Browsing: Investing

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.

Do you know a good investment portfolio when you see one? Based on my experience, few investors do. In fact, the investment industry thrives on the prospect that you don’t know the difference between a good portfolio and a bad one. Since managing your investment portfolio is basically a tug of war over profit between you and everyone else in the investing game, it is critical that you gain the best foothold and grip you possibly can before the pulling even begins. Your effort in this struggle is expressed in the way you manage your portfolio — including your Thrift…

Q. I’m a CSRS employee with 34 years of service. I’m 53 years old and plan to work until I’m 58 years old. I have $15,000 that I want to invest. Would you recommend putting it into the Voluntary Contributions Program? I have a balance in TSP also.

Q. My husband and I are 51. We will retire in about 10 years. How do we find the right financial advisor that will help us understand what we need for retirement, and  what we need to do if we won’t have enough to meet our needs?

Q. If I take 5 percent or the maximum interest my retirement plan provides, does this violate the 72t definition of reasonable interest rate, and would I end up paying the 10 percent penalty? A. 72t distributions must be computed using one of three specific formulas, and the rules are strict. Anything else will not qualify for the exemption. You should work with a qualified tax adviser before initiating any payments.

Q. I am a federal employee and will retire Jan. 3. I will have about 400 hours of Annual Leave for a cash payout. Am I allowed to request that this monetary amount be directly rolled into an eligible 401K plan and not have any taxes taken out? If I take the cash payout, can I predetermine the tax percentage based on my calculations or does the government tax at the maximum rate? A. You may not direct the payout into an IRA or 401k plan. Taxes will be withheld according to the W-4 you have on file with your…

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