Retirement Benefits Specialist
MEET OUR TEAM
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.
PRINCIPAL RETIREMENT SPECIALIST
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 www.govexec.com. 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 www.federalnewsradio.com 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 www.ltcfeds.com. 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 www.narfe.org
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.
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).
CLIENT DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
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.
Deborah L. Hatch, MSOL
Human Resources & Benefits Instructor/Consultant
Deborah Hatch has an extensive amount of training experience in both technical and soft skill elements of human resources management, leadership, and federal benefits. Debbie has worked for, and with the federal government for over 24 years. She was a federal employee herself, within Departments of Defense, Air Force, and Veterans Affairs. After leaving the government, Debbie worked with Federal Benefits Services, LLC. (2004 – present), and created her own company, Pinnacle Personnel Services, LLC. (2005 – present). She has conducted hundreds of seminars and webinars for dozens of federal agencies and 50+ DoD installations, worldwide. She’s trained thousands of federal employees on their retirement and federal benefits.
The technical stuff:
The more important stuff:
Robert J. Braunstein
Federal Retirement and Benefits Consultant/Instructor
Bob Braunstein is a proven subject matter expert in all areas related to Federal Retirement and Benefits programs including those associated with unique occupational categories such as law enforcement, fire fighters, air traffic controllers and positions within the Federal Intelligence community. Bob gained most of his Federal benefits background as a human resources professional working for the Federal government. His Federal HR career spanned over 30 years and took him through numerous agencies including The Department of Health Education and Welfare (now HHS), Department of Veterans Affairs, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Since retiring from Federal service in 1997, Bob has continued to assist thousands of federal employees preparing for their retirement from active Federal service as a Federal Benefits Seminar Presenter for the National Institute of Transition Planning. His seminar audiences range in size from 25 to 700 attendees and feedback from attendees is always at the highest levels. Bob is also a frequent guest host on NITP’s weekly radio show “For Your Benefit” which airs on Federal News Radio in Washington, DC.
In addition to conducting seminars, Bob counsels many private clients, including those with retirement coverage errors that fall under the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA). FERCCA requires knowledge of remedies and provisions that go beyond the scope of regular retirement rules and regulations and assist affected individuals with choosing between alternative retirement coverage options. His in depth understanding of these and other complex retirement and benefits rules and regulations, coupled with a strong ability to simplify and convey information on these important topics, provides his seminar audiences and clients with a complete understanding of their entitlements. This understanding is critical for ensuring they develop and follow financial strategies that ensure they meet their retirement lifestyle goals and objectives.
Major Areas of Expertise:
• CSRS, CSRS Offset, FERS, FSRDS, FSPS, and other unique Federal Retirement plans
• Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA)
• Social Security
• Federal Insurances: Health, Life, Dental/Vision, and Long Term Care
• Flexible Spending Accounts
• Thrifts Savings Plan
Education: Bachelor of Arts (History), Georgetown University
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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