Federal Employees

You are Unique

We understand your benefits.

Federal benefits are often confusing and complex. We show federal employees how proactive benefit decisions can positively affect their retirement and overall financial situation.

 

Federal employees are severely underserved when it comes to their financial planning. Fewer than 50% have calculated how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement, and less than 25% have ever worked with a financial professional.

Common concerns we address with Feds:

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Through extensive training, our firm is well-versed in the particulars of these various federal benefit programs. Our guidance helps federal families make the most of these benefits—both while working and in retirement. Our goal is to always provide credible, top-notch financial planning services to our clients.

VISIT OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from your complex and often underutilized benefits. These videos go beyond talking about your benefits and provide practical suggestions on how to apply them in your everyday life. They simplify overwhelming topics by combining unbiased analysis of your amazing benefits with proven financial planning tactics.

Bear Markets, Recessions and your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
15:22

Bear Markets, Recessions and your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

Unless all your money was in the G Fund your Thrift Savings Plan lost money this year. Stocks and bonds have had a tough 2022 so far and the experts are full of opinions. Welcome to Financial Planning 4 Feds. We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from their government benefits by developing and executing a financial plan. In this episode we: • Define the terms Bear Market and Recession • Discuss what these terms mean to you • Share changes you may consider in your TSP 0:00 Intro 1:53 Defining Bear Markets and Recessions 3:56 What does this mean to you? 8:48 Potential changes to your TSP Referenced Links FedSmith.com article on transfer to G Fund: https://www.fedsmith.com/2022/07/01/tsp-transfers-to-g-fund-up-249-percent/?utm_source=fedsmith-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fedsmith-2022-07-07&utm_content=related-link&utm_term=html Investopedia webpage on bear markets: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bearmarket.asp Wikipedia page on “Recession”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession Wikipedia revision history on “Recession”: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Recession&dir=prev&offset=20220729014342%7C1101047605&limit=250&action=history Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
Eric Jorgensen Founder of True North Disability Planning Interview on Fed Chat - EP 4
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Eric Jorgensen Founder of True North Disability Planning Interview on Fed Chat - EP 4

Welcome to Fed Chat!! Our guest today is Eric Jorgensen Founder of True North Disability Planning. Special Needs is a disability that requires a unique set of skills and education to maneuver the complex programs. Eric will share why he is so passionate about helping families and share some very emotional, personal stories. He further expresses the need to level the playing field when it comes to disability planning for ALL families so they can understand and benefit from these services. We discussed how working with a team of professionals can enhance relationships when approaching disability planning versus going at it with only one advisor. Finally, Eric details the extraordinary benefits federal employees should be taking advantage of and how their families could be in a better position than most non-feds. Eric Jorgensen's Bio Eric Jorgensen is the Founder of True North Disability Planning, the go to resource for families who have children with intellectual/developmental disabilities and the professionals who serve them. He is the host of the “ABCs of Disability Planning” podcast which introduces its listeners to organizations and resources they may have never heard of or weren’t sure how to use. And he is the author of Waypoints – a monthly deep dive into disability planning topics. Widowed in 2012, the same year he retired from the Navy, Eric knows first-hand how challenging it can be to navigate the maze of benefits, resources, and services available to those with an intellectual and/or developmental disability because his son has both. In the beginning Eric looked for someone who would tell him what he had to do, when he had to have it done by, and how to get it done; but it didn’t seem like this person or company existed. So he did what many of you are doing, did his best to make it work with what was available to him. Beating cancer in 2020 was the last straw, pushing him to incorporate his business and change the disability planning landscape. Links from Show Eric Jorgensen - https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-jorgensen-true-north-disability-planning/ True North Disability Planning Website - https://truenorthdisabilityplanning.com/ ABCs of Disability Planning podcast - https://anchor.fm/abcs-disability-planning True North Disability Planning on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe9WgZULzpIueHxn-QV2pHA First Maryland Disability Trust - https://www.firstmdtrust.org/ So Good Farms - https://www.sogoodfarms.org/ Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
Melinda Caughill Co-Founder of 65 Incorporated Interviewed on FED CHAT - EP 3
50:47

Melinda Caughill Co-Founder of 65 Incorporated Interviewed on FED CHAT - EP 3

Welcome to Fed Chat!! Our guest today is Melinda Caughill - Medicare Expert & Speaker and Co-founder at 65 Incorporated. Melinda’s high-energy and fun personality made this episode entertaining as well as extremely educational. As a Medicare expert she has presented to many professional organizations and consulted with some of the nation’s foremost corporations. During our exciting conversation, Melinda shares how her unique approach has helped many people make sense of Medicare for the first time. We also discuss the benefits of her unbiased services and why she does not sell Medicare insurance. Melinda also enlightens us on how federal employees can maximize FEHB and TRICARE when considering Medicare. Melinda Caughill's Bio For Melinda Caughill, Medicare is more than just a job, it’s a family tradition. As the daughter a nationally-recognized Medicare expert and pioneer, Diane J. Omdahl, RN, MS, she basically grew up with Medicare being discussed nightly at the dinner table. Today, as a Co-founder of 65 Incorporated and the revolutionary i65 Medicare guidance software, Melinda uses her expertise to provide today’s seniors, their families, and their professional advisors with unbiased, expert Medicare guidance. With her extensive background in marketing in addition to Medicare, Melinda is skilled at taking the most confusing and complex aspects of Medicare and translating it into easy-to-understand visual concepts. In fact, she’s the designer behind the revolutionary “3 Parts and 2 Paths” redefinition of how Medicare works. According to many people, this unique interpretation was “the first time Medicare ever made sense.” Melinda is also a high-energy and entertaining Medicare speaker, having presented to professional organization, like the AAII, CSA, and FPA, as well as for prominent companies, like Edward Jones, LPL, AIG and more. When given a choice on topic, Melinda most enjoys educating financial advisors on how to use Medicare as a very powerful marketing tool to grow their business while also better assisting clients. Over the last decade, Melinda has also consulted with some of the nation’s foremost corporations on Medicare, like PBS and Macmillan Publishing. Links from Interview Melinda A. Caughill - https://www.linkedin.com/in/melindacaughill/ 65 Incorporated website - https://www.65incorporated.com/ i65 Medicare Optimization Software website - https://www.i65.com/ T3 Technology Survey - https://t3technologyhub.com/joel-bruckenstein-and-bob-veres-reveal-results-of-the-2022-financial-advisor-software-survey/ Welcome to Financial Planning 4 Feds. We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from their government benefits by developing and executing a financial plan. Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
Mark Maurer, CFP® President and CEO of LLIS Interviewed on FED CHAT - EP 2
37:51

Mark Maurer, CFP® President and CEO of LLIS Interviewed on FED CHAT - EP 2

Welcome to Fed Chat!! Mark is the President and CEO of LLIS. LLIS is an insurance company that provides insurance solutions to fee-only financial advisors and their clients. During our conversation, Mark explains how their unique approach to serving fee-only advisors saves people money and changes how people buy insurance as the industry tries to move away from commissionable products. Finally, we look at how the salaried team at LLIS is helping federal employees maximize their benefits before recommending products that may cost them more money. Mark Maurer's Bio Have you sat in on one of Mark's webinars, conference lunch & learns, or LLIS Insurance Academy presentations? Chances are, you came back and saw him do it again. Mark assumed the reigns of LLIS in 2012 after nine years learning the family business. He's built upon the foundation Judith established by adding more talented staff members and new technology. So that in addition to our proprietary client/advisor database and AIM messages that keep both client and advisor informed throughout the application process, we now offer APE emails (Advance Premium Email, alerting clients to upcoming premiums due), NOTE emails (Notification of Term Expiration, advising clients of term insurance conversion privileges coming soon), and a streamlined quote-to-application process on our new website, saving clients time and further protecting their confidential information. His other family business involves his wife Leah, who joined TeamLLIS a few years ago; his two teenagers, Jay, who's into soccer and any book on sports; and Marie, who loves ballet with our own "Miss Ashley" and art. What most people don't see him do is work out. Mark's at the YMCA at the crack of dawn before the sun is even up, when most normal people are still sleeping! Words to Live By: “What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again.”- Walt Disney Links from Interview Mark Maurer - https://www.linkedin.com/in/markmaurerfl/ LLIS website - https://llis.com/ T3 Technology Survey - https://t3technologyhub.com/joel-bruckenstein-and-bob-veres-reveal-results-of-the-2022-financial-advisor-software-survey/ Welcome to Financial Planning 4 Feds. We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from their government benefits by developing and executing a financial plan. Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
Chris Kowalik Founder of ProFeds Interviewed on FED CHAT - EP 1
48:45

Chris Kowalik Founder of ProFeds Interviewed on FED CHAT - EP 1

Welcome to our 1st episode of Fed Chat!! For our inaugural guest, I have the honor to interview the most recognized expert among financial professionals serving federal employees. Throughout our interview with Chris Kowalik the Founder of ProFeds you will feel the passion she has for serving others, especially federal employees. She shares how her training with the Marines honed her ability to simplify complex topics. Chris explains how her amazing team connects federal benefits training with financial planning to help people navigate the complex maze of federal retirement benefits. Chris Kowalik's Bio Chris Kowalik is the founder of ProFeds, a nationally recognized federal retirement expert, and a frequent speaker to federal employee groups throughout the country. In her highly-acclaimed Federal Retirement Impact Workshops, she and her team empower employees to make confident decisions as they plan for the days when they no longer have to work. As the developer of dozens of highly-regarded retirement planning materials for federal employees and the creator of the FedImpact Webinar and the FedImpact Podcast, Chris has also analyzed the challenging retirement scenarios for thousands of federal employees – helping them to avoid costly mistakes and highlighting opportunities for them to gain greater financial security in their retirement years. Chris’ candid and straightforward nature allows employees to get the answers they need, and to understand the impact these decisions have on their retirement. Chris is a former active duty U.S. Marine and served as an Arabic Linguist and Signals Intelligence Analyst prior to starting ProFeds. She and her husband have three children and live in the Chicago, IL area. Links from Interview Chris Kowalik - https://www.linkedin.com/in/chriskowalik/ FedImpact website - https://fedimpact.com/ FedImpact Webinars - https://fedimpact.com/webinar/ FedImpact Podcast - https://fedimpact.com/podcast/ ProFeds website - https://profeds.com/ Sign Up for a FedImpact Workshop - https://fedimpact.com/VWP Welcome to Financial Planning 4 Feds. We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from their government benefits by developing and executing a financial plan. Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
New Thrift Savings Plan Features and the TSP Mutual Fund Window
26:43

New Thrift Savings Plan Features and the TSP Mutual Fund Window

13 Years ago legislation was passed to update the Thrift Savings Plan. They finally got around to the refresh, but did the TSP change for the better? In this episode we: • Take a closer look at how the TSP did with delivering on their big promises • Review changes to access and administration • Explain the new TSP Mutual Fund Window • Compare costs between the core funds you know and the new Mutual Fund Window Welcome to Financial Planning 4 Feds. We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from their government benefits by developing and executing a financial plan. 0:00 Intro 1:33 Administration and Access 7:40 Fund Choice 15:27 Cost Comparison Referenced Links TSP.gov webpages and resources: • https://www.tsp.gov/new-tsp-features • https://www.tsp.gov/new-tsp-features/summary-of-changes/ • https://www.tsp.gov/publications/tspfs28.pdf Expense Ratio Average Costs from Nerdwallet.com: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/investing/mutual-fund-expense-ratios Article from FedSmith.com: https://www.fedsmith.com/2022/01/27/tsp-mutual-fund-window-more-options-risk-expenses/ Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
FEHB Plans Compared  - High Deductible Health Plans
15:40

FEHB Plans Compared - High Deductible Health Plans

Most federal employees are aware high deductible health plans are options under FEHB but have never investigated the benefits. So, what is the big deal with them? The simple answer is money. High deductible health plans could potentially save you thousands of dollars every year. In this episode we: • Provide a framework of how you can review different High Deductible Health Plans under FEHB • Summarize the costs of 3 Blue Cross Plans over 5 different scenarios • Show specific examples to possibly save thousands of dollars each year under FEHB Welcome to Financial Planning 4 Feds. We are dedicated to educating federal employees on how to maximize value from their government benefits by developing and executing a financial plan. 0:00 Intro 2:11 Defining the 5 Scenarios Reviewed 3:38 Demo Time - Consumer Checkbook FEHB Comparison Tool 8:08 Annual Published Premiums Compared 9:16 Average Heallthcare Usage Costs Compared 10:31 No Heallthcare Usage Costs Compared 12:20 Most You Can Pay Yearly Limit Compared Most You Can Pay Disclaimer Insurance plans have a stated limit on what you might have to pay in a year for premium, hospital, doctor, drug, and other medical costs. But some plans have loopholes that may leave you paying co-payment and deductible amounts above their limits. Our "Most You Can Pay in a Year" figure includes an estimate of the potential cost of significant gaps or loopholes and also includes premium (adjusted for the benefits of premium conversion if eligible), applicable health savings accounts in Consumer Driven and High Deductible plans. It is the best way to compare actual limits, including possible payments above stated limits. It does not include dental costs, because no plan limits these. Federal employees and their spouses are invited to complimentary educational workshops covering their federal benefits. For details, visit: https://fedimpact.com/VWP Federal Benefit Resources: https://www.opm.gov/ https://www.tsp.gov/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/category/podcasts/ https://www.myfederalretirement.com/ https://www.fedsmith.com/ Would you like to know more? https://www.valorwealthpartners.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/smithec/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/valor-wealth-partners https://www.facebook.com/ValorWealthPartners
Top 5 Reasons to Move Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
18:29

We are proud to partner with ProFeds to serve you better

Because of the complexities of federal benefits, we work with the team at ProFeds to keep us up-to-date on your changing benefits. ProFeds is a nationwide support structure for financial professionals serving federal employees. The ProFeds team provides tailored training to financial professionals on the unique complexities of federal benefits to help them provide credible, educational financial planning services to their federal clients. ProFeds is proud to be a federal contractor and make this workshop available free‐of‐charge to federal agencies exclusively through financial professionals in the nationwide ProFeds network.

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ProFeds has developed unique workshops helping federal employees apply what they are learning in the classroom to their own situation. Instead of teaching at a very technical level regarding the benefit rules, they aim to educate employees to know the financial impact of retirement and benefit decisions, and to make those decisions carefully based on sound information.

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During the Workshop

While federal benefits are often confusing and difficult to interpret, ProFeds is able to break down complex concepts into easy‐to‐understand language to show employees how proactive benefit decisions can positively affect their overall financial situation.

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Following the Workshop

Valor Wealth Partners offers each employee an opportunity to meet, to review their specific situation and develop a personalized Federal Benefits Analysis together. This analysis helps to demonstrate the value of their benefits and identify key decisions to be made as they move closer to retirement. This benefits review is offered at no cost and no-obligation to the agency or employee.

Valuable Resources from ProFeds

More Resources for Federal Employees

Beneficiary Forms

Calculaators