​​Our Team can help you to Maximize Your Federal Retirement Benefits

Retire Federal was founded with the central goal of providing civilian federal employees with the resources, guidance and understanding needed to maximize your federal retirement benefits. ​Tammy and her team are dedicated to helping you​, the federal employee, understand the complex rules of retirement planning so that you will receive the full value of your federal retirement benefits. There is never a better time to begin planning for your retirement. We have found a variety of formats to assist you in every aspect of your retirement planning from the basic information needed by new ​and mid-career ​employees to more complex issues encountered by those who are ​planning to retire or ​already living in retirement.



Tammy Flanagan has been providing retirement planning assistance to federal employees since 1985 when she first began her work as a retirement benefits specialist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Her extensive knowledge of the federal benefits systems and her ability to explain difficult concepts in an easy to understand manner has made her a sought after speaker and presenter at pre-retirement seminars, training conferences and online training events. Throughout her career, she has also enjoyed assisting individual employees by providing guidance and pre-retirement benefits counseling.


 Ms. Flanagan is the Senior Benefits Director for the National Institute of Transition Planning, Inc. which has been conducting pre-retirement seminars and workshops throughout the Washington, DC area and beyond since 1985.  Since 2006, Tammy has authored the popular weekly “Retirement Planning” column for Government Executive online magazine. More than 200,000 subscribers have learned how to prepare for a smooth transition to retirement through this regular feature available at You will also find Ms. Flanagan as a frequent co-host of the “For Your Benefit” radio program that is heard on Federal News Radio. The hour long broadcasts are archived online at and heard live on Monday’s at 10 am EST.


In 2015, Ms. Flanagan became certified in long term care insurance and has conducted webinars and live events for the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.  Her webinars can be found archived at Tammy has been a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association since 1988. In 2015, she engaged with NARFE more formally to provide training through the NARFE Federal Benefits Institute that was implemented in that same year. NARFE provides many valuable services to federal employees and retirees and membership is available at


Retirement planning involves several areas of expertise besides an understanding of federal retirement benefits. Tammy has developed relationships with certified financial planners, estate planning attorneys and certified public accounts and has partnered with these professionals in coordinating individual retirement plans.

 Through her relationship with Micah Shilanski, CFP, Tammy and Micah have developed a series of online training programs on a variety of topics that join Tammy’s benefit knowledge with Micah’s financial planning expertise and are available for individual enrollment at


Tammy was honored to have been selected as one of Money Magazine’s “Money Heroes” of 2012 for the service that she provides to help federal employees prepare for life after retirement.



Sheila Nichols is a retirement and benefits expert, helping federal employees transition from their federal careers into retirement. She retired from the federal government herself in 2015 after 33 years of federal service. Ms. Nichols has worked for the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She has given various seminars over the years on topics related to retirement and benefits to federal employees. In 2010, Ms. Nichols received the highest honor bestowed upon NIST employees, the Bronze Medal, recognizing her for her superb leadership and customer service in helping employees navigate through their federal benefits and into retirement.


Upon her retirement from federal service, Ms. Nichols created her own business, HR4U2 LLC, providing training and consulting services in human resources. Her passion is providing benefits and retirement counseling and helping others transition smoothly into retirement. Ms. Nichols most recently provided her retirement and benefits expertise under a contract with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).


Ms. Nichols is currently working with Long Term Care Partners LLC and gives presentations on long term care insurance for federal employees and retirees. She is an active member of the National Active Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) and the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).


Ms. Nichols has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Frostburg State University and a M.B.A. from Frostburg as well.

She lives in Venice, Florida with her husband and four teacup poodles (Martini, Shaker, Margarita, and Salt).



Your first contact with Retire Federal is usually with Karen.  She will help you understand the benefit, value and cost of doing business with our team and help prepare you for your individual consultation.  Karen joined Retire Federal in 2016 and serves as business manager, bookkeeper, scheduling coordinator, accounts receivable specialist as well as all around class act providing friendly and professional customer service to our clients.  Karen, a CPA, hails from Wisconsin with a BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Karen spent 20 plus years working in administration in the post-secondary education field.  Karen and her equally friendly husband, Tom, have two grown children and live in Bradenton, FL.


Retire Federal adheres to four important principles for every consultation, seminar, and webinar that we conduct:






These foundational principles have guided the successful consultations offered to countless civilian federal

employees in the U.S. and around the world.


Contact us today to take ownership over your retirement!

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Tammy Flanagan

Retirement Benefits Specialist