Use It Or Lose Timeout

If you work or worked for the federal government you know that use it or lose it has a special meaning. It’s vacation time you’ve earned but can’t roll-over into the new year.

Out here in the private sector many of us don’t have the option of rolling over annual leave. The bosses, wisely, encourage their folks to take as much R & R as possible. So if you have vacation time, the idea is to use it.

All of this is by way of saying that, selfless as I am, I’ll be using (rather than losing) it over the next few days. But fear not, relief (for both of us) is on the way.

With the help of, and occasional lash of the cat ‘o nine tails by editor Suzanne Kubota, we’ve assembled a group of guest columns by experts in the field of retirement, finance and tax planning. In addition to a couple of regular columns by me, you will have the cream-of-the-crop from some of the best people in the fed-watching business. For example:


    Tomorrow (Tuesday) benefits expert John Elliott talks about options that federal retirees have if they choose, for whatever reason, to return to government service. It can be done, it is easier (and more lucrative) than ever and in many cases, agencies are anxious to reemploy annuitants.

So check it out. Keep clicking on the spot and I’ll see you back here January 3.

Memo to Would Be Burglars: I am not leaving town so don’t even think about storming my home, which is a replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon place. More than that Mongo, my part-wolf, part-Komodo dragon watch-thing will be on duty. He does not have any unused annual leave.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and see you in 2011!

Year In Review

Today on WFED’s For Your Benefit radio show, host Bob Leins will be talking with benefits experts Tammy Flanagan, John Elliott and me. The subject is what happened to federal and postal workers this year (if we can figure it out) and what’s ahead. Show time is 10 a.m. EST. Listen if you can. Call in if you like.

To reach me:

Nearly Useless Guest Factoid
Edited by Suzanne Kubota

“John at the Forest Service” writes:

    “Many people are unaware of the origin of the $ sign. The dollar sign came from the combination of U and S (for United States). The U was placed over the S and through the years, the bottom of the U disappeared.”

Dear Santa, Me too! Please? Happy holidays! sk


How to not outlive your retirement funds
Now that you’ve been saving for retirement, you might be wondering if you’ve saved enough. You’re not alone. Arthur Stein, certified financial planner with SPC Financial, explains how to avert a disaster.

Transit subsidy, Social Security tax break becomes law
President Obama signed into law on Friday the bipartisan tax package that gives a social security tax break and continues the monthly $230 transit benefit.