GAO Says There is Too Much Money in your TSP/401k/IRA

TSP Hardship Withdrawal Costs

Recently the non-partisan (cough, cough) GAO conducted a study investigating large (> $5 Million) IRA balances.

According to WSJ, this study was prompted by the disclosures of Mitt Romney and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Max Levchin that they each have IRA balances worth tens on millions.

The GAO concluded in its preliminary study (GAO-14-878T):

In 2014, the federal government will forgo (emphasis mine) an estimated $17.5 billion in tax revenue from IRAs.

GAO will release a separate report with its final results on individual retirement accounts later this fall.

What prompted this study? Congress is reportedly upset about the super-sized IRA balances because (according to GAO) :

Congress limited annual contributions to IRAs to prevent the tax-favored accumulation of unduly large balances, but concerns have been raised that tax benefits accrue primarily for higher -income individuals.

Back to the cases of Mitt and Max… (Continue reading…) →

YAPTA Review - Yet Another Pitiful Travel App

I admit it, I’m the most tenacious hound for cheap airfares there is.

I made some travel plans this past year to visit a relative in Maui over the Holidays. I started tracking the airfares as soon as they were published, early in the calendar year.

In the past I’ve used Travelocity FareWatcher and the (now defunct) MyYahoo widget.   Travelocity’s fare watch tool is only effective for tracking bargain fares between  a City Pair- But it does not let you choose your schedule in advance.  I’ve been unimpressed with either of them (Travelocity, Yahoo, + others), so decided to try out the new Yapta, which appeared to have some very solid tracking features and built-in alerts. (Continue reading…) →

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!


SUPPORT GUBMINTS - Use This Link (free referral) when you Buy Stuff at Amazon.

Subscribe to GubMints:

via RSS: via Email:
Subscribe to GubMints via RSS Subscribe to GubMints via Email


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…) →