The Foreign Service Journal, December 2020

72 DECEMBER 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL December is the month of giving. For many, that means donating time and/or money to one or more nonprofit organizations. While many charities have suspended in-person volun- teer opportunities due to the pandemic, they still welcome financial donations to help fund their operations. Here are three organiza- tions that support distinct parts of the Foreign Service community—youth, spouses and seniors—plus one orga- nization that educates the public about what the Foreign Service does. I am a longtime supporter of all four. If your finances permit you to make charitable donations this holiday season, please consider supporting one or more of these good causes. Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF) is dedicated to helping Foreign Service youth embrace the adventure of their interna- tionally mobile childhood. Programs include webinars, workshops, family meet-up events, five annual contests and college scholarships. You may become a member or contribute by credit card on the FSYF website at or via Combined Federal Campaign code 39436. Associates of the Ameri- can Foreign Service World- wide (AAFSW) is the primary advocate and support network for family members of Foreign Service employees. You can become a member or contribute through PayPal on the AAFSWwebsite at aafsw. org. The Senior Living Foundation of the Ameri- can Foreign Service (SLF) assists retired Foreign Service members and their survi- vors who find themselves in financial difficulties. Support can take the form of monthly grants to cover costs, such as home health care or medi- cal transportation, as well as one-time grants for items like hearing aids and wheelchairs. You may contribute by credit card on the SLF website at Association for Diplo- matic Studies and Training (ADST) works to capture, preserve and share the experi- ences of America’s diplomats with the public via programs including recording the oral histories of Foreign Service retirees and their family members, and facilitating the preparation and publication of books and memoirs. You can become a member or contribute by credit card on the ADST website at adst. org. n Support Our Foreign Service Community RETIREE VP VOICE | BY JOHN K. NALAND AFSA NEWS Contact: Early and Mid-Career Retirement Planning Seminar In a Sept. 24 online virtual presentation, AFSA Retiree VP John Naland summarized the steps that early and mid- career employees should take to best position themselves for life after the Foreign Service. Mr. Naland, a former director of the State Department’s Office of Retirement, took members through the steps they need to take to ensure they are ready for retirement. He shared a detailed checklist outlining the things prospective retirees need to do and the websites they need to visit to prepare for a successful transition. View the checklist at retirechecklist. In his one-hour overview of Foreign Service retirement, Mr. Naland touched on the following topics: •What if you resign before you can retire? • Understanding your pen- sion (aka your annuity) • Retirement planning resources • AFSA services for retirees • TSP: Stocks vs. bonds, Roth IRAs vs. traditional • Health insurance and life insurance after retirement • Divorce and Foreign Ser- vice retirement benefits • Social Security: When to start, will it still be there? • Prognosis on future benefits cuts “This is unofficial guidance,”Mr. Naland said at the beginning of the presentation. “This is your retire- ment. You need to do the due diligence. Consult the official State Department publica- tions, and the Foreign Service Institute has some great retirement planning courses.” One of the FSI retirement courses, he added, provides 30 hours of information. Mr. Naland’s presentation is available to AFSAmembers at You can also visit AFSA’s one-stop shop for retirement information at retirement-services. n AFSA Retiree VP John Naland shares retirement planning tips with AFSA Members during a Sept. 24 video presentation. AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH