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Your opinion on my situation
Old 05-05-2017, 08:23 AM   #1
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Your opinion on my situation

I'm 51 years, FERS federal employee, with 27 years of service.
Recently divorced with one child in 7th grade.

Salary of $120k. I hope to retire in 5 years, when my child goes off to college, and whose other parent is helping fund her 529 plan currently.

My TSP has a balance of $650k
My home has equity of $250k
My personal savings are $250k
No debt

My investments lately are all very safe, but barely keeping up with inflation.
I see myself receiving about $40k a year from my pension annuity, $30k from my TSP annuity, and SS of maybe $20k when I'm eligible.

Based on the information about my assets, I'd appreciate any review experienced people may have about my situation, what other things I need to think about, or any suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:36 AM   #2
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It's difficult to comment without knowing what your annual expenses are.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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You're in great shape if you can live on $70k/yr.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rrunner1965 View Post
I'm 51 years, FERS federal employee, with 27 years of service.
Recently divorced with one child in 7th grade.

Salary of $120k. I hope to retire in 5 years, when my child goes off to college, and whose other parent is helping fund her 529 plan currently.

My TSP has a balance of $650k
My home has equity of $250k
My personal savings are $250k
No debt

My investments lately are all very safe, but barely keeping up with inflation.
I see myself receiving about $40k a year from my pension annuity, $30k from my TSP annuity, and SS of maybe $20k when I'm eligible.

Based on the information about my assets, I'd appreciate any review experienced people may have about my situation, what other things I need to think about, or any suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance.
the problem with "safe" investments is that they usually only keep pace with inflation, many of them lose when inflation is factored in. take one of the many risk tolerance tests with regard to asset allocation, answer truthfully. if it shows you can handle more risky investments you will out perform inflation.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy View Post
... risk tolerance tests ...
I am skeptical that those have much value. From Fred Schwed:

"There are certain things that cannot be adequately explained to a virgin by words or pictures. Nor can any description that I might offer here even approximate what it feels like to lose a real chunk of money you used to own."

Having ridden through a number of big hits, beginning with 22% on October 19, 1987, I have a pretty good sense of my risk tolerance. But I sincerely doubt that filling out on-line questionnaires will give anyone a sense of what it is really like. They are always fun, though.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:01 PM   #6
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OP, have your run your situation through Firecalc? or Quicken Lifetime Planner?

If your expenses are typical, then you're probably all set.

But you should consider taking on some modest investment risk as an inflation hedge.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:31 PM   #7
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From 56-62, you should also get FERS supplement that should be about the same as (maybe a little less) SS in addition to 32% of average high 3 salary. You stated you had no debt...does that include your house? If so, looks like you are in excellent shape.

Are you maxing out contributions on TSP? Catch Up? This can give you better cushion when the time comes to retire.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:43 PM   #8
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You mention SS - have you checked to see what kind of SS you'll qualify for? I know some government pensions reduce the ability to claim full SS. But the situation doesn't apply to me - so I don't know the details.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:53 PM   #9
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FERS Employees are eligible for SS
FERS Supplement:
What Is the FERS Supplement Worth? - Retirement Planning - Pay & Benefits - GovExec.com
TSP Calculators:
https://www.tsp.gov/PlanningTools/Ca...ors/index.html
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:10 PM   #10
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I am skeptical that those have much value. From Fred Schwed:

"There are certain things that cannot be adequately explained to a virgin by words or pictures. Nor can any description that I might offer here even approximate what it feels like to lose a real chunk of money you used to own."

Having ridden through a number of big hits, beginning with 22% on October 19, 1987, I have a pretty good sense of my risk tolerance. But I sincerely doubt that filling out on-line questionnaires will give anyone a sense of what it is really like. They are always fun, though.
i agree thats why i said truthfully, and even truthfully you need to experience the pain of a downturn to appreciate the word. lol
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:09 PM   #11
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You mention a TSP annuity. If you convert your TSP to an annuity and have a pension and SS, then all your retirement income will be annuities. I think some of the TSP annuities may provide for COLAs. The FERS pension COLA is a diet COLA so will not quite keep up with inflation. You may be too risk averse, especially given that you are retiring in your mid 50's but could live to be 100.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrunner1965 View Post

My investments lately are all very safe, but barely keeping up with inflation.
I see myself receiving about $40k a year from my pension annuity, $30k from my TSP annuity, and SS of maybe $20k when I'm eligible.

Based on the information about my assets, I'd appreciate any review experienced people may have about my situation, what other things I need to think about, or any suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance.
As mentioned by others above, you need to think about/estimate your expenses in retirement. And because you'll have so much of your income in pension and annuities from tax deferred savings, you need to look carefully at taxes. Depending upon where you will live when you retire, taxes can eat up a smaller or larger portion of your income.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:18 PM   #13
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My thoughts:

0) You're doing good for a gov't employee.

1) Don't forget that while working you are paying 6.2% OASDI, 0.8% FERS, and 1.45% Medicare every pay period. Those are mandatory and reduce your 120K salary to roughly $109.8 K

2) Your TSP balance is good. I'm going to guess that you might have been maxing the contributions for a while. Once you retire, you will not be contributing to TSP. Use the number that is accurate for you, but that might make your current take home more like $109.8K - $18K = $91.8K. If you are currently doing catch up contributions, you might even be putting in as much as $24k/year.

3) Your other numbers seem reasonable to me for the FERS annuity, TSP (annuity, really?), and SS. As others have said, DON'T forget about the FERS supplement. That will be about 27/40 * (2000?) = $1350/mo or $16k/year from your MRA (56 I guess) to age 62. So overall, you would have $86k/year - and then more when you reach 62 and SS replaces the FERS supplement.

4) I hope the numbers look better now. If those numbers are accurate, then you will have almost a 94% replacement income rate. (86k/91.8k). I didn't count taxes in there. You get taxed now and you will get taxed later, so those did not make much of a difference in my own calculations. I also did not count FEHB because you will pay now and later, though the taxes on it are different - but dont change the calculation a lot.

5) You used the term TSP Annuity. Very very very few people choose to purchase the TSP Annuity. Most everyone keeps it as an investment account (even if they move it out of TSP). Put it this way, you purchase the annuity with your $650k and they give you ~3500/mo. You die 2 months later. They keep your $650k and tell you good luck pushing up the daisies. Ok, I'm guessing a reduced annuity might go to spouse or child, but still. Seems like a terrible deal. Alternatively, you can just withdraw your $30k/year (monthly of course) for the next 22 years - which is how long it will last you with 0% interest. It will last much longer even in the G fund. Most people would keep a mix of stocks/bonds/G and that money would probably last (and even grow) until you are 100.

Hope that helps
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:58 PM   #14
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I retired 2 years ago with FERS with an early out & buy out.

A few thoughts:
Retire when first eligible :-),
Supplement pension as has been mentioned is in addition to pension (56-62),
consider using TSP funds once supplement ends to postpone claiming SS (& increasing SS) 62-65 or so,
perhaps invest in L-income rather than TSP annuity to gain flexibility yet invest conservatively,
Save up leave last couple years to have a big check to live on while the pension gets finalized (will take months for sure, but you'll get partial in the meantime).
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:05 AM   #15
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Fixed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy View Post
the problem with "safe" investments is that ... many of them lose when inflation is factored in
Almost all of them lose money after inflation and taxes are factored in.
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:13 AM   #16
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I am skeptical that those have much value. From Fred Schwed:

"There are certain things that cannot be adequately explained to a virgin by words or pictures. Nor can any description that I might offer here even approximate what it feels like to lose a real chunk of money you used to own."

Having ridden through a number of big hits, beginning with 22% on October 19, 1987, I have a pretty good sense of my risk tolerance. But I sincerely doubt that filling out on-line questionnaires will give anyone a sense of what it is really like. They are always fun, though.
We all need to start somewhere.

You could visit a financial advisor who will ask a lot of questions and help you come up with a feel for your risk tolerance and suggest an asset allocation, or you could use one of those online tools.

Once you go through some market ups and downs, then you'll know what your real risk tolerance is.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:08 PM   #17
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I agree that your savings should have more equities to help protect against inflation. Even conservative would be a 50% equities for your TSP. Since you have the pension, think of that like the annuity portion. While you might make it on a fixed return very safe account, as stated you will not keep up with inflation.

A common asset allocation used is 60% equities/40% fixed income, and that is intended to stay ahead of inflation.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:58 PM   #18
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OP, $70k seems like a lot of money to me, but you may live, or wish to live, in a high COL area. And I don't know how much you're paying in alimony, so perhaps $70k isn't adequate.

Knowledge is power. I recommend your to start working your way through this site's reading list. this might make you more inclined to adopt a more aggressive, diversified, and balanced portfolio and you can build up your nest egg.

And may I complement you on your word choice of child? Folks referring to their children as kids (baby goats) is a pet peeve of mine. A stupid pet peeve, to be sure, but I am what I am.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:42 PM   #19
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And may I complement you on your word choice of child? Folks referring to their children as kids (baby goats) is a pet peeve of mine.
On a similar note, I dislike people using the term 'grow-ups' rather than 'adults'. It's not something that causes me distress, but it just seems so infantile.

Regrettable expressions that are far too common (especially used by airlines!):

1) ''last and final' (e.g., "last and final call for passager Jane Smith"): stupidly redundant. This is a close cousin to the idiotic phrase 'first and foremost';

2) 'more than pleased' (e.g., "if you need assistance with a connecting flight, we will be more than pleased to help you"): really? If receiving mundane requests for information is cause for ecstatic joy, you really do need to get out more.

Sorry everyone for the thread highjack.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:16 AM   #20
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On a similar note, I dislike people using the term 'grow-ups' rather than 'adults'. It's not something that causes me distress, but it just seems so infantile.

Regrettable expressions that are far too common (especially used by airlines!):

1) ''last and final' (e.g., "last and final call for passager Jane Smith"): stupidly redundant. This is a close cousin to the idiotic phrase 'first and foremost';

2) 'more than pleased' (e.g., "if you need assistance with a connecting flight, we will be more than pleased to help you"): really? If receiving mundane requests for information is cause for ecstatic joy, you really do need to get out more.

Sorry everyone for the thread highjack.
Number 2 seems like a petty thing to complain about, just for clarity sake tell me how you would rephrase that..they are just saying they will be happy to help you...I'm not gonna complain about somebody being pleasant and polite. Are you objecting to them using 3 words instead of two? Also on the boarding I've heard "Final boarding" repeated more then one time because they really mean "you need to get your butt on the plane" last and final means we are done messing with you, either get on the plane or find another flight.
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