National security professional reveals personal FedLoan trainwreck
Play episode · 55 min

Alan is a national security specialist living in the D.C. area. He graduated with $120,000 of student loan debt, which had now climbed to $160,000 with interest. His wife is a vice principal with about $40,000 of student loan debt herself. Both are working toward student loan forgiveness — Alan with Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and his wife with Teacher Loan Forgiveness.


Learn about Alan’s struggles with FedLoan Servicing (the servicer in charge of all things PSLF) and how loan forgiveness is unfolding for both he and his wife. 


In today’s episode, you'll find out:


  • How Alan ended up in the national security field — and what that career is really like
  • What education is required to work in national security
  • When Alan first realized he had tons of student loan debt
  • How bad advice from his loan servicer led his loan balance ballooning
  • How the incentive structures of loan servicer call centers affect the advice you get
  • Why it’s usually best to use your prior tax returns to certify income for income-driven repayment plans
  • How student loans affect married couples filing taxes jointly or separately
  • Alan’s experience with FedLoan Servicing after inquiring about loan forgiveness
  • Why PSLF is usually the better option over Teacher Loan Forgiveness — and how both programs work
  • Why an emergency fund is essential, especially as the student loan debt crisis will likely get worse
  • Alan’s tips for dealing with the psychology of debt


Full show notes at: 

Retirement Answer Man
Retirement Answer Man
Roger Whitney, CFP®, CIMA®, RMA, CPWA®, AIF®
Unexpected Retirement: How Do I Find Work to Fill the Gap?
What do you do if you lose your job but you’re still not ready to retire? Whether it’s personally, professionally, or financially, if you’re not ready to retire then you’ll have to take action to find new employment. How do you fill that gap between this job loss and retirement? On this episode of Retirement Answer Man, we’ll brainstorm some ways that you can take action to find your next job. What happens to you when you lose your job? Losing your job sucks. It never feels good to get pushed in a direction that you aren’t ready to take. It can zap your confidence even if the job loss had nothing to do with your performance. There are several things that happen when you lose your job. You lose your connections. You lose the rhythm of your life. You lose the intellectual challenge. And of course, you lose your income. Losing your job can make it feel like all your dreams have been zapped away. What next? While it’s okay to have feelings of anger, sadness, and remorse, you don’t want to wallow in them. One outlet you can take is to journal. When I’m faced with a difficult situation, I like to get all my feelings out on paper. I essentially yell into the page. This form of release can even help me figure out what my next step will be. If you find yourself floundering and you don’t know what to do next, be sure to listen to episode 346 to discover some first steps to take when you lose your job. It’s important to start to get that forward momentum going so you don’t just sit there shellshocked. Ways to fill the income gap quickly What if you are really strapped for cash and you need income right away? If you don’t have the cash reserves to wait out a lengthy job search there are several ways that you can start earning income quickly. * File for unemployment * Register at temp agencies like Manpower. * Declutter your house and sell things on OfferUp or eBay. * Deliver groceries or food with UberEats or drive for Uber. * Consider a job at Starbucks if you need health benefits. * Tutor online or teach English remotely None of these are perfect solutions, but they can help you be proactive and gain forward momentum. How do you move forward in your job search? The first step to take in your job search is to update your resume. It may have been a while since you have done so. Here are some tips for resume writing from an experienced HR professional: * Look for keywords in the jobs that you want. Listen in to hear why your resume often won’t make it past the screening stage without these keywords. * Have a base resume then tweak it to the specific job. Gone are the days when you only have one resume. * Review resume examples for the job you want. * Make your resume simple and easy to read. * Focus on measurable accomplishments. * Put the most important information first and only use the last 10 years of your work history in your resume. * Use these action verbs to help your resume stand out. Listen in to hear what you should do after you update your resume to help you take action and find your next job. Stick around until the end to hear the Coaches Corner segment with BW to learn about your changing relationships in retirement. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [3:52] What happens to you when you lose your job unexpectedly? * [10:02] Ways to fill the gap quickly * [13:08] How do you move forward in your job search? COACHES CORNER WITH BW * [20:20] Changing relationships with your spouse * [23:40] What can you do to help your relationship? * [28:12] Define your roles * [31:04] Communication is key TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT * [38:47] Pick a couple of ways to take action Resources Mentioned In This Episode 139 Action Verbs Episode 346 - 5 Things to do When You’re Suddenly Retired Rock Retirement Club Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That BOOK - Rock Retirement by Roger Whitney Work with Roger Roger’s Retirement Learning Center
41 min
Retirement Starts Today Radio
Retirement Starts Today Radio
Benjamin Brandt CFP®, RICP®
Medicare Basics: What to Expect as You Approach Age 65 with Danielle Roberts, Ep # 163
You asked and I listened. This summer I asked you all for your thoughts on the show and many people responded that they wanted to hear more deep dives into complex subjects. We tried this out with the Living Off Your Savings series and now we’re taking some extra time to discuss Medicare. This episode is the first of a 4 episode series on Medicare. Grab your headphones and press play to begin your Medicare education. Since I am not a Medicare expert, I have invited Danielle Roberts with Boomer Benefits to teach us about this nuanced subject. Make sure to stick around until the end of the episode to learn how you can get a free copy of Danielle’s new book, 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make. Outline of This Episode * [3:22] When should people start looking into Medicare in earnest? * [7:10] Why is Medicare Easy-Pay a good option? * [10:03] What will medicare pay for? * [12:25] What do your taxes pay for? * [17:15] Part D is an optional drug plan When should someone start thinking about Medicare? The official Medicare enrollment period begins 3 months before your 65th birthday and this is often the time when people usually begin to start thinking about Medicare. Age 64.5 is a great time to begin to research your Medicare choices. In addition to Danielle’s book, there are plenty of resources online to help you educate yourself. After you listen to this series, YouTube and the Medicare website are good places to continue learning. What costs are involved in Medicare? Some people are surprised to find that Medicare is not free. There are costs involved that you need to be aware of to properly plan for retirement. In addition to the monthly fee taken directly out of your Social Security payment, there are deductibles for inpatient and outpatient services as well as copays or coinsurance for doctor visits. Listen in to understand why it’s important to do your research early on to decide on what kind of extra coverage you may need. What are the different parts of Medicare? Medicare Part A is what your Medicare payroll taxes have been paying for all these years and it covers hospital stays. Part B is what gets taken out of your Social Security check each month and this piece covers outpatient care. Medicare Part B pays only 80% so it is important to consider how you will cover the other 20%. This 20% can be supplemented in 2 ways. Listen in to hear what the difference is between Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans. How you can receive a FREE copy of Danielle’s book Danielle is a fountain of Medicare information, so you won’t want to miss this series. On the next episode, you’ll hear what to expect if you retire before or after age 65. If you want a chance to get a free copy of Danielle’s book sign up for the Every Day is Saturday newsletter and respond to that email with a promise to leave an honest review of this podcast and Danielle’s book. So, if you haven’t already signed up for Every Day is Saturday, head over to and hit subscribe. Resources & People Mentioned * Start here to listen to the Living Off Your Savings series Connect with Danielle Roberts * Boomer Benefits * BOOK - 10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make by Danielle Roberts Connect with Benjamin Brandt * Get the Retire-Ready Toolkit: * Follow Ben on Twitter: Subscribe to Retirement Starts Today on Apple Podcasts,Stitcher,TuneIn,Podbean,Player FM,iHeart, orSpotify
22 min
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