Parents, QLEs, and TSP on today’s Fenobabble.
Welcome to Fenobabble, everyone. I’m Kevin Jones, and we try to make your federal retirement benefits understandable for humans, it’s hard, but we do.
Yes, and I’m Cassie Knight we take your questions from viewers and listeners like yourself who submit them at Fednobabble.com and also from Kevin workshops or webinars that he does with the Fed Pilot program. And we just try and make them understandable for you and answer them the best we can. And on this show here. So let’s jump into it. Kevin, what’s the first question?
Do you have any recommendations for long term care programs for for care for an employee’s parents beyond or instead of the federal long term care? So I think basically what it says overall is that we know that the within the federal long term care insurance program, it’s not just the federal employees who can be covered. It can be the spouse, adult children and parents, parents, law stepparents, even same sex domestic partners can be covered under the federal long term care program.
So they’re asking, can my parents, can the employees parents? Actually, what they’re asking are is instead of the long term care program, are there other programs that can cover my parents instead of me covering my parents through this? Yeah, and absolutely, I mean, the federal long term care insurance program, I don’t think people realize that it’s actually John Hancock product. Right? It’s just kind of wrapped in a government wrapper with a fancy name.
But the provider is actually a private insurance group like John Hancock. And so I would definitely say do your due diligence and go out and talk to somebody, whether you have a financial planner or not, an insurance professional.
If you don’t have someone, let us know. We can definitely get you to one of our trust advisers in one of our advisors and our trusted network and will be able to they’ll be able to answer that for you. But I would definitely say that even if you are considering the federal long term care program, that you should still get quotes from other companies, because that doesn’t just because it’s a federal long term care insurance program doesn’t mean that you can’t look elsewhere for a better premium.
And I’m going to I’m going to take it a little bit deeper here with the federal long term care when someone gets their parents on. It isn’t like health care where, hey, I could just throw my kids on, you know, and get a family or a selfless one, it is a separate policy for that parent, in this case in the federal care. So they have to go through their own health check. They have to pay for it themselves, but they get it through you.
Well, I’ll say through you know, I’ll say because of you through the better long term care insurance program. So if you can get it through that, then you should be able to get it through an outside one as well. But then here’s another issue that comes up. We just keep adding issues on top of issues here is that they’re honestly only about five of those companies left that provide traditional long term care policies. They’ve all gone. They’ve all stopped.
Well, I don’t want to say all, obviously, but all but a few have stopped giving out long term care insurance.
Insurance overall, because it’s not nearly as profitable as it was, in fact, as you mentioned, John Hancock, John Hancock doesn’t even provide long term care for anyone outside of the federal government. So. That’s right, yeah, and you have to think about if this person is looking at it for their parents, how enjoyable they are because with traditional long term care policies, it’s a lot like life insurance where you have to qualify medically for that. And there are certain things that you will default for that type of program like this.
And there may be other children there. If they have other assets, there can be living benefits and things like that that might be more beneficial for them than a traditional long term policy. And make that money stretch a little bit then just simply long term care. Yep, exactly.
So, again, a lot a lot there to think about when it comes to one simple question.
At least you should be a pretty simple answer, but it’s not. You can dive, you dive down a little bit deeper and it’s a little bit more complicated. OK, next question. Can you change your Fed Pilot any time or just a life event? What do you think so? Well, I know the answer to this one. It’s strictly a live event, but. Also, during a rare open season, they allow people to do this as well, right?
I think in the past 10 years, although there’s only been one open season, so they’re not consistent. It’s not something where the FEHB open season, where they do it on an annual basis or any sort of consistent basis at all.
And even when there was the open season, I think there was a lot of confusion about how that worked because your coverage didn’t go in place right away. So. To add to this question, you can change your FEGLI or you can increase your family at any time. Yeah, you can increase your family during a life event, cannot increase quickly at any time. I said that wrong, but you can decrease it at any time. So if you’re looking to get rid of coverage, you can do that at any point of your career or retirement.
Right, and that’s that’s I’m glad you pointed out, because that was the one thing I wanted to make sure we understood as change could be add to or it could be taken with. So you can take away at any time, but you can’t add to nor can you increase.
So if you’re at, let’s say, option B and you are at one times your salary, you cannot increase that at R to five times your salary. A life event. Now there is one other way that you can increase it, and that is if you go get a. Health check, if you go specifically qualify for it at that point. Here’s the thing, though, that also converts it from the currently group Life Insurance Program into your own private program with MetLife.
OK, so it converts it from the regular five year term, which is what they have with FEGLI to a permanent policy, because now they qualify medically and now they’re insured with MetLife directly through a conversion. OK, I don’t know if life is going to be the best for you. Yeah, there’s there’s definitely a whole lot more out of that part that we can get into, right.
Yeah. It’s just interesting that one again, one step leads to another, leads to another complication. Leads to. Oh my goodness. OK, well OK. Well then it changes. Well how does that work. And then you just keep going. So I think if a federal employee when that that, when they start their federal service. And they get Feigley and they get life or health insurance and they start their TSP and they don’t change anything and any of those and they don’t change agencies and they don’t do anything.
They’re still not going to do very well overall because you want to change things up, right? You want to say, oh, I need to change my health insurance and I need to do this with my TSP things have to change. And if someone just goes in and says this is what it is and they just keep their family the way it is, and then, oh my goodness, now I have children and, you know, maybe I need to change something and it it gets it any at any time it starts getting complicated like that.
Yeah, I mean, you need to make sure that these benefits are changing with you and your life style, right? I mean, what a single person at 20 seems to have is a lot different than even a single person at age 50. Yeah, right. And of course, if you throw marriage in there and children and divorces and all of these different factors into a life of a person, then obviously that that needs to change your your benefits, too.
And you want to make sure that you’re keeping up not only to keep the best rates, but just to make sure that these are the most advantageous for you and your family. And maybe family isn’t a good fit for you or maybe part of Figley is a good fit. But now you need other health insurance on the outside because of the limitations that are with FEGLI. Yeah. You know, if you have any questions about life insurance or FEGLI, let us know, we will get you in touch with one of our advisors and our trusted network who can help you answer those questions specifically to your unique needs.
And they’re not going to sales pitch. You’re going to just give you the facts. They’re going to give you the options. And that’s and again, in the last episode, we talked a little bit about this, but you mentioned that things change throughout your life. And so you’ve got to make sure that you’re doing it right for that stage of your life, which, again, you got to you got to talk to someone who for that stage your life, you’re making sure that you’re doing it right so that it sets you up for retirement in the future.
So I’ll just get these benefits, too. I mean, before you even get into, you know, whether or not I should have vaguely you’ve got to take a look at what you have. And if I know, do I have enough? If I overwintering myself, what does that look like and what does that do? The premiums in the future and all of those different factors. And, you know, that’s what I love about the folks that we have in our network, is they they get that report and they start from where you are now.
They look at those numbers and then they come up with some solutions if there’s any adjustments that need to be made. And of course, that’s, you know, no cost, no obligation. You don’t have to move forward with them. But knowledge is power. And our whole goal with this show is to provide encouragement for employees to take hold of their their benefits and own them. Yeah, you guys get them. Let’s let’s make sure that that they’re working the best for you.
You mentioned knowledge is power. I just interviewed a federal retiree who had retired in June of twenty twenty.
So as of this recording, it’s, what, four months later or so I going to go and and I said, OK, what’s one piece of advice that you have for someone who’s going to retire? She said, learn, learn as much as you can, get all the information that you can and just how important that is, because she had a really overall a really simple retirement. But it didn’t turn out simple, I mean, it was it got complicated and she thought it was going to be basic, but she ran into problems with H.R. and OPM and trying to do some things that should have been done a long time ago that that weren’t.
So, again, knowledge is power not only of the rules and laws of your complicated federal benefits, but also how they impact you personally. That’s the level of knowledge that has to happen as well. Absolutely. OK. OK, I think we have another question, Kevin, so let’s move. Where can I find out what I am in for? TSP I think they’re saying is where can I find out how much money I have in the TSP or how much I’m contributing to the TSP?
I think I think that’s what they’re.
It sounds like they want to have that overview and just generally be able to have that knowledge about their TSP, and that’s very simple. You just go to TSP dot gov and you can get a log in there. There might be a couple of steps that you have to go through. If you have any questions, call the TSP number select option three, and that should be able to get you to a person who can be able to answer any question that you might have and.
They should be able to. I think it’s I think it’s great how you know, what option.
OK, listen, you’ve done this so much that you know the options, OK? One is for this to us for this. Three is it just cracks me up.
I don’t know where you’re working with employers, which I was, you know, a few years ago, then I had to help them get into how do I get my TSP information. This is actually not an uncommon question. You would think that people would, you know, know how to do this. And it would be easy, but it’s not. It’s like many other federal government things is it can get complicated. Yeah.
So anyways, so good. So again, what I did, I represented three of you. Want to talk to the right person.
There you go. So if you don’t if you want to know what the other options are for how to do other things in your TSP, one thing you can do obviously is go to Fednobabble.com and sign up and we will get you to one of the advisors and our trusted network. And they’re going to answer all the questions for you. And they’re going to do this report actually, Cassie does the report and Cassie will do a report for you and the advisor will go over it with you and explain it all to you.
No cost, no obligation, no sales pitch. Just knowledge is basically what it is. That’s right, that’s right, and, you know, also, please, like and subscribe, share, share this video, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to YouTube and just help us to get the word out there and others who are in your situation. Well, lots of questions about what happens to their benefits. And thank you guys for watching. Take care.