Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

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Topic Author
Invest_Wisely
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:15 am

Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Invest_Wisely » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:22 pm

I'm a fairly new federal employee and I'm looking for a good resource to understand the ins and outs of the federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The Bogleheads TSP Wiki has some great information (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Thrift_Savings_Plan), but I'm seeking more. There are a lot of rules and unique (and changing) elements of the TSP that I'd like to better understand.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book or website that might help me better understand the TSP and/or the federal retirement system?

rkhusky
Posts: 7891
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by rkhusky » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:04 pm

tsp.gov for the TSP.

opm.gov for Federal retirement.

jsprag
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:25 am

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by jsprag » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:30 pm

Invest_Wisely wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:22 pm
I'm a fairly new federal employee and I'm looking for a good resource to understand the ins and outs of the federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The Bogleheads TSP Wiki has some great information (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Thrift_Savings_Plan), but I'm seeking more. There are a lot of rules and unique (and changing) elements of the TSP that I'd like to better understand.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book or website that might help me better understand the TSP and/or the federal retirement system?
It isn't what you asked for, but I'll mention some websites avoid during your research: any site or newsletter offering market timing tips to improve your returns if you purchase a subscription to their service.

Bronko
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Location: No matter where you go, there you are.....

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Bronko » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:32 pm

Fedtalk and Fedmanager both have good articles and discussions online.

Ann Vanderslice does retirement planning and has a good email blog.

Google TSP on Bogleheads and find much good information.

FERS guide online download is also loaded with excellent information.
Never let a little bit of money get in the way of a real good time.

stan1
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by stan1 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:54 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:04 pm
tsp.gov for the TSP.

opm.gov for Federal retirement.
Adding frtib.gov where the reading room and meeting minutes tabs give you insight into how the TSP is managed such as upcoming changes to I Fund and other modernization efforts.

Morgan Dollar 1921
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:04 am

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Morgan Dollar 1921 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:58 pm

NARFE, an organization for active and retired federal employees, I will also grab you a book name later.

Buford T Justice
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:33 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Buford T Justice » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:50 pm

Also consider Federal employee Almanac

StretchNM
Posts: 33
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Location: New Mexico

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by StretchNM » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:24 pm

It's hard to beat the written word, for me anyway, and you've received some great references already. But I think one of the best ways to understand the TSP is through this YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8bWrS ... tc1mq45Z6g

That channel belongs to Fed Retirement Planning and is produced by Cooper Mitchell. He is probably one of the most knowledgeable people (if not THE most knowledgeable) concerning the TSP. If I'm not mistaken, he is a certified financial advisor to whatever degree. Scroll through and pick your topic and see what you think.

In order to understand the terms you'll be hearing and reading about, make sure you know the basics: Traditional IRAs, ROTHs, and how the different TSP funds (GCFIS and Lifecycle funds) work. An easy and very informative read is TSP's own TSP booklet found at tsp.gov (and already mentioned by someone early on).

Helo80
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Helo80 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:31 pm

Invest_Wisely wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:22 pm
I'm a fairly new federal employee and I'm looking for a good resource to understand the ins and outs of the federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The Bogleheads TSP Wiki has some great information (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Thrift_Savings_Plan), but I'm seeking more. There are a lot of rules and unique (and changing) elements of the TSP that I'd like to better understand.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book or website that might help me better understand the TSP and/or the federal retirement system?
What's your age and what year do you plan to retire? If you recently onboarded, you'd be in a lifecycle fund corresponding to your projected retirement age. Verify that it is so at TSP.gov. From there, just throw as much money as you can in TSP. At this point, whether it's Trad/Roth, it does not really matter. This way, you get going on a good foot and in the meantime, you can decide what funds you want to go with.

renegade06
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:00 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by renegade06 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:06 pm

jsprag wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:30 pm
Invest_Wisely wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:22 pm
I'm a fairly new federal employee and I'm looking for a good resource to understand the ins and outs of the federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The Bogleheads TSP Wiki has some great information (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Thrift_Savings_Plan), but I'm seeking more. There are a lot of rules and unique (and changing) elements of the TSP that I'd like to better understand.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book or website that might help me better understand the TSP and/or the federal retirement system?
It isn't what you asked for, but I'll mention some websites avoid during your research: any site or newsletter offering market timing tips to improve your returns if you purchase a subscription to their service.
+1

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hoppy08520
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Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by hoppy08520 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:40 am

Scanning your past posts, I see that you're young (having a child) so you're in the accumulation/investing phase. At this point, the TSP is about as simple as operating a non-motorized scooter, fortunately. There isn't much to do, and to borrow the quote from the beloved namesake of this forum, being a successful TSP investor is about doing a few things right and avoiding mistakes.

All you need to do is:
  • Contribute as much as you can in your TSP, at least up to 5% to get the maximum match
  • Figure out if you're better off with Roth or Traditional, or possibly a mix; if you can't decide just default to Traditional for now and you can figure this out later. Not a huge deal either way.
  • Have an appropriate asset allocation; if you aren't sure, just pick a Lifecycle fund that comes closest to when you expect to begin withdrawals
  • Rebalance back to your target asset allocation when needed; not needed if you go Lifecycle
  • Designate beneficiaries appropriately if the TSP's default beneficiaries isn't right for you; default is probably OK (if you die, spouse inherits; if you and spouse die, child(ren) inherits; etc. etc.)
What you should not do:
  • Withdraw early, take risky TSP loans
  • Try to time the market by juggling funds around; if you feel this urge then this might mean you're got an asset allocation that is more aggressive than you can bear

Topic Author
Invest_Wisely
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:15 am

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Invest_Wisely » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:15 pm

Morgan Dollar 1921 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:58 pm
NARFE, an organization for active and retired federal employees, I will also grab you a book name later.
Look forward to that. Thank you!

Morgan Dollar 1921
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:04 am

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Morgan Dollar 1921 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:38 pm

You also might consider, "Navigating Your Federal Retirement" by Brandon Christy, CPA, PFS.

The copy I have is from 2015, which makes it somewhat outdated, he may have an undated version, I did not check. Good Luck.

KATNYC
Posts: 480
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by KATNYC » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:13 am

StretchNM wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:24 pm
It's hard to beat the written word, for me anyway, and you've received some great references already. But I think one of the best ways to understand the TSP is through this YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8bWrS ... tc1mq45Z6g

That channel belongs to Fed Retirement Planning and is produced by Cooper Mitchell. He is probably one of the most knowledgeable people (if not THE most knowledgeable) concerning the TSP. If I'm not mistaken, he is a certified financial advisor to whatever degree. Scroll through and pick your topic and see what you think.

In order to understand the terms you'll be hearing and reading about, make sure you know the basics: Traditional IRAs, ROTHs, and how the different TSP funds (GCFIS and Lifecycle funds) work. An easy and very informative read is TSP's own TSP booklet found at tsp.gov (and already mentioned by someone early on).
This is exactly that I was looking for since we just got access to TSP, new job.

Tdubs
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:50 pm

Re: Best Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) book or resource?

Post by Tdubs » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:41 am

jsprag wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:30 pm
Invest_Wisely wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:22 pm
I'm a fairly new federal employee and I'm looking for a good resource to understand the ins and outs of the federal Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The Bogleheads TSP Wiki has some great information (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Thrift_Savings_Plan), but I'm seeking more. There are a lot of rules and unique (and changing) elements of the TSP that I'd like to better understand.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a book or website that might help me better understand the TSP and/or the federal retirement system?
It isn't what you asked for, but I'll mention some websites avoid during your research: any site or newsletter offering market timing tips to improve your returns if you purchase a subscription to their service.
Or even if they offer the tips for free.

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