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"FantasyTSP™ and Discussion Forum for the Thrift Savings Plan Investor"
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Newest member: regnerus
July 21
Does this seem a sensible withdrawal plan?
by  United States celtic | 21 Comments

We've been good little squirrels and have $1M+ in TSP and 400k+ in other retirement accounts including 100k+ in a Roth. No debt, and we own our home and a Fl condo. We have minimal assets outside of these retirement accounts & properties; we've kept a HELOC & life insurance cash value available and untapped for emergencies. We've tracked spending to the penny for decades, so our expenses are predictable. Inflation & taxes & markets & health costs are the long range wild cards, as they are for all of us. No pressing legacy needs other than continuing charity and generosity with family.

We are considering retirement in 2 years at 62. Pensions after taxes will cover 72% of our expenses, both essential and nonessential. Taking social security early could cover the rest, but delaying the higher earner to age 70 seems more prudent. And so we face an income gap to fill with withdrawals from retirement accounts.

We need a plan that will 1) replace the HELOC option with accessible emergency funds; 2) cover the income gap age 62-70; and 3) facilitate some fun sooner than later - all while minimizing taxes and preserving assets through our lives.

I am considering at retirement a partial TSP withdrawal, around 50-80k, to increase our liquidity & cash reserves, followed by life expectancy based monthly withdrawals for the remaining TSP $1M. We'll leave the other retirement accounts alone. The annual amount of the TSP balance withdrawn begins at 4.2% (equals a more conservative and reasonable 3% of our total retirement assets) and is recomputed annually based on year end balance. It would likely be more than we need, yet would not trigger a higher tax bracket, and we would invest the excess. Payments then drop sharply at age 70 when the TSP switches to a different actuarial table to compute RMD. I only recently learned about this switch and it seems to play out perfectly for us, as our delayed SS would start at 70 and more than cover the decreased TSP payments.

I know this plan violates the frequent recommendation to delay drawing TSP as long as possible. And I realize a 2002ish event could impact the TSP balance long range, though we'd then likely counteract by scaling back expenses and investing more outside the TSP. We could alternatively pull from other retirement accounts first, but the simplicity of TSP life expectancy based monthly payments is appealing, as is the prospect of having extra cash and accumulating reserves. We have been so frugal & careful for so long, I expect we would otherwise withdraw only exactly what was needed out of habit, only to pay more taxes in a higher bracket later.

It would be nice to shift to a more automatic and relaxed mode in retirement. Though I'm open to cautions and alternative suggestions...

July 18
Did a missile bring down today's markets or
by  United States crondanet5 | 10 Comments

was this "Sell the news event" incorporated into a Thursday afternoon planned market selloff to further screw the little people holding stock options that expire tomorrow? The selloff had to put the squeeze on many speculators hoping the market would go up. I don't know if it was a planned selloff or not. Obviously I am looking for a plot here that simply may not be there. My autistic pattern sensor says it is there but I cannot put my finger on it. Anyway, tomorrow afternoon is Bingo time so let's see what happens. Will the market go up? Will it continue to go up next week as more companies report better than expected earnings? We'll have to wait until next Friday to see how the tea leaves settle in the bottom of the tea cup. I'd love to see the S Fund go to an all-time new high. Bet you would too. Good luck to all.

July 17
Need information
by  United States pat | 6 Comments

I work for the postal service and make 58,000 yearly. I am contributing 300.00 every pay period and they are posting $410.00 a pay period. That means they are giving me only $110.00 a pay period, isn't it supposed to be 5%? . My math tells me 5% of $300.00 is $15.00. Am I doing this right or how much do I need to contribute in order for them to match my amount. Thanks

July 17
Anyone using $BPSPX Bullish Percent Index?
by  United States - Florida Lafrinere | 3 Comments

See this link$BPSPX

I added full stochastic 14, 3, 3 and the results look to be good for buy/sell signals. Daily period with a 3 month range seems to be easier to read. What are your thoughts?

July 17
Contribution question
by  United States - Alabama LoGiK | 14 Comments

I’m looking to get some opinions from people who have been investing in the TSP much longer than me. I got tasked to deploy later this year and see this as a great catch up opportunity for my retirement, and my financial situation.

I opened a Roth TSP and by the time I deploy I’ll just be short of $1k contributions. I’m an e4 with a base pay of $2,338; in addition during my deployment I’ll be making $912 BAH, $352 BAS, $105 per diem, $100 Hardship Duty Pay, and $225 Hostile Fire pay per month. Everything will be tax free for my 6 month deployment - I will be making a little over $4k a month. I am storing my house hold goods/car, and don’t expect to be spending much during my deployment.

Ideally I’d like to contribute $3.5k a month to my TSP, max that out after 5 months. Then throw the last $3.5k into my Roth IRA. Not too shabby for a 23yr old and it would be a good start to my retirement. I don’t have a brokerage account, but I am interested in trading. Would it make more sense to throw that last $3.5k, or even a portion of that, into an account to mess (learn) around with? The $500 I don’t invest each month will be saved for anything I’d like to buy while there, and the rest will go toward a new car down payment (new car in the next 3-4 years) and by new car I mean slightly used car.

Another option my supervisor suggested was not investing all of it into my TSP, but set some aside for a house down payment. Not for my current assignment, but maybe my next one. Though I know nothing about housing.

Any inputs, suggestions, advice or information you wished you knew when you started investing you’d like to share would be greatly appreciated.

July 17
Why are the C & S Funds Diverging Recently?
by  United States - Pennsylvania Sptms2086 | 7 Comments

Through today (16 July), the C Fund is up 1.18% during this month, while the S Fund is down 2.02%. Most of the time, the two funds generally move in similar directions - although the S often moves further than the C. Any thoughts on why the two funds are diverging this month, and what it may mean?

July 13
Now about last week's selloff.
by  United States crondanet5 | 6 Comments

Was it general fear, post Holiday, Europe, Middle East? Or was it something else? Was it something the business talkies never seem to address. Was it actually a
pre-Options Expiration Week selloff to screw the small investors' stock options? Did it make it easy for the big investor to place an option for the stock going higher the week of Options Expiration? This phenomena is one of my pet theories. I don't have any chart data going back 6 months or so to prove it. Perhaps some of our chart makers could prove me right or wrong? If I'm right, the conclusion would be to sell your position the Friday before the week of Options Expiration. Can anybody prove this hypothesis with a chart we can all read?

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TSP Share Prices for Jul 21, 2014
    Close Day YTD
   G Fund $14.4728 +0.02% +1.30%
   F Fund $16.4356 +0.04% +4.41%
   C Fund $25.7904 -0.23% +8.02%
   S Fund $34.9349 -0.35% +3.75%
   I Fund $26.5238 -0.25% +3.75%
   L 2050 $14.8336 -0.22% +5.48%
   L 2040 $26.1019 -0.19% +5.11%
   L 2030 $24.5576 -0.16% +4.68%
   L 2020 $22.6729 -0.12% +4.02%
   L Income $17.2411 -0.03% +2.52%
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AGG (F Fund)
iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond (AGG)

S&P 500 (C Fund)

Wilshire 4500 (S Fund)
Dow Jones Wilshire 4500 Complet (^DWCPF)

EFA (I Fund)
iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA)