issues germane to life post-Foreign Service;
We strive to support our experienced and gifted retirees in making the most of their lives post-FS including helping to spread the word to the American people concerning the critical work of the Foreign Service;
We produce the bi-monthly AFSA Retirement Newsletter, which provides information on retirement benefits issues and activities and programs geared towards those approaching retirement and in retirement;
We work with local retiree associations across the country and are the institutional home of the Speakers Bureau. By joining the Speakers Bureau you can share your expertise and highlight the importance of diplomacy in your local community;
We also organize an on-going speaker series on federal benefits and produce the “Next Stage” series, which highlights career options and activities post-Foreign Service;
Finally, we produce AFSA’s Retiree Directory, which connects friends and colleagues and contains a resource section, which is a kind of “All You Need to Know” for retirees.
- Dolores Brown, Retirement Benefits Counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Perri Green, Member Recruitment and Benefits Coordinator at email@example.com
- Christine Miele, Director, Programs and Member Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org
The AFSA Governing Board has three elected members who represent the retiree constituency. The Vice President for retirees is John K. Naland; you may get in touch with John here. John writes a regular column for the AFSA News section of The Foreign Service Journal; click here to read his latest writings. Ably assisting John as retiree representatives on the 2019-2021 Governing Board are Mary Daly and Philip A. Shull.
We encourage you to stay connected to AFSA in retirement, whether you live in the Washington, D.C. area, anywhere in the U.S. or even abroad. AFSA offers many events here at our headquarters building; even if you can't attend in person we record all events and make them available for viewing on our website. We also hope you will consider offering your expertise as a speaker on issues related to foreign affairs and the Foreign Service. You can sign up for AFSA's speakers bureau, or volunteer to speak at an AFSA Road Scholar program. We also encourage you to get involved with your local foreign affairs or Foreign Service retiree association. There are so many ways to stay involved in the career that shaped your life.
Not Yet an AFSA Member?
No worries. If you recently (or not so recently) retired and did not fill out a form to change from active-duty to retiree membership, you can download the necessary forms by clicking here. If you choose not to apply online, please mail the completed membership and automatic annuity deduction forms to AFSA at 2101 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037, or fax them to (202) 338-6820. We look forward to welcoming you as a member.
Honoring Your Service
AFSA is pleased to offer two new ways to remember and commemorate the lifelong Foreign Service career of our members, their spouses or partners. Our Foreign Service Medallion is a beautiful keepsake that can be used for multiple occasions, including being affixed to grave markers. The Foreign Service Commemorative Coin is similar to those long used by the many branches of the military; the silver-finish, 1.75” diameter coin has the Great Seal on the obverse and the AFSA logo and slogan on the reverse. Both are available for purchase through the AFSA website.