1. Begin planning your retirement at the beginning of employment.

2. Attend several pre-retirement postal and APWU seminars.

3. Keep your retirement plan confidential. This allows you to change your mind if events or personal circumstances change your plan.

4. Keep your plans with your spouse so both your interests can be preserved in your new life style. Consult with your spouse knowing there is a spousal consent requirement.

5. Learn the facts of your many retirement options from an expert, Mr. Douglas Cowan Holbrook, National Director of the APWU Retirees Department, the postal retirement counselor in your office, and the APWU Area Local/local Union President, APWU Retiree Director, and APWU Retirement Counselors in your local and state.

6. Review your life and health insurance needs and figure the cost as you decide which policies to take with you into retirement. Understand how age will impact the cost of your life insurance.

7. Stay where you are for about a year after you retire. This will help you make a wise decision on whether to stay close to family and friends or move to a new area in Florida or out of state.

8. Take advantage of the various Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) options (CSRS-FERS) available to you. Save the maximum you can, even if you will only be in the program for a year or less.

9. Take financial inventory and budget for unexpected expenses like increasing college tuition for your children or grandchildren or medical care for you or a loved one.

10. Take advantage of all the retirement information provided by APWU Retirees Dept., U.S.P.S., OPM, and independent sources.


1. Retiring on the spur of the moment because of a difficult assignment or personality clash on the job. The “early out of 1992” is a good example of lack of retirement planning by retiring postal employees and USPS.

2. Failing to discuss retirement plans with your spouse or loved ones, and retiring “from” something without having something better to do.

3. Expecting to live comfortably on your annuity without making realistic calculations of how much money it will take to maintain your current standard of living or lifestyle.

4. Retiring without realizing that Twenty-five (25) years of service under CSRS will yield only Forty-six and twenty-five/one hundreds (46.25) percent and each additional year of service after 25 years will yield only two (2) percent of your High 3 year average earnings.

5. Failing to stay abreast of developments and changes in federal retirement entitlement programs and trends on the Congressional scene.

6. Retiring without reviewing all the CSRS or FERS retirement options, and the pros and cons of each with USPS, OPM, Social Security, Medicare, Thrift Savings Plan, and the APWU Retirees Department.

7. Basing retirement decision on the advice of friends, rather than consulting with the experts at the national, state, and local levels.

8 Selling your house and moving to an area, without being sure of the cultural, social, and economic realities of the move.

9. Believing that your active productive life is over just because you are retiring. Most employees retiring have the union in their blood, and have the opportunity to continue being active as a $24.00 year dues paying member of the National APWU Retirees Department.

10. Failing to review all your service and entitlements to be sure you get the proper credit. Believing that the estimate you receive from the postal service is the actual amount of your annuity.

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