Retirement from the Military

Managing your TSP and alternate investment options after retirement or separation from service.

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ND_Steel
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:24 pm

Retirement from the Military

Post by ND_Steel »

I'm 46 and retiring from the military soon. Do I need to make a decision on keeping my TSP now or rolling it over? Or is that a decision I can make later down the road?

I am perfectly happy with the TSP options and IFT options, and would prefer to just leave it for now. But, I don't know if I like the eventual withdrawal options TSP has to offer.

Thoughts?

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rcozby
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by rcozby »

With the new withdrawal rules coming, the only negative left with TSP is the IFT rules, which you say you’re ok with. There are MANY upsides, especially the low cost and the G fund, which you can’t Get anywhere else. Stay for life.

crondanet5
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by crondanet5 »

Or at least until MDRs kick in or you need money. Are you planning to continue working for the government so you can continue contributing to your TSP Account?

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ArrieS
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by ArrieS »

You can rollover most of it into a different account and leave some of it. That way you can also go back to the TSP later if you want.

You'll be able to trade as much as you like and even buy lower cost ETFs.
OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February. - Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

ND_Steel
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by ND_Steel »

Good comments.

I am uncertain whether I'll go back to Federal Service or not.

I actually see the free IFTs as a positive not a negative. You see it as a negative?

I did see they are expanding the withdrawl rules, so I'll probably just leave it. I do additional investing with T Rowe Price.

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mjedlin66
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by mjedlin66 »

ND_Steel wrote: I actually see the free IFTs as a positive not a negative. You see it as a negative?
Of course we all like free IFTs. But many don't like that we can only move 2+G IFTs per month. Outside accounts do not have the 2+G restriction. And many private brokers, depending on what you are trading, do have free trades. "Commission-free ETFs" come to mind. I know at least Fidelity has these.
Owner/creator of TSPcalc.com - "Know your numbers"

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mjedlin66
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by mjedlin66 »

crondanet5 wrote:Or at least until MDRs kick in or you need money. Are you planning to continue working for the government so you can continue contributing to your TSP Account?
I thought you could not combine a military TSP and a civilian TSP. So if he goes to Fed service, he would have two accounts?
Owner/creator of TSPcalc.com - "Know your numbers"

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ArrieS
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by ArrieS »

mjedlin66 wrote:
crondanet5 wrote:Or at least until MDRs kick in or you need money. Are you planning to continue working for the government so you can continue contributing to your TSP Account?
I thought you could not combine a military TSP and a civilian TSP. So if he goes to Fed service, he would have two accounts?
No you can. I rolled mine over into my civilian account.
OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February. - Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

crondanet5
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by crondanet5 »

This is what I recommend you do: immediately begin playing the Fantasy Game on this web site. It mirrors the fact you have no future contributions to your TSP Account and it is what you do with the money in your TSP Account that makes it grow. Study the Gamers who have made earnest growth in their Account and consider following their lead. It is extremely important to grow your Account to meet future financial expenses in retirement.

When you go through the retirement medical physical do not try to hide any conditions from them. Demand a lot of blood work. After retiring find a good GP who orders a lot of bloodwork. Stay ahead of your health.

Look for a job with great medical benefits and take them, and make sure you can carry the medical benefit into retirement. Bernie Sanders has not introduced universal health care yet so you are financially responsible for your health care. The VA is limited in how much medical care you receive and then they use the cheapest contractor they can find. I cannot emphasize enough having great medical coverage can be to you. We all think we are warriors and then the human element kicks in and we discover we are geranium plants in a sunny garden two thirds of the way through the growing season. And then we rot and die. Medical conditions kick in. no smoking, no drinking, no wheat in your diet. Keep yourself interesting medically so the doctors strive to revive you. It worked when I was in ER with severe afib and it can work for you too.

Strongly recommend you work to create a taxable brokerage account to use in place of TSP withdrawals so your TSP Account continues to grow tax deferred. Nothing wrong with a $300,000 brokerage account.

Hope this helps, and remember civvies don't care how daring you were in the military. They only care about beer.

Scorpio70
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by Scorpio70 »

I retired last year from Federal Service and decided to leave my TSP with the TSP, but I do have a separate Vanguard account I like.

crondanet5
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by crondanet5 »

If your Fantasy Account level matches your real Account level you are beating most retirees out there.

ND_Steel
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:24 pm

Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by ND_Steel »

I have been following some of the models built in TSPCalc (#19232 specifically)...I just haven't taken the leap to actually do it. Short of doing that, best returns via 'buy and hold' (not doing IFTs) is C&S funds or in the neighborhood of 8.5 to 9.3% over the past 10 years. (These returns are off the April 2018 TSP Fund report; however with the strong upswing this year, the S&P over the last 10 years I think is in the ~16.75% range according to Morningstar.)

So, short of changing my strategy to taking advantage of the IFTs and trying to time the market based on probability, my other most likely option would be a direct rollover to my T Rowe account. T Rowe has a 'beat the market' approach as opposed to Vanguard's low-fee Index/ETF funds (I think Fidelity offers both approaches). While the management fees are significantly higher in the .7 to .8% range, they are indeed overcome these fees and beat the market. 10-year returns:
Blue Chip Growth (TRBCX) : 19.84%
Mid-Cap Growth (RPMGX): 19.26%
Small-Cap Stock (OTCFX): 19.35%
Not to mention some strong sector funds:
Health Sciences (PRHSX): 22.46%
Comm & Tech (PRMTX): 22.46%

Again, all these funds have a .7 to .8 management fee with no loads.

Am I missing something?

Based on these numbers, I am leaning to doing a direct rollover. While I understand the concepts of playing the probabilities in TSP, it is still a bit stressful and risky to me. I have tried to follow a plan a little, but if my move out of stocks according to the plan hasn't gone my way I find it difficult to jump back in at a higher price...thus abandoning the plan in hopes that the market drops (that's where I'm at now...no China deal for the time being please ;)).

Would a direct roll over have an tax implications or would it simply be still designated as a 401k tax-deferred (as most of my TSP is traditional)? Some of it is tax-exempt from contributions in a war zone. How is this taken into account? Probably questions for T Rowe and TSP, but appreciate any objective opinions from the knowledgeable here as well.

Sorry, a lot above to digest...always appreciate your conversations and thoughts.
Last edited by ND_Steel on Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ND_Steel
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:24 pm

Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by ND_Steel »

crondanet5: Regarding my Fantasy/Actual TSP beating most retirees out there...

I think it was criminal what the Government was doing with TSP for a long time...which was making the G Fund the default for TSP Fund contributions. Criminal to allow employees to think they were doing the right thing by investing for their retirement when all they were doing was giving their money back to the US Government on a low interest loan that in some years didn't keep up with inflation! This is one of the few things Obama got right. I believe as of 2016, the default for Federal Employees is an age appropriate L Fund; and the same for military members after the change this year to the Blended TSP Retirement System. However, there are still many out there that are unknowingly saving into the G Fund out of either ignorance or lack of understanding or both. There is very little education as to what the funds actually mean. And they make it just difficult enough to get your TSP password through the mail that many have still not done so...partly because they have been brainwashed to contribute to their retirement and never think about it again.

I'll get off my soapbox, but it really bothers me that people can work all their life and not pay attention to their money and be taken advantage of in the process.

crondanet5
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Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by crondanet5 »

We all have fellow employees who absolutely refuse to allocate money to any Fund but the G Fund. Cannot convince them to do anything else. So the key is you creating all the wealth you can with your TSP Account and your taxable accounts. To do this I walk away from the advisors who want to spread the balance around or seek refuge in a blended Fund. L Funds have been reviewed here in the past and there were no takers. They will not put you at the top of the YTD leader list. I recommend one of the five non-L Funds. Don't stay in the one you choose. Be an active researcher. See where it is best to put your money. Reallocate. Use the Leaders to advise you what they think is best. Good luck. Hope you become a millionaire.

And join the Fantasy Game! It does not lie to you by mingling contributions with your existing balance. It says what you can make of a hundred thousand dollars with no further contributions. Best way to go into retirement I can think of.

crondanet5
Posts: 4324
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Retirement from the Military

Post by crondanet5 »

There is no tax penalty for an institution to institution rollover. Talk with T Rowe rep. But. If you play the Fantasy Game and watch the Leaders you might do better than T Rowe. Can they show you a 19% return ytd? The Leader Board can. You can always roll your TSP Account at a later date if T Rowe is winning. And if you leave a couple dollars in TSP you can roll back in to TSP at a later date.

When you go for your retirement physical mind the results carefully. I found out I had an eye issue no military eye doctor told me about. Hope you come up negative with hidden medical issues. Find a good GP. Push them for blood work. Your blood says it all. Ask about new tests. When you go for blood work request a hard copy be sent to you. Go into the doctor's office ready to discuss test results. Keep a folder.

Be sure to set up a HEPA representative with a form acceptable in the state you reside in. Have a will prepared in the format your state approves. Consider a trust (I don't own the shirt on my back). Register to vote and vote every time. Get involve in local politics to whatever extent you wish. When you get a job see if you can carry the health plan into retirement. Do not rely on Tricare.

My morbidity studies revealed a group of military retirees who die within the first three years of retirement. Be sure to continue exercising, no smoking, no drinking, limit sugar and wheat to improve your chance of moving to the next group of military retiree morbidity group.

I strongly suggest participating in the SBP. Calculate how long it would take your surviving spouse to recover all your payments and then the rest is gravy to financially support your family as you might have done if you were alive. Bet it is all paid back inside 2 years.

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Fund Prices2021-04-16

FundPriceDayYTD
G $16.56 0.00% 0.34%
F $20.66 -0.21% -2.53%
C $62.57 0.36% 11.92%
S $83.28 -0.04% 12.24%
I $38.19 0.63% 7.92%
L2065 $13.71 0.39% 10.49%
L2060 $13.71 0.39% 10.49%
L2055 $13.71 0.39% 10.49%
L2050 $27.99 0.31% 8.45%
L2045 $12.79 0.29% 7.92%
L2040 $46.72 0.27% 7.42%
L2035 $12.36 0.25% 6.82%
L2030 $41.20 0.23% 6.25%
L2025 $11.71 0.18% 4.93%
Linc $22.82 0.08% 2.45%

Pending Allocations

Under development. For now, you may view Pending Allocations by going to "fantasy TSP" and selecting "Leaderboard sort" of "Pending Allocations".

What else

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