Re: So I made my 2nd IFT....
Your TSP account is 'transferable'. You will have the right to keep with the Federal brokerage (actaully Blackrock) or move it (all or part) to a new employers 401(k) or a self directed Traditional IRA. The only caveat is that you can only make the move after you quit your current employment.
Any assets in your 401(k) [TSP] are yours. You can actually see how much mulla you have in the account. As you gain experience you can calculate how much you will be able to pull out of it during your golden years. NO politician can jigger formulas and change anything in the account. It is Al Gores 'lock box' - yuk, yuk...
While in the military you get no free match. Civilian slugs like myself get a 100% match to 5% of our salary contributed into the account. In other words, if I contribute 5% of my salary to my account my employer (the Federal Gubmint) dumps the same amount in. It is a good deal. We get it because the governemnt pension portion of our retirement is kinda crappy nowadays. Most employers no longer provide a pension. Thus, wheter you stay in the Army or join the '5th Civ Div' you will have some retirement assets.
It is very expensive and very dumb to pull 401(k) assets out of the accout before retirement age. You can draw a loan - and that is ok. But, you should not yank out the money when you quit your job. Move the money to the new employers 401(k) - or, better yet to a self-directed 401(k).
Finally, I would recommend books by Ric Edelman and Ray Lucia. Both have very good radio shows as well. Edelman's is a two hour weekend show. Strongly recommended.
Lookin' up at the 'G Fund'!!!