Traditional or Roth TSP?


Q. My husband has been in the military for six years, and he plans on retiring at 20 years from the military. He will then work with the State or Defense Department and work for another 20 years before we retire. I am a DoD civilian employee. We would like to enroll him in the Thrift Savings Plan. But, we are not sure of which TSP plan (traditional or Roth) would benefit us the most. Any advice?

A. It’s impossible to know now which will work out to be best for you. Without that knowledge, I prefer the tax break today over the promise of a tax break tomorrow, so I would choose the traditional TSP over the Roth.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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