Welcome to TSP Strategies

Welcome to TSPstrategies.com! This Web site is dedicated to exploring the benefits of saving and investing in the Thrift Savings Plan.

The companion book, TSP Investing Strategies: Building Wealth While Working for Uncle Sam, lays out a simple set of strategies for long-term, buy-and-hold investors to consider while investing in the TSP. This Web site and accompanying blog will build on those concepts, while focusing on new investing options and developments related to the TSP.

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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Feb


28

If 72 is the New 30, Is 150 the New 70?

Demographers comparing the lifespans of hunter-gatherers to lifespans in the modern era recently reported that the average 30-year-old hunter-gatherer had about the same odds of dying as a Swedish or Japanese man faces at age 72. Media promptly declared that “72 is the new 30,” and posted pictures of famous septuagenarians such as Chuck Norris, Al Pacino, and Raquel Welch – all extremely healthy and active.   The reports hinted at the enticing prospect of living much longer than we currently … more

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Feb


24

‘America Saves Week’ Begins February 25

In the irony of all ironies category, this week is designated “America Saves Week.” From February 25 to March 2, prepare to hear all about “saving.” This same week is also designated “Military Saves Week.” Last year at this time, TSP administrators marked the occasion by issuing posters announcing the new “Roth TSP” option that was ultimately opened to investors in staged phases beginning in May.  Unlike last year — issuing Bulletin 12-4 and a series of posters and videos … more

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Feb


23

C Fund Parties Like It’s 1999

The TSP stock funds have been on a tear recently, rising on average between 7% and 11% over the past three months. Another development, however, points to the underlying strength of the companies that make up the S&P 500 and the C Fund.  S&P Dow Jones Indices – the group that oversees the S&P 500 index – noted that the number of companies that have been paying out dividends has steadily risen since the recession.  By the end of 2012, … more

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Feb


21

Sequestration and TSP Contributions

The Department of Defense (DoD) formally announced plans to furlough a majority of its civilian employees as part of the spending cuts necessitated by sequestration. The Secretary of Defense sent the following message to the workforce yesterday, saying that he had officially starting the furlough process by notifying Congress as required by law: “Today, I notified Congress that furloughs could occur under sequestration.  I can assure you that, if we have to implement furloughs, all affected employees will be provided … more

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Feb


15

Reforming the Military Pension System

Who would’ve thought that the mission to capture or kill Usama Bin Ladin would lead to a debate on the military pension system? This is exactly what has happened following a lengthy interview of “the Shooter” – the Navy SEAL who killed UBL – in Esquire magazine.  According to the article, the Shooter recently left the Navy after 16 years of service, with “[n]o pension, no healthcare for his wife and kids, no protection for himself or his family.”  This … more

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Feb


10

Will the Year of the Snake Bite the TSP?

Happy (Chinese) New Year!  On February 10th, we enter the “Year of the Snake” on the Chinese calendar.  And according to some Asian astrologers, the year might be just as ill-omened as the name sounds. According to AFP, “Astrologers say this year’s snake is identified with the element of water — symbolizing fear — that sits on top of the fire element, representing joy and optimism. They say conflict between the two will bring turbulence in May.”  In China and … more

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Feb


08

Canaries in the Coal Mine, pt 2

Federal Disability Insurance (DI) is going broke, fast.  That much is clear based on annual reports from the Social Security Trustees’ annual reports, as discussed earlier this week.  While this forum is not about disability insurance per se (or Social Security or Medicare), the rapid increase in DI payouts and other mandatory programs point to the fiscal problems the nation faces in the coming years – and in turn this places continued pressure on federal and military pay and pensions. … more

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Feb


04

Canaries in the Coal Mine

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 jobs in January, a middling result for a U.S. economy that shrank by 0.1% in October-December 2012.  The unemployment rate ticked higher to 7.9%. The underreported number, however, is the workforce participation rate, which has declined more rapidly despite the steady job growth over the last four years.  The number of jobs created has not grown enough to offset population growth and to make … more

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