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Money Matters

  • Retirement Planning for Trailing Spouses
    Part One: Planning for Two Retirements in a One Income Family This is Part I of the Retirement Planning for Trailing Spouses series written by Foreign Service spouse and professional financial planner, Hui-Chin Chen to explore planning techniques for trailing spouses under different employment scenarios: self-employed, employed in local economy, and telecommuting for a U.S. [...]
  • Financial Security and the Foreign Service Spouse (Part III)
    Retirement Matters The first two articles in this series focused on banking, credit, and joint ownership of assets. Now, on to retirement! The Foreign Service Pension Plan (FSPS) When a Foreign Service Officer completes the paperwork for pension benefits, he/she must designate a beneficiary in the event of death. It is important to make sure [...]
  • Financial Security and the Foreign Service Spouse (Part II)
    Establishing Co-Ownership of Material Assets This article originally appeared in the December, 2013 issue of the Global Link newsletter. The first article in this series discussed several ways in which a Foreign Service spouse (or secondary earner) can establish an independent financial identity and ensure joint ownership of financial assets such as savings accounts. It [...]
  • Bridging a Financial Gap That We All Face
    John K. Naland Director, Office of Retirement, Department of State This article first appeared in the Fall 2013 newsletter of the American Foreign Service Protective Association. Did you know that there is an unavoidable delay between when a Foreign Service annuitant dies and when their survivor starts receiving benefits? Last year, the Senior Living Foundation [...]
  • Financial Security and the Foreign Service Spouse (Part I)
    Most accompanying spouses in the Foreign Service have reduced their income and/or income potential in order to support their officer’s career. But, income is only one measure of overall financial security. There are many ways in which spouses can ensure that if the worst happens—divorce or unexpected death—they will be able to stand on their own two feet.
  • Understanding the Basics of Medical Insurance
    As Foreign Service Officers and family members, we often must plan for the future. One of the least understood planning tools is medical insurance. This is especially important when you are posted to the United States. Access to the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) is a significant benefit of federal employment. Yet, there is [...]
  • International Roaming and the Foreign Service
    (Or How I Learned to Not Be Stupid and Pay in Advance) In July of this year, I got a notice for my final bill from AT&T after suspending our account with them. I expected it to be in line with my normal monthly charges, plus a few days’ worth of pro-rated usage. Imagine my [...]

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