Accordion Doors: Personal and Commercial Uses

There are few doors as charming as accordion doors. These vertically-folding doors are a favorite of architects and interior designers, and with good reason: they are not only practical, but also look great. Accordion doors are useful for closets and small rooms because they don’t take up much space when closed, but they can be opened to cover a large area. They are great for getting fresh air into an attic or basement, too, and they can be used to separate a room in half without taking up much space.

Accordion doors are made of wood (the original accordion door), steel, aluminum, or vinyl and are available in a variety of styles and colors, including multi-panel and sliding — all finely made and expanded upon by companies such as Woodfold accordion doors ( The panels are folding or rolling and extend closed or open. They are also available with various locking systems.

Woodfold 220 Accordion Door, the most popular style for homes

Commercial Accordion Doors

Larger accordion doors have many applications in commercial real estate – and there’s even another type of accordion door that serves a very important function for businesses, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

In the meantime, here are a few commercial applications to consider for your accordion door.

  1. Regulate temperature more effectively
  2. Keep buildings dry
  3. Save space
  4. Save money
  5. Save energy
  6. Improve security
  7. Maintain privacy
  8. Separate a room
  9. Provide temporary divisions
  10. Deaden sound for environments where acoustics are important

Folding Closures

The accordion door is a popular security door for commercial real estate. Perhaps the greatest thing about the accordion door is that it can be used in so many different ways to achieve the same result: to keep a building secure. Commercial accordion doors are commonly used as fire doors and security doors in hotels, banks, and other businesses.

The most common kind for this application? Folding metal doors.

Mobilflex Concept 1212 Security Door — rugged, secure and attractive

Ever pass by a retail store in a mall when it’s about to close? How about businesses in the crammed strips of densely populated cities?

When business hours are wrapping up, a folding metal door is a common sight. These special doors maintain security and keep intruders out after-hours.

When your business is in one of these areas, a folding closure is an absolute essential. They come in many different sizes and styles for your unit, depending on the degree of security that needs to be maintained. Some businesses go for doors that secure the store while giving bystanders a clear view, others (such as banks and warehouses) are best matched with doors that block the entire view so no prying eyes can peek.

Mobilflex Global, ideal for protection against prying eyes

The important thing is to choose a folding closure that gives an assurance of security, regardless of the kind your store needs. MobilFlex folding doors are state-of-the-art in security, made of tempered aluminum and extremely rugged. Some even serve a dual function as a kind of decor.

The entire range of MobilFlex commercial folding doors is available at


Best Home Security Systems supplier

Whether you are an expert supplier or installer or a do-it-yourself fanatic, our on the internet shop lugs the products you require to create an unbelievable smart home. We provide smart illumination, DIY and Pro-grade protection systems, structured wiring items, thermostats and also intercom systems. We also offer home automation and also protection tools suitable with Alexa, Google Home, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee and a lot more. Each bundle features a variety of protection video cameras, alarm sensors and also various other equipment that you can blend and match to fit your home`s protection demands. Scout supplies four packages, and also it also allows clients to build their own protection package. Our company believe in securing your information as well as your person and also personal belongings. Please read this notice meticulously to comprehend what we do. If you do not understand any kind does cox homelife camera have sound of aspects of our Personal privacy Policy, please do not hesitate to Contact United States or as defined in Section 7 of this Privacy Plan. You may receive e-mail deals from us based on our Privacy Plan. Answer the sharp, and also you can see, listen to and talk to people on your residential property from anywhere. Sound Flood Lamp Cam is the first HD safety and security cam with built-in flood lamps, two-way talk and also a siren alarm. Floodlight Camera beams the lights and starts recording as quickly as activity is detected. And also you`ll also obtain an alert. on your phone and also tablet computer to allow you know that someone`s at your home. When you address the sharp, you can see, hear and talk to people on your residential property from anywhere.

Does SimpliSafe call the police?

With SimpliSafe`s professional monitoring and police dispatch, they call you when the alarm is triggered. If the secondary contact doesn`t answer, then a SimpliSafe representative calls 911.

If your Wi-Fi network or smart phone is compromised, enemies can gain access to your protection system. Consequently, home network safety is just as important as discovering the very best home security system. Precursor uses a three-year guarantee for all of its hardware, plus a 60-day money-back warranty for home owners, making it simple to cut ties without prices if the Precursor system doesn`t work out. Also the fundamental self-monitoring plans consist of push notices for mobile phones, live video camera feed watching, and Residence home automation integration. If you do experience troubles with setup, nonetheless, SimpliSafe assistance schedules an expert installment– install assistance isn`t offered over the phone.

  • Wireless systems are commonly faster to install than wired systems and are very easy to move in between locations.
  • There are a number of steps you can require to make certain your home security system is secure from malicious cyber intruders.
  • ADT home security systems are backed by more than 140 years of experience.
  • You`ll pay a little bit more for Frontpoint, however it`s at the top of its class for full-service DIY home security.

The Typical Plan is available in at roughly $0.20 each day, while the Pro Strategy prices $0.66 a day. Home plans are offered in both the USA as well as Canada. Arrangement can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes if house owners adhere to the video clip tutorials offered by the business; on-line chat is also available to aid individuals solve mount problems. Ring has only been in business for regarding a years, offering it less time to gather durable customer support rankings like long-standing competitor ADT. Nevertheless, Ring is generally well-reviewed by both users and also independent market critics. Ring alarm agreements as well as pricing are all about keeping things basic as well as straightforward for users. home security systems If you have electronic cameras, you can likewise choose self-monitoring with video recordings for $3 a month per electronic camera. Installment prices $79, however there`s an extra cost if you want a doorbell electronic camera installed. Just the Structure plan is completely DIY– all other SimpliSafe offerings include DIY or professional arrangement options. Ring Alarm Safety System loads the power of whole-home safety and security into a budget friendly, DIY plan. ADT puts your privacy initially, as well as we do not offer your individual data. Blue by ADT products utilize login failure lockout as well vivint z wave thermostat as password strength support, as well as security innovation. With 6.2 million consumers, ADT is the most trusted name in home security. With HD video, 2-way talk, as well as night vision, the Blue Buzzer Camera is the following best thing.

Real Estate

Ottawa Real Estate Market Update

Ottawa realtors sold 964 homes and condos in January 2021. This figure compares with 778 residential homes sold in January 2020 representing an increase of 24% in sales volume for the city compared with January 2020.

674 freehold type (non-condo) residential houses were sold by Ottawa real estate agents in January 2021 showing an increase of 21% from a year ago and 290 Ottawa condos were sold representing a substantial increase of 31% from January 2020.

While inventory is up from December 2020, it is still greatly down from the average last year with 43% fewer properties available for sale in the Ottawa real estate market. This shortage of available homes for sale further causes residential property prices to increase as most houses in Ottawa now sell with multiple buyers bidding and generally causing the property to sell for over the asking price. Specific offer presentation dates and times are the norm now in the city.

The average sale price for Ottawa condos for sale was $380000 an increase of 13% from last year. The average price for a freehold house in Ottawa was $677000 an increase of 31% from January 2020.

Relative to December 2020 the sale price for Ottawa condominiums increased by 7 per cent while freehold Ottawa houses for sale increased by 12 per cent.

There were 63 houses that sold for over one million dollars in Ottawa in January 2020 relative to only 16 such transactions one year ago. Million-dollar properties are no longer unique and most indicators predict more houses will sell in the million dollar and more price point in 2021.

This trend shows a pent-up buyer demand that drove January’s resale housing market drastically higher since January 2020 and the trend is continuing upwards in sales values in Ottawa real estate.

Keep in mind these sale figures are based on average sold prices of Ottawa condos and houses sold on the MLS listings platform. Property values can be drastically different based on location, neighborhood, age, size and condition of the structures. For a more detailed and accurate property value analyzes make sure to consult a real estate professional and appraiser.

The province and city-wide Covid-19 related shutdowns and subsequent government financial help seem to have dramatically altered the capital’s housing market conditions. Pent-up demand especially for single houses in suburbs, such as Barrhaven homes for sale and the lowest interest rate available in more than a generation created a huge demand for housing. The number of listings on the market cannot keep pace with the increasing number of buyers looking for new homes. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues into the latter part of 2021 or whether the Ottawa residential market undergoes yet another change this year.

If you are a home buyer you are well advised to prepare for the home buying process. Sellers strongly prefer firm offers with no conditions. Your finances therefore must be in excellent order and the mortgage pre-approval is a must have when bidding for a property. Furthermore, most buyers need to accept the unique and often frustrating reality of multiple buyers bidding on homes. This makes the house hunting process much more complex and longer. Patience and the ability to give strong and attractive offers are key to successfully purchase a home in Ottawa in this market.


Should I Make a Roth contribution or a Traditional IRA Contribution?

IRAs remain a great way to set aside funds for retirement, even though most people nowadays have access to a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings plan at work. One of the most common questions people have about IRAs is whether they should invest in a traditional or a Roth IRA? Given that many employer retirement plans now offer a Roth option as well, you may well be faced with the Roth vs. traditional contribution decision there as well.

There are important differences between traditional and Roth IRAs that you need to understand in order to make the best choice for you. Following is a brief explanation of each type of IRA and how they work to help you make the right choice. Additionally, if you’re more of a visual thinker, you might find this flowchart helpful in choosing between a traditional or Roth IRA contribution.

The Main Differences

Roth IRAs were first introduced in 1988 as an alternative to traditional IRAs for retirement savers. The differences between traditional and Roth IRAs mainly have to do with taxation.

Annual contributions made to traditional IRAs are tax-deductible if you meet certain criteria. This could lower your current taxes by lowering your taxable income. Also, contributions grow on a tax-deferred basis, which can increase the size of your investment portfolio by the time you retire.

Roth IRA contributions aren’t tax deductible so you’ll receive no current tax benefit when you choose a Roth account. But Roth IRAs offer another tax benefit that could be even more valuable for some people: Withdrawals are made tax-free when you enter retirement because you’ve already paid taxes on the funds.

With a traditional IRA, you’ll pay tax at your ordinary income tax rate when you start withdrawing funds in retirement. So your retirement savings likely aren’t going to go as far if the funds are held in a traditional IRA than they will if they’re held in a Roth IRA.

Deduction Now or Tax-Free Withdrawals Later?

The decision about a traditional or Roth IRA essentially comes down to which is more valuable to you: receiving a tax deduction now or withdrawing money tax-free after you retire?

This might come down to whether you believe you’ll be in a higher or lower tax bracket after you retire. Predicting future tax rates is a crapshoot at best, especially if you’re decades away from retirement. But many people end up in a lower tax bracket after they retire since their income is lower. In this scenario, contributing to a traditional IRA will likely result in lower overall taxes being paid.

On the other hand, not having to pay income tax on Roth IRA distributions in retirement could help you stretch out your retirement savings longer. This could be especially important to you if you’re concerned about running out of money before you die or you want to leave an inheritance for your heirs as they won’t pay taxes on Roth distributions either.

There are different withdrawal rules for traditional and Roth IRAs that could also factor into your decision. Withdrawals made from traditional IRAs before you turn 59½ are generally included in your gross income and subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty. But you can withdraw Roth IRA principal (not earnings) penalty- and tax-free at any age and for any purpose. This is why some people use Roth IRAs as a supplemental college savings vehicle.

Required minimum distributions (or RMDs) from traditional IRAs are yet another factor to consider. In most situations, you must begin withdrawing money from a traditional IRA when you turn 72 years old because Uncle Sam won’t let you put off paying income tax on your retirement savings indefinitely.

However, there are no RMDs with Roth IRAs because the money has already been taxed. So if you don’t need IRA money to meet your living expenses during the early years of your retirement, you can leave the money in your account so it can continue growing tax-free throughout your lifetime.

Do You Qualify for a Roth IRA?

Keep in mind that there are income limits, so depending on your income you might not qualify to open and contribute to a Roth IRA.

If you’re married and file a joint tax return and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is greater than $208,000 (or $140,000 if you’re single) in 2021, you are ineligible to open and contribute to a Roth IRA. If you’re married and file a joint tax return and your MAGI is between $198,000 and $208,000 (or $125,000 and $140,000 if you’re single) in 2021, you’re eligible to make a reduced contribution to a Roth IRA.

Also, depending on whether you have access to a retirement plan at work, you may or may not be able to deduct your traditional IRA contributions as this IRS chart illustrates. If neither you nor your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, you will generally be allowed to deduct your IRA contributions on your tax return. But if either of you is covered by a retirement plan at work, you might not be able to deduct your IRA contributions, depending on how much money you earn (you’ll find the IRS rules on this here).

As you can see, there are several different factors in the traditional vs. Roth IRA decision and these will vary from one person to the next. We can help you make the right decision based on your unique situation.

yield farming
Real Estate

Marco Kozlowski Real Estate Reviews

Real estate investing is a complicated business. A lot of decisions go into making a successful property purchase and then either turning it over for a profit with a flip, or renting it out. Marco Kozlowski has made a huge success in real estate and his students couldn’t be happier.

Check out all of the reviews here on Marco’s website.

Yield Farming in 2021

Aside from real estate I’ve been getting into cryptocurrency trading. I came across something really exciting at the end of 2020 and have run head first into 2021 with this new wealth building phenomenon.

Over the last year we have seen the increase of defi (decentralized finance) take over the world of cryptocurrency. When I initially went down the bunny hole of bitcoin in 2011 it had to do with decentralized money. We required to take back control of money from lenders. Then, with the rise of ethereum we had the ability to launch startups during the ico trend of 2016-2018. Then in 2019, hex began the defi craze we see today.
Hex was the very first completed crypto product i had experienced. There was no roadmap. The code was composed and anyone who wished to participate in the world’s first decentralized certificate of deposit might merely transfer hex into the smart contract. Their hex would become shares which upon completion of the contract would yield hex in the kind of trustless interest. Boom, the first genuinely decentralized defi product in crypto was born.

I learned about a defi project called makerdao and was quickly captivated by the idea of collateral locked into the software application protocol to create dollar-linked stablecoins called dai. “that was my entry to what we call defi,” anjos states. “at the time there wasn’t really a name for it. “.

Unlike other defi projects that pre-mine tokens, bryan legend, ceo of clever defi pty ltd and the team hold zero preliminary supply and this more offers credence to the project. Rather, the team is paid a portion (0. 1%) of the interest supplied by the smart contract every cycle. This fee is allocated towards marketing, research study and other activities that would foster the upkeep of a flourishing ecosystem. The benefits of a no preliminary token supply imply that clva is safe from the dishonest practice that prevails in the defi sector, whereby charter members discard their pre-mined tokens after launch which typically triggers a drop in price.

It does, and in defi that money is mostly supplied by complete strangers on the web. That’s why the start-ups behind these decentralized banking applications create creative ways to bring in hodlers with idle assets. Liquidity is the chief concern of all these different products. That is: just how much money do they have locked in their smart contracts? Uniswap is an “automatic market maker,” or amm (another defi regard to art). This suggests uniswap is a robot on the web that is always ready to purchase and it’s likewise always willing to sell any cryptocurrency for which it has a market.

Check out this crypto course to learn all about DeFi and yield farming.


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San Diego Solar Power Installers

residential solar power

There are several benefits of the installation of solar energy systems on commercial or industrial properties. For example, the usage of solar energy decreases reliance on commercially purchased electricity that is often erratic and costly. Installing solar panels provides the opportunity to reduce water and electrical intake while simultaneously contributing to a greener environment. Additionally, using residential solar energy means that there’ll be no upkeep expenses. Additionally, using residential solar energy improves the ability of the structure to withstand adverse weather conditions.


Photovoltaic (PV) panels may be installed as stationary structures or can be put together with construction materials like gravel and asphalt to make pergola, pavilions, or awnings. Residential solar energy systems may also be incorporated into existing structures as incorporated landscapes; by integrating landscape architects to the design procedure the result can be significantly improved. Along with improving the aesthetics of the house, integrated landscape architecture also has real benefits such as greater energy efficiency. As a part of an integrated site model, solar power systems can also be incorporated into modular construction buildings or incorporate pv into existing structures as part of an integrated architecture.


Installing residential solar energy generation systems allow you to tap into the renewable renewable energy of the sun. This way, sunlight not only heats your house and offers hot water, but in addition, it results in the carbon savings of your residence. The more sunlight you receive, the more power generation capacities of your system is going to have. Another advantage of residential solar power is the energy savings it allows. As more individuals become conscious of the significance of using alternative sources of energy, the desire for reduced energy intake raises.


Residential solar pv systems are based on conventional solar power programs, however they use the use of technical materials which make them different. A thin film of silicon is employed to solar panels so as to form thin layers of solar cell material that accumulates the sunlight in the sunlight and converts it into electricity. Since the sun’s light cannot be used at all without silicon, these layers are incredibly thin and do not demand any kind of complex mechanism in order to collect the rays. Residential solar panels can function at maximum output for about twenty-five years until they have to be replaced. This lifecycle can considerably reduce your power bills. When purchasing a system, make sure you research how much of your initial investment can actually be stored through its use!


Residential solar panels are produced in two distinct ways: through the sale of power to the local power utility or via a lease with the local utility company. Lease programs together with the utility companies tend to be more costly than purchasing panels through a leasing company. However, purchasing these panels through a rental program will usually permit you to pay for the initial cost of this equipment much quicker, and will provide you with a more’payback period’. If you rent the panels out of a leasing firm, ensure that the provider sells the panels for you on a monthly basis. This will pay for the cost of the equipment over time, making it easier for you to recoup your costs.


The expense of purchasing residential solar panels is much less than it would cost to cover a power grid tie method. Since residential solar panels produce electricity from the sun’s rays, they do not interfere with the normal performance of your house’s power supply. Furthermore, they do not create any greenhouse gases or smog, meaning that you will not have to worry about toxic air contamination that many folks would have to endure if they were to utilize a traditional electricity system. In the end, by having a home made solar panel system installed, you will be using an fantastic opportunity to save money. It’s projected that, in case you should generate the identical level of electricity you currently do, you can pay approximately fifty cents every day in electrical charge expenditure independently.


San Diego Window Replacement Companies

Window Replacement

Among the nicest investments you can ever make for your house in San Diego is to fully replace your older, drafty doors and windows. Together with the proper new doorways and doors, your house will certainly benefit from improved energy efficiency and increased property value. And better still, stunning new sliding glass doors and window replacements can greatly compliment and improve your distinctive house design for years to come. Obviously, to find the perfect match, you will have to employ San Diego windows replacement specialists that are proficient in fitting all kinds of doors and windows. So how do you pick the right company?


– First, look at the quality of the work. A fantastic firm will flaunt its extensive assortment of local and imported windows, doors and dividers so you can easily compare quality and prices. Furthermore, reputable window replacement San Diego firms have their own showrooms where you are able to view and quantify every one of their goods and discuss the project . You may bring your own samples and have them quantified by a regional San Diego technician. The most reliable companies also have highly trained technicians who know how to correctly fit each item.


– Next, look at the window replacement San Diego cost list. Compare the characteristics and materials used for each item, in addition to the setup costs. Ensure that the price list includes the installation fee, which is typically not included in the first quote. It is common for several companies to bill extra installation fees when labor is added on to the bill. Start looking for a home window replacement cost that doesn’t include additional hidden fees.


– Check the guarantee policy. Your San Diego window replacement window installers’ guarantees will usually cover any defects in workmanship and materials used during the setup process. But, it is important to be aware that even the best guarantee isn’t a guarantee you won’t encounter difficulties. It is also important to know what the window installers will do when there are flaws or if the job isn’t done correctly.


– Always ask about renewal references. Fantastic window replacement San Diego companies ought to have the ability to provide you with three renewal references. Inquire about these references from several distinct companies. When you contact the references, ask about the setup procedure, quality of workmanship, the longevity of the windows and patio doors, and if they’d recommend the company for your next installment. This will give you an idea of the quality of the work the business provides.


– Once you get your three references, take some time to call each one. Only accept renewal estimates which include a personal phone number, or a site link which you may use to request a written quotation. Ask for a renewal price that includes a warranty on all vinyl replacement windows installations, the materials used, the quantity of labor billed, and the period of the guarantee. All these are the only elements of a good vinyl window installation that needs to be included in a renewal cost.


How Should You Invest Extra Cash?

If you find yourself with extra money at the end of the month or quarter after all of your expenses have been paid and you’ve made your regular retirement account contributions, congratulations! Now for the next question: should you be investing the extra cash, and if so how?

Following is a look at some of your options to help you decide the best course of action for your situation. But first, make sure that it is indeed excess cash and there aren’t any hidden or forgotten expenses lurking. If there are, devote the excess funds to these expenses first.

  1. Establish an emergency fund. A study recently conducted by the Federal Reserve found that four out of 10 Americans don’t have enough money in savings to cover a $400 unexpected expense. This drives home the importance of establishing an emergency savings fund you can easily tap when unexpected expenses arise, such as a car or appliance repair.

Everyone’s situation is different, but many financial experts recommend saving up between three and six months’ worth of living expenses in case of a financial emergency. This would likely be enough not only to cover an unexpected repair, but it could also help tide you over if you lose your job or experience a significant reduction in income.

Keep your emergency cash in an FDIC-insured savings account, like a bank or online money market account, so you can withdraw funds quickly and without penalty when they’re needed. You won’t earn much interest but that’s not the goal with emergency savings. The most important thing is that the funds be kept safe and liquid.

  1. Save for a short-term need. In addition to an emergency savings fund, you might also establish a savings fund for specific upcoming need. A car is a good example.

Instead of financing your next car, you could use extra cash to start a car savings fund. For example, let’s assume a monthly car payment of $400. If you put this much money in your car savings fund each month, in five years you would have $24,000 saved up to buy your next car. This could be enough money to buy a quality, low-mileage used vehicle or it could be a hefty down payment on a used vehicle, thus lower your car payments significantly. Beyond that, being able to pay cash means you have on less thing to haggle over when buying your car.

  1. Invest in alternative investments. There’s a whole universe of investments that go beyond stocks, bonds and Treasury issues. Known as alternative investments, these include real estate, art and collectibles, hedge funds, private equity, precious metals, commodities and cryptocurrencies, among others.

Alternative investments can provide more diversification to your portfolio. They usually have a low correlation with traditional investments so they can help smooth out portfolio volatility. Some alternatives can also provide a hedge against inflation and a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty. As your net worth grows, alternatives can help you spread your assets out among a wider range of different types of securities, thus reducing volatility. One note of caution when it comes to alternatives – they are typically less regulated and can be more complex than investing in stocks and bonds. So, before you invest in alternatives, make sure you have a clear understanding of the investment.

  1. Beef up your retirement savings. It’s never a bad idea to devote extra cash to a long-term financial goal like saving for retirement. If you haven’t maxed out contributions to your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement savings account for the year yet, consider putting your extra cash toward this.

In 2021, you and your spouse can each contribute up to $6,000 to a traditional or Roth IRA (or $7,000 if you’re 50 years of age or over), up to $13,500 to a SIMPLE IRA (or $16,500 if you’re 50 years of age or over) and up to $19,500 to a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan (or $25,500 if you’re 50 years of age of over). If you own a business or are self-employed, you can contribute up to $57,000 (or 25% of compensation) to a SEP IRA.

  1. Pay down debt. If you have high-interest outstanding consumer debt, paying this down may be a wise use of excess cash. But how should you prioritize paying down debt vs. saving or investing the money? Start by comparing the carry on your debt to what you could earn by saving or investing the funds.

For example, if you’re paying 19.5% interest on outstanding credit card debt, it’s pretty obvious that you’ll be better off paying this down than putting excess cash in a money market account earning less than one percent. But the answer isn’t as obvious if you’re trying to decide whether to pay down a 30-year mortgage with a low interest rate or invest the money for the long term, where it could generate a higher return than you’re paying in mortgage interest.

It often comes down to how you feel personally about debt. Some people just have an aversion to borrowing money and want to avoid debt or pay it down as quickly as possible regardless of what “the numbers” say. On the flip side, leverage can be a powerful financial tool if it’s used wisely and responsibly and you’re comfortable owing money.

As fee-only financial advisors, we can help you analyze these and other options and make the best decision regarding what to do with excess cash based on your situation. Book an introductory call with us or send us an email if you’d like to talk in more detail.


High-3 Salary

How to Calculate Your FERS Pension and Disability Benefits

As a federal government employee, you have access to the Federal Employees Retirement System, also called FERS for short. This system includes a pension as well as disability retirement program.

What is Your High-3 Salary?

To determine your FERS pension and disability benefits, you’ll start by making a calculation that’s referred to as your high-3 salary. This is the highest average basic pay that you earned during any three consecutive years while working for the federal government.

Basic pay includes your base salary plus any salary increases you receive from which retirement deductions are withheld, as well as shift rates and locality pay. It doesn’t include overtime pay, bonuses, military pay, cash awards, holiday or travel pay, or cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). The amount of your basic pay is indicated on your Standard For 50 (SF50) and your Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).

For most federal government employees, the highest three years of basic pay are the last three years that they work. In this case, go back three years from the date of separation to determine the starting date for your high-3 salary calculation. If you have had breaks in service, the three years don’t have to be continuous — you can join two or more separate periods of service together.

For example, let’s say you plan to retire on April 1, 2021, and have worked for the federal government continuously since then. If the past three years were your highest earnings years of basic pay, the starting date for your high-3 salary calculation would be April 1, 2018. If your basic pay during these three years was $70,000, $75,000 and $80,000, then your high-3 salary would be $75,000.

Determining Your Pension and Disability Benefits

Once you’ve calculated your high-3 salary, you can determine the amount of your pension and disability benefits. The FERS pension calculation is as follows:

High-3 Salary x Years of Creditable Service x % Pension Multiplier = Annual FERS Pension

If you’re under age 62 on the date of separation or 62 years of age or over and have less than 20 years of federal service, your pension multiplier is 1%. Assuming a $75,000 high-3 salary, your annual FERS pension would be $14,250 with 19 years of service.

However, if you’re 62 years of age or over on the date of separation and have 20 or more years of federal service, your pension multiplier is 1.1%. Assuming a $75,000 high-3 salary, your annual FERS pension would be $16,500 with 20 years of service.

The pension multiplier is the same (1.1%) for the FERS disability calculation if you’re 62 years of age or over on the date of separation and have 20 or more years of federal service. But if you’re under 62 years of age when you begin receiving disability benefits, you will receive 60% of your high-3 average salary minus 100% of your Social Security benefit for any month when you’re entitled to receive Social Security benefits during the first 12 months. After this, you will

receive 40% of your high-3 average salary minus 60% of your Social Security benefit for any month when you’re entitled to receive Social Security benefits.

Once you turn 62, your benefit will be recomputed using an amount that essentially represents the benefit you would have received if you had continued working until the day before your 62nd birthday and then retired under FERS.

How to Increase Your Pension Benefits

The best way to increase your FERS pension benefit is to continue working past your earliest eligibility date for retirement if you’re able to do so. This will increase both your length of service and your high-3 salary.

Going back to our hypothetical example, let’s say this individual worked five years longer, giving him 25 years of eligible service. This also boosted his high-3 salary to $80,000, thus increasing his FERS annual pension benefit to $22,000.

Don’t miss this critical point: By working an extra five years, this individual increased his FERS annual pension benefit by $5,500. If he spends 20 years in retirement, this adds up to an additional $110,000 in pension payments.

Plan Carefully

Your decision about when to retire will have a lasting and long-term impact on your retirement finances. So give this careful thought and plan to spend time crunching some numbers before making a final decision. Book an introductory call or send us an email if you’d like to talk about your situation in more detail.