Diplonomics

The art and science of achieving financial independence while pursuing a career in the US Foreign Service

We serve members of DOS, USAID, FCS, FAS, DS, and other agencies.

A life in the US Foreign Service presents unique financial challenges and opportunities. As the only financial planning firm dedicated to serving the Foreign Service community, Carrington Financial Planning has gained tremendous insight into the financial lives of Foreign Service employees. We use our expertise to provide advice on a wide range of personal financial issues.

Carrington Financial Planning is uniquely qualified to provide leading-edge financial planning services to Foreign Service families posted around the world. New technology and developments in financial planning tools, including web-based applications, make it possible to work with us remotely to create and maintain highly tailored financial plans.
What Topics Are Addressed During The Planning Process?

Retirement, Foreign Service benefits, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), FSPS pension, EFM employment, homeownership issues, rental property, college funding, investments (IRAs and taxable accounts), insurance, estate planning, student loans, budgeting and other issues.

Retirement Planning

The Thrift Savings Plan is an excellent vehicle for accumulating retirement savings. If managed properly, it can grow to be your most valuable asset, even surpassing the value of your home. The TSP is intended to be one-third of the FSPS retirement system, yet participation is optional and the burden is on employees to manage their own TSP portfolios. We help you choose the annual contribution amount and appropriate fund allocation to provide the best chance for a successful retirement.

Uneven Cash Flow Issues

Total family income can vary considerably from post to post making financial planning difficult. We have developed a process to help clients plan for a secure future in spite of the uneven cash flow often experienced throughout a Foreign Service career.

Absentee Homeowner Strategy

Many FS employees have enjoyed the benefit of building home equity by renting out their primary residence. The idea of being an absentee homeowner is unappealing and even frightening to many people. However, it is important to understand this unique opportunity. We can help you decide if owning and managing property while overseas is right for you.

Tandem Economics: 1+1 Is Greater Than 2
Tandem Economics refers to the unusual financial opportunities available to Foreign Service tandem couples. Many tandem couples do not fully appreciate the compounding effect of building two FSPS pensions, two TSP accounts, and two full Social Security benefits. In addition, having two incomes while living overseas provides an additional dimension of financial opportunity. We work with many tandem couples to help them take full advantage of their unique financial opportunities.
Educational Webinars

William Carrington presents a webinar series called “Financial Planning for the Foreign Service: Pathways to Financial Independence”.  Please contact us for details about the next webinar broadcast, or check the Foreign Service Money Matters blog on this website or on Facebook.

Below is a simplified diagram of our recommended Foreign Service financial life plan. We believe this is the path to financial independence. Please let us show you how to achieve this using the Foreign Service benefits system.
Recommended Foreign Service financial lifecycle diagram

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