I'm 54, with almost 29 years of federal service. My TSP balance is $410K. I did not start saving until 33 yo after getting married. I contributed 5% (maxed out) when first offered, and raised to 15% of salary as soon as they offered it. The bulk of the gain was after the tech bust and I had a good run until 2008. 2008 put a 20K dent in my TSP; I bailed out to G fund after Lehman Bros went bust, balance 260K. But I also stayed out of the stock market until 2011, and only messed around with it. Not a full time investor. Now, I really wish that I had joined the recovery as soon as March 2009 though.
Summer 2012, I took a 50K loan to buy a condo in Florida. Balance went down to 300K. But have accumulated to what I have now. I have reduced my contribution from 15% back down to 5% for about a year. No plan to add more savings to it since I plan to retire in 4 yrs, anymore won't make much difference. I figure in another 4 yrs, I could accumulate another 100K (too ambitious, I'd say).
70C/30S as of 12/15/2014
While I 'liked' the above, the thought of jumping quickly between stock and bond funds is market timing... I would recommend an allocation approach. And, I would recommend talking to a financial adviser at this point. Is market timing your cup of tea. Where is my favorite market timer - 12%AYear (I actually value his/her opinion, but it seems that 2008 did em in)...
I was actually in positive territory through the summer of 2008 - then I jumped in!!! The timing just felt right!!! Uh nope, the market timing gods were not in my corner.
Lookin' up at the 'G Fund'!!!
Thought I would throw in my two cents worth. I'm 58 and only started working for the government since 2006 so my TSP balance is about 245K. Before that I worked private industry and my 401K with my old employer is about 600k. When I first started out saving I thought I was doing good by contributing up to the match plus 2%. As I got older (starting in my late 40s) I thought 10% contribution was going to be more than enough. Now that I can see the distant light flickering in the tunnel (i.e. the big R) I max out my contributions, which also includes the catch up portion. My goal is to work maybe another 8-9 years.
If I work another 8-9 years I'm hoping to reach double the savings ~ 1.6 million.
I'm 46 and only have around $80,000 in my TSP act . I will work well into my 70s. I'll be aggressive with my investments to try to catch up to where I think I should be.
I'm an example of what not to do with your retirement acct. When I was single back in the late 1990s I had extra money and started an online acct and did very well. Fast Fwd to 2002 or so and the internet bubble bust had me about a year's salary in debt. I've been chasing the debt ever since. I almost got out of debt by 2006, but then came an expensive wedding, purchasing a house in 2007 in CA (DOH!!!), and a baby. CA is expensive and you have little chance of getting out of debt once you're in deep, outside of a windfall like an inheretence, lotto, or just dedicating yourself to extra jobs for a stretch. I have twice taken disbursements for a total of $83,000 to try and manage the debt. It didn't work - it only shifted debt to an almost equal amount of new taxes. I'm also paying off two TSP loans. One loan was for $50,000 to buy that 2007 home, which had the value cut in half by the time I lost it in 2011. The other was was to manage debt, again.
Its just another version of the same lesson we've all heard - ALWAYS spend less than you have and save more than you think you can. Don't act like your retirement acct is a checking acct. It's ok to rent or to go without some of the things you want. Oh, and its not a bad idea to marry into money.
It's a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy, idiot!
Tracker = 100%G ::::Real World = 100%G
Boy am I glad I was CSRS! My TSP is our emergency fund.
Links Crude Settle $49.56 04-25-2017
I'm new to TSP Talk. I'm 51 years old and I've been investing in the TSP for 27 years. I currently have $904,000. I invested aggressively the entire 27 years which includes putting the max amount in my TSP on a yearly basis. I also contribute the max catch up funds, which began when I reached the age of 50. During the 27 years I've been in the TSP I can remember the market taking a dive 2 or 3 times. During that time I NEVER jumped into the G fund. I remained pretty much in the C, S and I funds. I'm going to retire when I am 59. My goal is to hit the 2 million dollar mark before I retire.
S&P 500 (C fund)
||Dow Completion (S fund)
||EFA (I fund)
||Bonds (F fund)