3 Joys of Retirement from the Federal Government

Have you thought about how you will spend your time after retirement? The author provides three suggestions that many retirees often find fulfilling.

Retirement is the goal of so many federal employees; it probably is for you, too. The vision of walking out the door that last time has kept many going during overwhelming days and long hours of work.

So much of the excitement for retirement is what you’re walking away from: 40-plus-hour-work weeks, lack of sleep, and the many frustrations that accompany employment.

However, what you’re walking away from isn’t even the half of it; the real joys of retirement are not what you are walking away from, but what you’re walking to. If you’re nearing retirement, sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee and a donut and contemplate the joys that await you in federal government retirement.

1. The gift of time

A long federal career is a worthy endeavor that carries with it a number of rewards. We hope that your federal career has been full of blessings and success; however, even the most fulfilling career carries with it certain limitations.

Maybe the most significant aspect of your life that your work required is time. Long commutes, early mornings, and late nights in the office are no more. Let that sink in.

Now’s your time to take up the things you didn’t have time for while employed. Deep-sea fishing, trips with grandkids, or rebuilding classic cars. Whatever it may be for you, congratulations! You now have the time to really dig into the things you love.

2. The chance to give

As a federal retiree, you typically have a FERS pension, Social Security, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to rely on. This 3-legged retirement stool can at times be quite substantial and cover your bills, expenses, and trips, with a good bit still left over.

Ask yourself a radical question: “Do I need all of this?” Depending on your financial situation, the answer may be yes, but if not, have you considered giving some of it away? There are worthy charities, churches, schools and hundreds of other organizations that can benefit from such a gift. Giving is not a one-way street, but one avenue to a truly fulfilling retirement.

3. Invest in something enriching

This last joy of federal government retirement is not necessarily a financial investment, rather it’s an investment of time. This can be something you’re already doing but may also be a little out of your comfort zone.

Volunteering on a service project is a perfect example. A quick Google search could no doubt provide you with a long list of organizations in need of manpower.

Maybe you’ve been very generous with your money to these types of non-profits in the past, but have never participated yourself. Give it a try. The same organizations referenced in joy number two above are often starved for help. A few minutes of your time, even just once a month, can go a long way to helping those around you. Along with giving financially to others, giving freely of your time can have wonderful benefits, not only for those you help, but for you as well. 

To hear some great testimonials of generosity, visit generousgiving.org.

If you’re still a federal employee, you’re not quite there yet, but there’s a lot to look forward to. The three joys of federal government retirement listed above just begin to scratch the surface of your possibilities. If retirement appears to be an impossibility for you, now is the time to seek help. The Retirement Benefits Institute website contains some great resources for you to simplify the complications of the federal retirement system, Social Security, and the TSP.

Disclosure: The information contained in these blogs should not be used in any actual transaction without the advice and guidance of a tax or financial professional who is familiar with all the relevant facts. The information contained here is general in nature and is not intended as legal, tax or investment advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for the individuals’ specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of other matters. RBI is not a broker-dealer, investment advisory firm, insurance company, or agency and does not provide investment or insurance-related advice or recommendations. Brandon Christy, President of RBI, is also president of Christy Capital Management, Inc. (CCM), a registered investment advisor.

About the Author

Brandon Christy, CPA, PFS, is the founder and president of Retirement Benefits Institute, Inc. He is an established leader in contracted federal retirement benefits education, and his company has trained over 10,000 federal employees to help them gain clarity and confidence in retirement.