top of page


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.

team members working on laptops.


The team at Retire Federal are seasoned specialists, each having an average of 35 years of experience. They can help navigate the complexity of your situation and assist with the critical decisions you will need to make at retirement.

Tammy and her team strive to help her clients see the complete picture of how their retirement will compare to the salary they bring home in their paychecks every two weeks.  She knows that it is important to surround herself with great people so that Retire Federal can help as many federal employees who seek this thorough and individualized retirement counseling experience.

Tammy Flanagan Headshot


Founder and 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.  You can contact Tammy’s team and find individual retirement and pre-retirement counseling services  at


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 1987. 


Since 2006, Tammy has authored the popular weekly “Retirement Planning” column for Government Executive online magazine. More than 250,000 subscribers have learned how to prepare for a smooth transition to retirement through this regular feature.. 


Tammy has been a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association since 1988. In 2015, she engaged with NARFE 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 through  membership.


Ms. Flanagan is a frequent co-host of the “For Your Benefit” radio program that is heard on Federal News Network. The hour-long broadcasts are archived online and heard live on Monday’s at 10 am EST. 


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.


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


Through her relationship with Micah Shilanski, CFP, Tammy's newest endeavor is a popular podcast that she co-hosts with Micah called Plan Your Federal Retirement.

Picture of Bob Braunstein.


Retirement Specialist 

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

• Medicare

• Federal Insurances: Health, Life, Dental/Vision, and Long-Term Care

• Flexible Spending Accounts

• Thrifts Savings Plan


Education:  Bachelor of Arts (History), Georgetown University

Picture of Michele Bollier.


Retirement & Benefits Specialist

Michele Bollier is a retired Federal employee, who started her career as a GS 1 and moved to a career in Human Resources in 1986 as the Federal government changed retirement systems and continued to enhance other benefits. She has counseled thousands of employees and ensured their retirement cases were complete and accurate for a smooth transition to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) annuitant rolls.  As a supervisor of the Benefits Program, she led a team in five locations who provided approximately 9000 employees counseling on their benefits and retirement. Michele developed and provided various informational classes including new employee orientation,Planning for the Future, FEHB and Medicare as well as others of interest at different points in one’s career.  She produced reference materials for her office as well as for employees on benefit resources, options at retirement, etc., and created the Bureau Benefits webpage.  She ended her Federal career with the Department of the Interior after over 42 years. 


Michele moved to an encore career to use her comprehensive knowledge and innate ability to explain the various complexities of FERS and CSRS Retirement Systems, Federal Insurances, Flexible Spending Accounts, Thrift Savings Plan, Social Security and Medicare so employees understand their compensation package and the impact it may have on their family and financial future. She has experience with live classroom presentations, in both large (over 200) and small groups, as well as virtual training.  Now she is an instructor with the National Institute of Transition Planning (NITP) ensuring employees at Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, NIH, EPA, Army COE, MDA, FEMA, HHS, SBA, USDA, NRC, etc., have a comprehensive understanding of their compensation package.  


She earned her BA in Business from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA in 1982 and later an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminar in 1991. While with the government, she attended various technical courses and workshops on Federal benefits, training, and presentation skills. She is a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).  She has been a presenter with NITP since 2017. Michele has a passion to ensure all Federal employees she meets along her travels are taking advantage of the TSP and other benefits offered.  

Picture of Deborah Hatch.


Retirement Specialist 

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.



  • Federal Retirement & Benefits, Social Security, Organizational Leadership, Behavioral Assessment, Foundations of Supervision, and Supervisory Soft Skills specialist / instructor.  2000 – present.

  • Founder and CEO, Pinnacle Personnel Services, LLC., 2005 – present.

  • Co-author, federal retirement chapters, LRP Federal Publications, Federal Manager’s Guide 2008 – 2014.

  • CEO and Senior Instructor, Federal Benefits Services, LLC., 2013 – present.

  • Instructor, Long Term Care Partners, 2016 – present.

  • Military Blended Retirement System (BRS) Financial Counselor / Educator. 2017 – present. l employee, served as an employee relations specialist, labor relations specialist, alternative dispute resolution 3rd party neutral, awards chair, employee relations committee and workforce development council chair, assistant chief of human resources, federal long term care, retirement & benefits specialist. 1995 – 2004.

  • Bachelor of Science degree, Business Management, Maryland University. 2001.

  • Professional member, Society for Human Resources Management.  2003 – present.

  • Professional Human Resources certification, HR Certification Institute.  2003 – 2015.

  • Member, National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association. 2005 – present.

  • Master of Science degree, Organizational Leadership, Norwich University.  2011.



  • As a federal retirement expert, I teach federal employees how to make informed decisions about their retirement and financial future without trying to sell them investments or financial counseling.  I’m 100%about information and education.  My goal is to present information in such a way that everyone will understand it.

  • Extensive knowledge of federal retirement for CSRS, CSRS-offset, FERS, TransFERS, FERS-RAE, and FERS-FRAE for traditional employees as well as special provisions for federal law enforcement officers, fire fighters, air traffic controllers, customs and border protection officers, and physicians and dentists under Title 38.

  • Military mom (16 years) and spouse (25 years).  My son, daughter, and husband are/have been in the US military.  We have a family history of service.

Picture of Mercedes Johnson.


Retirement  Specialist 

Ms. Johnson has been involved in Federal benefits for 37+ years.  As a federal and D.C. government human resources professional, she researched, analyzed, and interpreted new and changing guidelines, legislation, and regulations regarding Federal benefits and retirement programs.  She has extensive knowledge and expertise of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), and the DC and Federal Judicial Retirement Systems.  Over her career, Mercedes has processed hundreds of retirements and provided one-on-one counseling to employees, judges, and spouses to ensure that they receive accurate information as they embark on their retirement journey.


During her career with Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Ms. Johnson served as Benefits Specialist providing assistance to justices, judges, and survivor annuitants on retirement and benefit programs such as CSRS, FERS, FEHB, FEGLI, Social Security, Medicare, , FEDVIP, Flexible Spending Accounts, Long Term Care, Thrift Savings Plan, and Spouse Equity laws.  She maintained Federal benefit and retirement programs for 8,000+ Federal Judges in addition to survivor annuitants. She established, managed, and sustained agency-developed benefit and retirement programs which included the Judicial Retirement System (JRS) and the Judicial Survivor Annuity System (JSAS).  


While with D.C. Courts, she served as Human Resources Specialist, Benefits Officer, and Acting Deputy Director of Human Resources, directing a skilled team of human resources professionals in all areas of human resources.  Ms. Johnson and her team educated employees on programs including Federal retirement programs (CSRS and FERS), including Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) also known as Special Provisions employees.  These programs also included unemployment compensation, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security, FEHB, FEGLI, Medicare, FEDVIP, Federal Long-Term Care, Federal Flexible Spending Accounts, payroll, HRIS, and other related programs. She coordinated the changes to benefits plans for court employees due to the adoption of the National Capital Revitalization Act of 1997.  She implemented a self-developed phased retirement program for all employees. She received the D.C. Courts Outstanding Service Award.


Upon retiring from Federal service, Ms. Johnson developed and delivered in-person and online training on all aspects of federal retirement and benefit programs.  Her seminar audiences’ range in size from 25 to 500 attendees and feedback from attendees has always been exemplary.  Mercedes has been a guest host on NITP’s weekly radio show “For Your Benefit” which airs on Federal News Radio in Washington, DC.


Ms. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts, Human Resources Management, from the University of Maryland University College.

Picture of James Marshall.


Retirement Specialist

James Marshall has personally processed over a thousand federal retirement cases for various agencies in both the Executive and Legislative Branches, and ensured that many more retirees received the benefits they were expecting in a timely manner.


Over the years, by providing agency on-site counseling, James has assisted thousands of federal employees with understanding all of the complex issues that they face when preparing for retirement.  James looks at the bigger picture and constantly analyzes various service details to give the employee the most complete information, allowing the employee to make the best decisions for him/herself.


Even the more seasoned agency retirement counselors, who may have been around for decades, have relied on James for guidance and/or assistance for some of the more complicated cases.


James has helped identify and correct hundreds of errors made by agencies and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), sometimes netting the employee hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in retirement income each year.  James is highly adept at identifying retirement coverage errors and is exceptionally skilled at providing the federal employee with a comprehensive understanding of his/her rights and options under the Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act (FERCCA).


James can help you become better prepared for your future federal retirement and give you peace of mind, as you will be aware of the unique circumstances that might impact your future benefits.  After spending time with James, there shouldn’t be any surprises at the time of retirement, and you’ll be properly educated and equipped to make the best decisions for you and your family.

Picture of Karen Walrath.


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.


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!


bottom of page