Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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What are your retirement resources?

Even the canniest investors—whether feds investing in the TSP, or private-sector employees tinkering in their 401(k)s—can have a tough time matching or beating an uncooperative market.

That can be hard on retirement plans.

We’ve heard on this blog that more than a few folks are postponing retirement so they can sock more money into the TSP. Or that they are waiting for their existing TSP investments to recover.

But there also are plenty of people who said they were going to retire anyway.

That also makes us wonder how many feds are relying solely on the usual sources—annuities, TSP withdrawals and Social Security (and find that sufficient)—and how many also have other sources they hope to tap (home equity, IRAs, real estate, etc.).

And do you expect it to see you through to a ripe old age? Or do you plan to work?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Sep 08, 2010 at 4:02 PM


Reader comments

Fri, Sep 17, 2010 Washington DC

Will retire next spring at age 68, GS15, 40 years govt service plus 4 years military, 20.5 years CSRS, 23.5 years FERS (which maximized Soc Sec). Have lived well within means and contributed max to TSP, which is fully recovered to above 2007 high. Pension + SS + required minimum TSP withdrawals at age 70 = 100% of present income, plus extra IRA and investments. Am looking forward to free time, part time consulting and moving closer to grandchildren.

Sun, Sep 12, 2010 Harry New Mexico

I retired last Christmas after 38 years CSRS. I am 61 and in decent health. I couldn't stand the management; I was very stressed and was not allowed to do the work I love to do (analysis & Lean/Six Sigma). I have enjoyed the last 8 months(went by way to fast) but I would like to get a part time job to pay for my "toys" and travel. I have some funds in the TSP but haven't touched them due to the market and the hit from IRS. I've been working since I was 8 (started as door-to-door sales) and plan to be around for another 40 years. This is another cycle which I have seen before; it will eventually improve but the Gov't. will have lost its best people. New hires are few and far between; I worked in Army so I know the reductions are coming.

Fri, Sep 10, 2010

I will retire between my minimum SS age of 62 and 66 and a half. Just staying the extra 4.5 years will increase my SS and FERS pension benefits by about 33%. I didn't include TSP since that's not fixed in stone! And I know they may also change SS benefits. My house will be paid for and all of my son's college loans by the time I retire. I've worked since I was 16 years old. I wan't to be sure I have enough income in retirement so that when I leave Federal Service, I won't ever have to work full time again. Hopefully I won't have a federal "Boss from Hell", and I've had a few, that will allow me to work as long as I need too.

Fri, Sep 10, 2010 Chuck New York

After 22 years I am counting the days, hours and minutes before I can abandon the sinking ship USS Fed. When I started in 1988 I was proud of where I worked. Now, it has become an intolerable cesspool of incompetent leadership, rudderless and searching for an iceberg. I'd rather take the chance and retire with less than the optimal amount than let the stress take away my quality of life.

Thu, Sep 9, 2010 Santa Barbara, CA

Officially eligible September 1st for FERS retirement from the Postal Service. Delaying retirement because one son in college, still in good health, and the economy has definitely made me rethink leaving at 56 years of age. New goal is 60. Thank heaven for the TSP...

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