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Federal Employee Retirement Cost Analysis

Pre and Post Retirement Review


Federal  CSRS & FERS Employee's Pre and Post Retirement Cost Analysis

Your expenses, pre and post retirement, must be reviewed so that you and your spouse will know how much you will have to live on after retirement. This section will help you analyze your personal situation and determine how many dollars you will have after paying for the necessities of life. You will be able to determine if your lifestyle will change dramatically. It will also help you focus on the realities of retirement and help you assess whether or not you will need to work part time to supplement your income.


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    Now is the time to pull together all of your receipts, pay statements, loans, credit card balances, and bank account information. There are many things to consider for both CSRS and FERS federal employees and the sample spreadsheet included on this page will help you see the value of completing this form. A copy of the Microsoft Excel Retirement Cost analysis spreadsheet is available on this site. You can save the spreadsheet to your local computer hard drive and work on it off line. This spreadsheet shows approximately what you will have left over after you pay all of your bills before and after you retire. The last column represents what your survivor will have remaining from their reduced annuity after you die. This exercise provides an opportunity for you to review and make changes to increase you retirement income.

    Gather Up the following Documents in preparation for completing this spreadsheet:

    • Pay Stubs
    • Insurance Policies
      • Life
      • Auto
      • Home
      • Umbrella
      • Long Term Care
    • Loans
    • Utility costs
    • Other expense items
    • Last years taxes


    Table R1, listed below, is not all inclusive and you can add or remove expenses as you see fit on the downloaded version. The sample here is for a federal employee who will soon retire at age 55. He is a CSRS employee and worked 35 years for Uncle Sam. His top grade was a GS-11, step 6.

    All expenses are listed on the chart for pre retirement per year and month and again for post retirement per year and month. The last column is for calculating what your spouse will have to live on with current expenses after you pass on. This is a very revealing analysis. Note that in retirement this person will be living on an annuity of approximately $36,985. His total expenses after retirement are $33,835 leaving him with a buffer of just over $3,000 for emergencies. If there are unanticipated expenses or increased costs this person will need to be able to tap other retirement savings such as savings bonds, his Thrift Savings plan, or other investment income. The other option, if you don't have much in your other savings plans, is to continue to work at least part time some where.

    NOTE: The example leaves out the spouses income in this example so the retiree will know what their total expenses will be based on the annuitants income only. A spouse could be laid off or stop working for other reasons. This example shows that the total expenses pre retirement are greater than the employee's gross pay and can be typical with working couples. Just one more reason to plan ahead for retirement.

    After completing this chart you may determine that it is not feasible for you to retire if you were depending 100% on annuity income. Most in the federal sector have the Thrift savings plan which can substantially augment your retirement income. Others purchased savings bonds through payroll deduction and you and your spouse may be eligible for social security when you reach age 62 or older if you worked over 40 quarters, 10 years, in the private sector. If you are in the FERS system and retire at or after your eligibility date a social security supplement may help you make ends meet. Download our FREE Report - How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire. This report includes the sample cost analysis spreadsheet from this section.

    The last column is significant to the surviving spouse. In this example, the surviving spouse's annuity reduces to 55 percent of the retiree's annuity, or $20,341. The survivor has expenses totaling $19,680, way to close for comfort. Ideally, insurance would add a blanket of security for the survivor along with social security, Thrift Savings and other investment income. The survivor may have to change their lifestyle considerably to live comfortably in retirement.

    For a professional comprehensive review of your personal situation a Benefits Specialist can prepare an analysis of your benefits, income and expenses with trend lines that reveal you and your spouses expenses verses total retirement income from all sources. A sample analys is is available online. Notice the trend lines on the report, they are very revealing. This independent service is not affiliated with

    The above discussion should get you thinking about where you need to go from here. You can cut unnecessary expenses, possibly move to a less expensive home, sell the second car. There are lots of options. Also, in the survivor's case, there are a number of cost cutting things they can do immediately such as change their health insurance from a family plan to self only. This one action alone can save thousands each year. A full survivor annuity election will decrease your net monthly payment buy approximately 10%. Visit our Survivor Concerns page for a complete discussion on this subject.  

    Calculators that will help you with this process

Federal Annuity

  • FERS Calculation (Manual Method)
  • CSRS Calculation (Manual Method)

    Sample Retirement Cost Analysis Spreadsheet
    (Table R-1)

    Download a free sample Excel Spreadsheet to estimate your income and expenses in retirement. Also review the Asset Allocation Chart for ways to protect your assets for your heirs.

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    NOTE: If you prefer a printable income and expense worksheet in pdf format that you and your spouse/partner can sit down at the table and complete together, download this PDF version. This version frees you from having to sit at the computer to complete the task.


    EXPENSE Pre/year Pre/mo Post/year Post/mo Survivor  Comments
    Mortgage 13800 1150 0 0 0 Paid off mortgage t
    Mtg Taxes 3800 317 3800 316 3800  
    Gas 1050 87.5 1050 87.5 1050  
    Light 1100 92 1100 92 900  
    Phone 500 42 360 30 360  
    Water/Sewage 720 60 720 60 432  
    Security 0 0 0 0 0  
    Garbage 116 10 116 10 116  
    Lawn Service 0 0 0 0 0  
    Cable 540 45 540 45 540  
    Internet Access 363.4 21.95 363.4 21.95 363.4  
    SUBTOTALS 21989.4 1825.45 8049.4 662.45 7561.4  
    FEGLI         59K 237.74 19.81 237.74 19.81 0 75% reduction to $0 at 65
    Policy 1       25K 265 22 265 22 0  
    Policy 2                   
    Home Care 457 39 457 38 0  
    Policy 1       25K 216 18 216 18 216  
    Policy 2        3K 0 0 0 0 0  
    Home Care 444 37 444 37 444  
    Home 490 40.83 490 40.83 490  
    Umbrella 0 0 0 0 0  
    Car #1 585 48.75 585 48.75 0  
    Car #2 600 50 600 50 600  
    Mobile Home            
    Motor Cycle            
    Health Ins 3692 307.66 3692 307.66 1113.6 Survivor change to self only
    SUBTOTALS 6986.74 583.05 6986.74 582.05 2863.6  
    Gross Pay 56,900 4,741 36,985 3,082 20,341  
    Social Security            
    CSRS Ret  (7%) 3,983 331.87 0 0   Amount paid into CSRS
    State Tax   (3%) 1707 142 0 0   PA does not tax retirement
    Fed Tax     7,567 630 3,500 291 1500 Varies per exemptions
    Medicare 804 67 0 0    
    TSP 3,983 367 0 0   No contributions after retire
    CFC 26 2 0 0                        "
    Savings Bond 1,300 108 0 0                        "
    SUBTOTALS 19369.53 1647.87 3500 291 1500  
    Car 1 1200 100 600 50 0 Check for rate reductions
    Car 2 600 50 500 41 400  
    Maint 1 200 17 200 17 0  
    Maint 2 200 17 200 17 300  
    Loan 2592 216 0 0 0  
    SUBTOTALS 4792 400 1500 125 700  
    Groceries 8500 704 7000 583 4000  
    Clothing 1500 125 1000 83 1000 Depends on habits/etc.
    SUBTOTALS 10000 829 8000 666 5000  
    Eat Out 1800 150 2400 200 1000  
    Misc 1200 100 2400 200 1000  
    SUBTOTALS 3000 250 4800 400 2000  
    EXPENSES 21989 1825 8049 662 7561  
    INSURANCE 8557 721.23 7986.2 664.9 2919  
    PAY WITHHOLD 19,367 1697 3500 291 1500  
    AUTOS 4192 400 1500 125 700  
    FOOD/MISC 10000 829 8000 666 5000  
    ENTERTAIN 3000 250 4800 400 2000  
    TOTAL ALL 67105 5722.23 33835.2 2808.9 19680  



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