Starting TSP late in the game


Q. I was forced to liquidate almost all of my savings, stocks, etc., five years ago to assist a family member with some much-needed medical financial assistance. I am 54 years old, and plan on working for an additional 14 years. I’m currently putting $350/pay period into TSP with contribution allocations in L2030 (10%), C Fund (45%) and S Fund (45%). Balances are $13,662, $2,730 and $10,986, respectively. Every opportunity I get, I increase my contribution.

Here’s my question: Based on the short amount of time I have left to retire (14 years), is my allocation percentage into the three funds listed above too aggressive or not aggressive enough?

A. I can’t tell you, based on these facts, whether your allocation is too aggressive or conservative. I can tell you that it is risk-inefficient, and that you could get a similar expected rate of return with less volatility. If you don’t know what allocation is best for you, and you aren’t willing to engage someone to help you figure it out, then I suggest you consider putting your entire account into the L Fund that most closely corresponds to your life expectancy.


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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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