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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

DECEMBER 2015

57

AFSA NEWS

Retirement Planning in Uncertain Times

On Oct. 8, the American

Foreign Service Association

hosted the 11th installment of

its Speaker Series on Federal

Benefits, “Planning for Retire-

ment.”

Two expert financial

planners—G.B. Bose and

Patrick Beagle of D.C.-based

firms Washington Retire-

ment Planning Specialists

and WealthCrest Financial

Services—spoke to active-

duty and retired members of

the Foreign Service about tax

reduction and family wealth

planning, investment strate-

gies and financial risks in

retirement.

Bose kicked off the

session by offering conven-

tional wisdom on how to get

the most out of the Thrift

Speaker Patrick Beagle warns audience members against underestimating

how much time they will spend in retirement.

AFSA/NATALIECHEUNG

NEW AFSA GOVERN I NG

BOARD MEMBER

On Sept. 29, Youqing Ma was appointed to the Ameri-

can Foreign Service Association’s Governing Board

as a Foreign Commercial Service representative. Ma

joined FCS in October 2011. Her first assignment was

with the Indiana

Export Assis-

tance Center

in Indianapolis.

She next served

at the Ameri-

can Institute in

Taiwan, where

she led a team

helping American

companies to

expand sales and services in Taiwan. She is currently a

commercial officer with SelectUSA in Washington, D.C.

Prior to the Foreign Service, Ma was the senior

policy director for former Los Angeles Mayor Anto-

nio Villaraigosa on trade promotion. She also has a

background in banking and international supply chain

management.

n

NEWS BRIEF

REMI NDER : NOMI NAT I ONS

FOR D I SSENT AWARDS

The American Foreign Service Association

proudly recognizes constructive dissent within

the systemwith four separate awards. The

W. Averell Harriman Award

is for entry-level

(FS-6 through FS-4) officers; the

William R.

Rivkin Award

is for mid-level (FS-3 through

FS-1) officers; the

Christian A. Herter Award

is for Senior Foreign Service officers; and the

F.

Allen “Tex” Harris Award

is for Foreign Service

specialists. Recipients receive prize money

and travel expenses to attend and be honored

at a ceremony in June in the Benjamin Frank-

lin Diplomatic Reception Room at the State

Department.

Nominate someone—or yourself!—for one

of these awards. The nomination deadline is

Feb. 28, 2016. For more details on the awards,

and to submit an online nomination, visit www.

afsa.org/dissent. Please contact Foreign Ser-

vice Profession Awards Coordinator Perri Green

at

green@afsa.org

or (202) 719-9700 for more

information

n

NEWS BRIEF

Continued on page 58

Savings Plan—participants

should contribute at least 5

percent of their incomes to

get the full agency match,

diversify their portfolios

to include riskier funds for

larger returns and wait as

long as possible to begin

drawing retirement benefits.

He also underscored how

solid tax planning—more

than asset management—is

paramount to financial secu-

rity in retirement.

In particular, he explained

how the Tax Increase Preven-

tion and Reconciliation Act

of 2006 that went into effect

in 2010 is “the best deal, bar

none, that the U.S. govern-

ment has ever offered to its

citizens.” The law enables