Author militaryonline

Q. I am 57 years old and relatively new to the federal work force, having been in it three years so far. I plan and frankly need to work until that golden age of 72 1/2. That leaves a whopping 15 years until retirement. I currently invest 80 percent of my contributions to the L2030 and 20 percent to the L2040. I am considering allocations into the L2050 funds. I am, of course, looking for the potentially biggest bang for the buck. What are your thoughts?

Q. I’m retired as of May 31, 2015. In July 2015, I transferred most of my TSP account into an IRA (UBS financial services). Since I still have a TSP account, can I move the IRA money back into my TSP account? If so, can it be done this year? I heard I would have to wait two years before I could do that (so says a TSP representative). Would you agree with the representative on the two-year wait?

Q. I am 68 years old and do not want to touch my TSP account until I have to at 70½ years old. What percentage will I be required to take when that occurs? I currently have my money in the L Income Fund. Which L Fund do you recommend for me at this point and time?

Q. I am 56 and have been drawing on my TSP by monthly payments (not annuitized)for 2-1/2 years. I am getting divorced and having to split assets. My understanding is that you can’t switch to lump sum after starting monthly payments until 59-1/2. However, divorce being a life event, does the TSP allow you to choose a lump-sum option to the TSP owner once assets are split by court order? A. You may end your monthly payments in a full and final lump-sum distribution at any time.

If you have any of your Thrift Savings Plan account invested in the C, S or I Funds, you should be nervous. Why? Not because of the Ebola virus, turmoil in the Middle East, the national debt or legislative gridlock. Sure, those are all significant threats to various interests in various ways, but, whether you realize it or not, the threat those pose to stock values are already reflected in the share prices of the various TSP funds. Professional investment managers are not paid to wait for bad things to happen before responding. They are paid to predict the probabilities…

I have written about the perils of trying to time the investment markets for years, but I continue to receive questions from readers who use it to manage their Thrift Savings Plan accounts. There are a number of ways to effectively attack this misguided strategy, and the trick is to find the one that resonates with each investor. This time around, I’ll discuss the risk that market timers either don’t see, or choose to ignore: long-term risk. Market-timing strategies are focused in avoiding near-term risk:; the risk of losing money to market declines, or the risk of failing to capture…

Historical investment returns seem to be the focus of most investors’ attention. What rate of return did the C Fund produce over the past month? The past year? The past five or 10 years? Visit any investment product website, and this is pretty much all you find. Historical data sliced, diced and cooked up in just about every way imaginable. And, the Thrift Savings Plan’s website is no exception. It is filled with an impressive assortment of historical performance data for the various investment funds it offers. Unfortunately, and most critically, there is nothing about the prospective — or expected…

If you had just enough money to pay your electric bill next month, would you gamble with it just for fun? Hold it in cash, and you’ll enjoy another month of electrified living. Lose even part of it, and you’ll be living in the dark for a while. If the sole purpose for that money is to pay for the electricity you’ll need to live the life you want, why would you risk losing it to have a chance to win money you don’t need? Many investors don’t understand the principles and techniques necessary to manage a retirement investment portfolio…

Investors, as a group, make plenty of mistakes. When it comes to investing, bad decisions are not the exception, but the rule. Investing mistakes stem from a variety of influences: ignorance, gullibility, fear and greed, to name a few. But I find impatience to be one of the most pervasive, and underappreciated, drivers of bad investment moves. The burning desire to act immediately, to do something, anything, right now, underlies many of the bad decisions investors make. The desire to act is part of the American way. We’re all responsible for our own fates, goes the thinking. Life is full…

As a Thrift Savings Plan investor, what should you worry about? You might be surprised that my list doesn’t include whether to contribute to the Roth or traditional accounts, or that you’ll have to begin taking distributions someday, if you aren’t already. Here is my list of things worth worrying about: Political meddling. The greatest threat to the TSP, as an institution, comes from members of Congress. The TSP contains nearly $400 billion. It’s the juiciest single profit target for the financial services industry. So far, they’ve had to go after it one retired investor at a time, but they…

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