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"FantasyTSP™ and Discussion Forum for the Thrift Savings Plan Investor"
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10,649 members, 10 online
Newest member: maildude15
July 27
F fund
by  United States harmonicab | 1 Comment

Could someone please give a brief explanation of how the F fund could lose value? I don't understand how diversified investment grade securities could ever lose money. Thanks!

July 24
No double top on IWM
by  United States - Virginia boltman | 9 Comments

Looks like a bullish cup and handle pattern is playing out on IWM, which bodes well for the S fund.

July 24
TSP Maxing Question
by  United States cfichera | 24 Comments

So up until recently, and by that I mean this morning when I read all the new comments on Lollipop's thread, I had always thought that when people talked about maxing out TSP it was doing the 5%. Now it seems like what it means is doing the 5% then contributing even more on top of that.

I guess to me that doesn't really make sense to do....idk maybe I am missing something which is highly possible.

The 5% match..yes makes sense it's free money. But then to take money away from your pay check just to place it into a retirement system that most complain about with the 2 IFT per month rule and limited options to buy just doesn't register as a "smart" money move. Now I am going to talk through it below in the way that I am "seeing" this. Please comment and tell me how I am wrong or maybe....right? lol As many know I am a young engineer that just started my Fed service in Oct 2012 and I just turned 27 years old so I for sure wanna make sure I don't do too many bone head moves when it comes to my retirement down the road.

Ok here are my thoughts:

Going into the TSP Calculators tab and doing the projection calculator I enter in my current information and keeping it conservative so that way I make sure to get a realistic possible outcome. When I input FERS, 5%, $54000, 27, $5000, 65, 12%, 1% I get a potential $4.9 million in my TSP when I retire at age 65. This is how I consider that conservative; I get my GS11 this October and my real TSP balance is closer to $6K but I rounded down. Also this shows me only making about $79K when I hit 65 which I know is not going to be the case, or at least hope not :shock: And I also feel that making an average of 12% per year is obtainable. With that said I am pretty pumped about that possible number being in my account one day. This is more than enough for me to have a comfortable retirement and to have money left over for the kids when me and the wife pass away.

So then where is the advantage of contributing more money? Which is only taking away funds which could be used to live a little while we are still young. Setting the same numbers but doing my contributions to 10% only got me 4.9 million about 3 years earlier. Putting it at 15% got me 4.9 million about 5 years earlier.

Now I do plan on taking my "extra money" after I get a few more raises and finished having kids and investing into other retirement type accounts for the advantages of having my money spread out into different markets and being able to take advantage of different rules like people have mentioned about being able to take money out from certain accounts for rainy days or whatever.

So I am not against investing as much as possible for retirement but why so much more over the 5% for TSP?

July 23
TSP Newbie Question
by  United States lollipop02 | 18 Comments

Hi All!

I am sure people come to this board all the time with newbie questions. I've been working for the government for 3.5 years and have always contributed to the TSP since day 1. However, I never took the time to actually see what it meant and how it worked until about two days ago. I'm 25. I also just upped my contribution since it was nowhere near the 5% agency match. Didn't up it to the total 5%, but I did increase it as I realized not doing so was a disadvantage to me.

One of my co-workers was asking if I played around with my funds and I told him no I just kept it simple and had my money going into the G fund. However, after my research the other day I split things up amongst the G, C, S, and I. I split them something like 30% for S and I and 20 for C and G. However, I am just wondering (as I am an investment neo) how do you sell shares? (Is that what you do when you make an interfund transfer?) I've been watching CNBC and trying to pay attention to some of the investment sites online to see what's going on with the stocks and the international uproar and I noticed the S and P is slated to hit 2000 (in my eyes I don't see myself making another transfer immediately nor do I totally understand what that means). I'm just really trying to understand how, hypothetically, say if by some weird act of God the I or S become say $50 per share how do I sell my shares in that?

July 23
When and If S&P 500 Breaks 2000
by  United States - Florida Lafrinere | 3 Comments

:!: The S&P 500 is poised to break the 2000 mark! My best (and slightly educated) guess is that there will be a little pull back and floundering across the markets for about a week at that point. After that, I would expect a return to small increases inching up passed 2000 again. I will be watching closely at this point due to ALL seasonal recommendations say "August 100% F".

:? Yes, the market of 2014 is different that many years past due to our present economic situation and quite frankly, it scares investors. But earnings reports, jobs reports and market trend is much higher than expected and investors are now buying (but with a finger poised over the sell button)... so what to do, what to do?

:?: What does hitting the S&P 500 2000 mark mean for us TSPers and how can we take advantage of it?

July 21
Does this seem a sensible withdrawal plan?
by  United States celtic | 27 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.

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TSP Share Prices for Jul 25, 2014
    Close Day YTD
   G Fund $14.4763 +0.01% +1.32%
   F Fund $16.4475 +0.20% +4.48%
   C Fund $25.8534 -0.48% +8.29%
   S Fund $34.9738 -0.71% +3.87%
   I Fund $26.7041 -0.47% +4.46%
   L 2050 $14.8784 -0.45% +5.80%
   L 2040 $26.1714 -0.39% +5.38%
   L 2030 $24.6164 -0.33% +4.93%
   L 2020 $22.7174 -0.25% +4.23%
   L Income $17.2566 -0.09% +2.62%
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