Browsing: Investing

Q. I am a law enforcement officer planning to retire next year at age 50. I have a pretty good sum in my TSP and would like to take life expectancy (72t) payments. Two financial advisors have told me I shouldn’t need this money (after reviewing my expected income and expenses) and advised against taking the distributions. What is the downside of sticking with life expectancy payments for 10 years if I am invested correctly? It seems to me, assuming a greater than 5% return over this period, I should never touch the principal. Currently my TSP is fully invested…

Investing for retirement income is very different from investing purely for growth. As you approach retirement, there is rarely any good measure of the quality of the investment decisions that got you where you are today. You probably have no way of knowing what the mistakes you made yesterday have cost you today. Investing for retirement income is much more an exercise in avoiding mistakes, than an exercise in maximizing the potential for gains. Avoid the following common mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to maximizing the standard of living you’ll enjoy throughout your retirement. This list of…

Q. I’m an engineer that so far has three years with the government, I’ve chatted with my colleagues at work about the TSP and how one can really reap the benefits of the program with some good analysis and risk factoring. I have 10 percent of my bi-weekly check go toward the TSP and split my allocations 50 percent G fund and 50 percent C fund. I would like to be more active in seeing my funds grow and was wondering what the best way to do that is? So far, I’ve just been letting the TSP sit and haven’t…

When you are young and just starting your career, it is difficult to determine how the investment decisions you are making will someday affect your standard of living in retirement. If you’re already near or in retirement, you probably don’t know how much that mistake you may have committed 20 years ago is costing you today. You bought this and sold that from time to time, and here you are. Once you retire and begin withdrawing from your investments to support your standard of living, however, a single mistake can become painfully evident, down the road — in 10 or…

Q. I am going to retire within the next three months. I have done my homework but am torn about my TSP. I don’t know what is the biggest bang for my buck — roll over my TSP into another investment (not knowing which one yet) or to leave it where it is. Since this will be part of my retirement, I want to pay as little as possible in maintenance fees. My fear is that the new MyIRA could be looming over my TSP. I do not want to invest my hard-earned money into worthless government bonds. It is…

Q. I’ve read articles that are beginning to convince me that the TSP L funds are too conservative when the L fund “year” is based on the nearest year of retirement. It has been suggested that one should choose an L fund based on estimated longevity. Essentially, select an L fund by adding 20 or 30 years to your planned year of retirement, depending on your health, family history, etc. I am presently in L2020 and plan to retire in late 2018. Maybe I should be in L2040 or L2050. What are your thoughts on this? A. I know that…

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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com. How did Kenneth McLeod steal more than $15 million in personal assets from unsuspecting Drug Enforcement Administration employees over more than two decades? By feeding his Ponzi scheme with victims through retirement and financial planning seminars sponsored by the DEA, that’s how. At least, that’s the conclusion reached by the Department of Justice’s inspector general after reviewing the case. If it’s surprising that an agency would lead…

Q. I am 62, have only been with the government for five years, and have $50,000+ in the G fund. I changed my contribution to 50 percent of salary from 25 percent and plan to work as long as I can, but I have health issues. I plan to leave the money in the TSP after retirement, and realize the G fund is too conservative. (I have been expecting a stock market crash but it looks like the fed will continue the zero or near-zero interest-rate policy). I am thinking about transferring all into the L2020 because it is conservative…

Q. I retired several years ago. I receive income from pension benefits and Social Security. In August of 2015, when I reach age 70, I will convert from a Social Security survivor benefit to one based on my own history. All pensions have COLA increases, at rates somewhat less than actual inflation. My pension and Social Security income will probably always exceed my actual expenses, plus I will have additional funds available from RMD’s, in addition to other investments. I have no children, and upon my death, any remaining assets will go to my two sisters, and to charities. When…

Q. I am a former government employee who is already retired.  I still have an average of $1,000 a month that I am saving from my pension, and I am making minimal interest in the bank with $30,000 in savings.  What is a good place to invest this extra money?  I do not anticipate needing this money right now, but I would like it available when I do  need it.

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