GubMints- Highlights from Year Two





I recently received my annual Domain Name Bill, which reminds me that is now a petulant 2 Year Old!

Year 2 was a change – A new job (private sector) has kept me quite busy.  My Quality of Life has increased as my commute time has been reduced by ~10 hrs per week.

The new gig has removed me from some ‘water cooler’ discussions regarding Fed Benefits that I was more engaged in during Year One, but I still keep an eye on things, as

  1. Federal Travel Regulations affect all of us, and
  2. I am a Deferred FERS Retiree who still keeps watch over TSP and FERS issues like a hawk (again, don’t ask me about CSRS- If you’re retired on CSRS you’ve won the equivalent of the lottery- You should be doing donuts in your Ferrari around the 18th green every day of the week, and twice on Sunday).

So in retrospect, here’s some of my favorite posts from Year Two:

DoD Immediate Retirement Pay – a Wolf in 72(t)’s Clothing

DoD proposed an immediate retirement option that eerily resembles the 72(t) option to withdraw from an IRA.  I think it’s a raw deal.
Who Wants to be a TSP Millionaire? 

There are a handful of TSP Millionaires out there.  Some made it by rolling-in a windfall from their Private Sector career, but some earned it the good-old-fashioned way.  It’s good to hear stories about Federal Employee ‘Turtles’ who were able to win the Retirement Race.

6 Ways to make the Credit Card Company your Poodle

This is how I roll with Credit Cards.  If you pay your bills on time, the Banks who issue Credit Cards hate you with a passion and call you a ‘Deadbeat’ behind your back.  Use my techniques to Stick It to your Megabank.
PlanSmartChoice – A Flawed FEHB Open Season Analysis Tool

PlanSmartChoice is a good place to start when looking at FEHB plans, but there is a darn good reason that over 40 percent of Feds use one of the ‘Blues’ for their Health Plan.
ObamaCare – Veterans Should not Apply

This is the third update to my first post regarding ObamaCare.  The DoD finally issued some guidance in telling its active, retired, and reserve service members that TriCare meets the ‘Minimum Essential Coverage’ requirement, and that TriCare is an alternative to your state’s local ObamaCare exchange.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the Second Act – Let me know what topics you’re interested in using the Comments or Contact section!


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COMNAVRESFOR to IRR: No Soup for You



The Benevolent Savant Soup Chef thinks it is too easy to earn IRR points…

Recently I caught wind of the below message from Commander, Navy Reserve Force (CONAVRESFOR) (H/T to the AirWarriors Forum).

To summarize: Big Navy and/or Big Navy Reserve initiate this Goat Rodeo every few years or so when they decide that it is too easy for Navy Individual Ready Reservists (IRR) to earn retirement credit points through correspondence courses.  I recall a major Kaibosh put on NKO courses about 5 or 6 years ago, which created a similar panic through the IRR. (Continue reading…) →

5 Reasons why Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Sucks



John Hechinger and John Turner recently published an article picked up by Bloomberg and Businessweek alerting TSP and TSP participants to the well-known TSP ‘IRA Rollover Scandal’

In the TSP Rollover Scandal, brokerage houses recommend any retired or separated TSP participant take their TSP balance and roll it over to their Brokerage House IRA. In most cases, this benefits the Brokerage House much more than it does the former TSP Account Holder, as the Brokerage house can collect lucrative fees by managing the participant’s retirement balance in-house. The article was well researched and rightfully took some jabs at ‘GoldBug’ IRA Brokerage Houses, but I think the author went a bit far by bashing NFCU and USAA. USAA and NFCU are Friend- Not Foe- of the Veteran’s wallet.

In defense of NFCU, USAA, Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard, I present the following…

5 Reasons Why Thrift Savings Plan Sucks (Continue reading…) →

Our Rooftop Solar PPA Saved us $464 Last Year


Well, the results are in from the GubMints household experiment with Rooftop Solar.  You might recall my original Rooftop Solar Post series discussing the plusses and minuses of Rooftop Solar.

(Continue reading…) →