401(k) or Roth?


Q. I am a federal civilian with 20 years of service (12 to 15 years to go). I have more than $200,000 in my 401(k) plan. The new Roth IRA option sounds appealing to me, since I’d rather pay tax on my retirement money now, while I’m employed. If I start changing some of my biweekly allocations to the Roth option, am I negating the benefits of the Roth by contributing less to the “big pot” of my existing 401(k), reducing the compounding interest? I don’t want to end up robbing Peter to pay Paul.

A. Directing your contributions to the Roth TSP instead of the traditional TSP will not, in itself, reduce your return. That doesn’t mean that doing it is a good idea, however.


About Author

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.

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