Life Planning Resources About You That Your Family Will Need

These are important federal agency resources to share with your loved ones in the event of a federal employee’s decline or death.

In the event of your incapacitation from cognitive decline or your demise, this article will be welcomed by your spouse, partner, or children for several reasons. First, the information is coming from you. Second, the informational sources are all governmental agencies they must become familiar with to navigate understanding their role as your advocate, care provider, or beneficiary. Third, these digital resources are updated periodically so the information when needed will be current. 

This article is intended to be used as an attachment to share via email with others. The idea is that by sharing this information, you are providing them with several trusted digital resources which can be shared with them today and archived electronically by them and be at the ready when needed in the future. 

Remind your loved ones about the article when providing them with specific details of your personal estate planning instructions along with your will, advance directives, powers of attorney, etc.

Important Resources From Federal Agencies

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

All federal annuitants, no matter what federal agency they may have worked for, come under the purview of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) during their status as retirees.

Here is an example of how to use the OPM search bar for harvesting information. If one enters “death” on the OPM’s search bar, for example, it returns 49 results. Each of these results has a two or three-sentence overview of the linked information. One example is Frequently Asked Questions concerning a federal employee or annuitant’s death. All the links provide forms, detailed explanations of a process, or other related information. 

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Almost everything a spouse, partner, and children need to understand about the Thrift Savings Plan is on the TSP website in a special section for beneficiaries. Included on the site is a pdf that can be accessed from the site entitled “Your TSP Account: A Guide for Beneficiary Participants”.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Social Security provides several links those close to you may find useful. The first is information about people helping others, and How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies.

Medicare

At Welcome to Medicare information is provided on key Medicare-related topics, including where to sign up for Medicare, how to change plans, the benefits of Medicare drug coverage, and where to find Medicare forms for claims and appeals. It provides a searchable database of medical providers who take Medicare.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives an overview of Alzheimer’s. It offers a wealth of information on the topic as well as the choice to have email updates. Especially useful is an online link to Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled offers a very comprehensive collection of information for Senior Citizens and their Families. A spectrum of organizations, online tools, and articles from government, academic, and nonprofit sources is updated at least annually. A partial list of topics covered are connections for caregivers, legal, vision, physical health, and psychological health resources.

Conclusion

These resources are by no means a substitute for detailed estate planning. Ensuing conversations with the recipients of this article may be the nudge you need to initiate a personal estate plan, 

And remember: Please do not include any personal information electronically when sharing the article with others. Always be very careful about sharing any personal data through any electronic communication with anyone.

About the Author

Francis Xavier (FX) Bergmeister, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, ChSNC® has been Certified Financial Planner® for 30 years. He is a graduate of the Wharton School and earned a Doctor of Arts from George Mason University. He provides retirement seminars thru Federal Career Experts.