Lifecycle fund and a safe withdrawal rate


Q. I am planning to begin taking monthly payments from my L2030 fund at around age 60. I am 52, currently with $1.1 million in invested assets. I generally subscribe to your theory of “pick the L Fund closest to your life expectancy,” minus 10 years in my case. For example, if I expect to live to 2050, I would choose the L2040 fund (based on my risk tolerance). Given the above, at age 60, let’s say I want to exhaust my L fund within 30 years – can you give me a ballpark percentage per year that I could take out of my TSP?

A. At your age, the safe before-tax, inflation-adjusted, lifetime initial withdrawal rate – assuming that you are in good health – maxes out at around 7 percent. There is always risk involved and the higher the withdrawal rate, the smaller the margin for error will be in managing your resources along the way.


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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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