Investing in L funds


Q. I’m a current CSRS employee considering retirement after 34 years of service. With a $300,000 balance in my TSP account, I’m currently risk adverse and for the past two years been in the L Income Fund. I have read many of the questions about investing and found a familiar reply below. “I suggest that you invest your TSP balance in the L Fund that most closely corresponds to your life expectancy.” I am 61 years of age and hopefully will live until my early 80s. Isn’t the L2030 fund too risky for someone of my age?

A. Your investment decisions should be based upon all of the relevant factors involved, no just your age. I might argue that if you’d like to obtain the maximum safe standard of living from your TSP account over your lifetime, the L Income Fund is too conservative for someone with a 20-plus year life expectancy. Have you compared the maximum safe, inflation-adjusted distribution rate for the various investment strategies you are considering? How about comparing this rate for the L Income Fund to what you can get from an insurance company through an immediate fixed-life annuity? If not, you have some work to do.


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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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