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).
If you recall from last year, I resolved to roll all my IRA assets BACK in the the TSP, based on the following facts and theories:
- (Fact) TSP will soon allow much more withdrawal flexibility,
- (Fact) I’m not smarter than the market,
- (Fact) TSP Lifecycle funds have the lowest fees of any target-date fund, and
- (Theory) TSP Lifecycle funds are the best target-date funds available based on their cash-equivalent fund (the G Fund).
… so how about #4? Any way to prove this theory in to fact?
Maxing your 401(k) or TSP will help you get to this Happy Place faster…
There’s a lot of debate about how much you should put in to your TSP or 401(k) plan every year, and whether you should ‘front-end’ load your 401(k) at the beginning of the year, dollar cost average during the year, or back-end load your 401(k) at the end of the year for tax planning.
Here’s a 401(k) hack that works for me at the end of every calendar year.
Are you looking to Retire Early, but don’t want to pay a penalty to access the money you saved before you turn age 59.5?
Got a ton of retirement money stashed in the TSP, an IRA, former employer’s 401k, or other Qualified Retirement Plan?
Are you also looking to implement a withdrawal strategy that does not force you in to a 5-year waiting period like the ‘Roth Conversion Ladder’ does?
There’s a perfectly legal method to get to your Retirement Plan money at age 55 without paying a penalty, and it’s called the Solo 401k.