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Posted: 3/20/2006 8:08:00 AM EDT
Can you use the Thrift Savings Plan if you are not deployed? I was under the assumption it was a deployment only program.
Link Posted: 3/20/2006 9:52:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
Can you use the Thrift Savings Plan if you are not deployed? I was under the assumption it was a deployment only program.



IIRC the TSP is basically a 401K for service members. I haven't heard much on it lately but as I unerstand it you are just as well off doing your own investments (Roth IRA, etc).

Here's some links to help you out.
Wiki
TSP Home page
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:11:49 PM EDT
The biggest disadvantage to using the TSP instead of using that money for IRA's (get both a Roth and traditional if you can afford it) is that unlike the civillian federal employee version, there are no matching funds. The government matches a certain amount with it's civ employees just like most every 401k plan. Unfortunately, they don't match ours.
If you are living well below your means (and congratulations for keeping yourself in control unlike most of the nation that is living way into debt) and can afford both types of IRA's and you can afford to have some money diverted into the TSP, it's not a horrible thing. It's just not as good as it could or should be.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 8:20:49 AM EDT
Tangochaser,
You don't have to be deployed to use the TSP. Any active duty Soldier can enroll. Until recently, there was a cap on the percentage of base pay you could contribute. Since the first of JAN, there is no cap on the percentage, but you cannot put in more than $15,000 per year.

This program has some really good benefits. The non-deployed money that you contribute is tax-deferred (don't pay interest on it until you withdraw it and gives you a break on current taxes). The money you contribute while deployed is tax-exempt (no taxes ever). There are many different funds available within the program itself, ranging from extremely secure, low interest options to more risky options with greater possible returns.

They have a great website which allows you to track returns day by day if that's your thing. Since it's an allotment - the wife doesn't have to know that you're putting this money away (unless you let her see your LES).

All in all, a pretty good program.

Link Posted: 3/25/2006 9:27:02 AM EDT
Just be sure you're not confusing the TSP with the SDP (The 10% thing for deployed troops only)

NTM
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 9:48:38 AM EDT
Dump as much cash into your TSP as you can........When I was a Fed, tech, for 12yrs I put away as much $$$$ as I could........Walked away with about 80K.......No way in hell could I saved that much, on my own!
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:26:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PDshooter:
Dump as much cash into your TSP as you can........When I was a Fed, tech, for 12yrs I put away as much $$$$ as I could........Walked away with about 80K.......No way in hell could I saved that much, on my own!



As a tech, did you get matching funds from the gov? If so great, free money and you'd have been a fool not to max whatever they match. If not, you might have been able to beat that by using an IRA.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:15:51 PM EDT
Yes they would match you the 1st 5% dollar for dollar. After that I can't remember. I put in 12% per pay............
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 2:09:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PDshooter:
Yes they would match you the 1st 5% dollar for dollar. After that I can't remember. I put in 12% per pay............



That's the problem with the military TSP. The military does NOT do any matching, so it might be bette to put that money into a Roth or traditional IRA instead since may have higher yields dollar for dollar. One of the biggest reasons to use a 401k (or equivalent, like the 401e, or TSP) is when the company matches funds, as that is free money for you.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 6:51:41 AM EDT
What company matches IRA funds? Is it the company you work for or some other company?

If it's the company you work for that matches IRA funds, I'm in the Army and the Army doesn't match funds.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 5:12:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
What company matches IRA funds? Is it the company you work for or some other company?

If it's the company you work for that matches IRA funds, I'm in the Army and the Army doesn't match funds.



You misunderstood me. I mean that if your company does not match your 401k contributions, it might be better to use your money to invest in an IRA instead. If your company does match your 401k contributions, then use that because it's free money. Then get an IRA when you can afford it.
Since the Army doesn't match funds for the TSP unlike civillian federal employees who do get matching funds, it might be a better idea to get an IRA instead of just the TSP.
Clear?
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 6:28:38 AM EDT
Got it , thanks.
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