Yearly investing beyond max TSP


Q. I plan on working in federal service for roughly 22 more years. I contribute enough to the TSP to max out the matching contribution. I read somewhere that it would be a good idea to direct the rest of my savings to an outside Roth IRA with a company like Vanguard so that I have more investment choices for my after-tax dollars. Good idea?

A. I agree that after you have exhausted your option to contribute to the TSP for the year, a Roth IRA is the next best place to save for retirement. I don’t agree that gaining access to additional investment options is a good reason for this, however. You should seek to emulate the kind of low-cost, well-diversified, unmanaged index funds that are available to your in the TSP in all of your outside investment accounts.


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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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