Here’s an interesting retirement case study for you.
Let’s take a former active duty veteran who resigns after 7 years of service and enters the civilian workforce in the year 2000. This purely hypothetical employee in turn contributes to a Defined Contribution plan (401k or TSP) during his years as a working stiff. He or she contributes to the maximum ‘match’ amount of the employer’s plan- That is, when the employer matches up to 50% of contributions on up to 10% of salary, he contributes 10%. When he is a Federal Employee, he contributes 5% to get the most of the TSP automatic and matching contributions (5% of salary). (Stop me if you’ve figured out who the hypothetical employee is by now).