The Foreign Service Journal - April 2014 - page 47

APRIL 2014
Retirement Begins
Retirement planning may
not be a priority for new or
mid-career Foreign Service
employees, but it should be.
With life expectancy increas-
ing, more retirees will spend
more years, perhaps even
decades, in post-Foreign
Service mode. Therefore,
“be prepared” is a slogan
everyone should be thinking
of when it comes to retire-
Think about the following
questions: Are you prepared
financially? Do you have life,
long-term care and health
insurance? Will you need to
work or do you hope to lay
back? And when is the best
time for you to retire?
For those of us who
entered the Foreign Service
before retirement planning
was widely available, it is
never too late to learn more
about the topic, especially
financial and estate plan-
ning. The Foreign Service
of short courses covering
these topics, as well as other
retirement-related subjects.
Delivered six times a year,
the four-day Retirement
Planning Seminar (RV 101) is
open to any employee within
10 years of retirement eligibil-
ity. The seminar includes
sessions on the psychology
of transition, annuities and
benefits, Medicare, estate
planning and marketing your-
self after 50.
If your time is tight,
consider enrolling for two,
one-day sessions embed-
ded within RV 101: Financial
Management & Estate Plan-
ning (RV 103) and Annuities,
Benefits & Social Security
(RV 104).
Foreign Service members
with more than 10 years
before retirement should
consider taking CTC’s two-
day Mid-Career Retirement
Planning Seminar (RV 105).
Delivered four times a year,
this course covers financial
planning, the Thrift Savings
Plan, the federal long-term
care insurance program,
understanding annuities and
benefits, and estate planning.
The course was created in
response to participant feed-
back after taking RV 101 and
the Job Search Program—“I
wish I had known this earlier.”
USAID Seeks FSO Alumni of the
National War College
USAID is seeking former USAID Foreign Service
officers who are also National War College alumni
for a memorial the agency is developing to
commemorate 50 years of USAID graduates. As
part of this effort, we hope to collect images and
conduct an oral history project to learn more about
your experiences and how your education at NWC
affected your USAID career. If you would like to
be involved, please contact Samantha Novick at
or (202) 712-4034. 
AFSA Annual Report 2013 Is Out
all retired members. Copies are also available on
request. E-mail
The report details AFSA’s 2013 activities, ranging
from strategic planning to events. AFSA President
Bob Silverman pens the introductory passage,
followed by contributions from all constituency vice
presidents, as well as AFSA’s professional staff.
For the first time, the report is published as a
stand-alone document. It is focused on member
services and our 90th anniversary. We hope you will
take the opportunity to peruse the report.
Think about the
following questions:
Are you prepared
financially? Do you
have life, long-term
care and health
insurance? Will you
need to work or
do you hope to lay
back? And when is
the best time for
you to retire?
At present, State Depart-
ment FS employee orienta-
tion includes references to
financial and retirement
planning. But new employees
embarking on a long career
may neither fully appreciate,
nor adequately absorb, these
lessons. In my opinion, they
should be emphasized even
more during orientation.
Every Foreign Ser-
vice employee—whether
approaching retirement, at
mid-career or just beginning
their career—should take
advantage of these courses.
While most employees at FSI
are there to learn a foreign
language, or a new technical
skill, or to gain knowledge
of the country in which they
will be working, setting up a
sound financial plan early in
your career will benefit you
for the rest of your life. If
you think of it that way, you
will be glad you took the
Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA Retiree VP.
or (703) 437-7881
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