Buyback and TSP investment strategy


Q. I am 57 years old. I have about a year and three months with the Defense Department (FERS). I am in the process of buying back 14.8 years of service, and I plan to retire in about 12 years. Will the buyback help with the Thrift Savings Plan? What is a good TSP investment option for someone in my situation?

A. I’m not sure how the buyback will help your TSP account, since you will not be entitled to any additional contributions as a result. The investment strategy that you choose should be based on more information that you’ve provided here. If you’re not sure what to do, I suggest that you use the L Fund that most closely corresponds to your life expectancy — or joint life expectancy, if you are married. The problem is that it’s impossible to know exactly how much you can safely withdraw — and when — without more analysis, planning and management along the way.


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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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