Since receiving my raise, I’ve been pondering increasing my contributions into my TSP. I was chatting with a co-worker about this, and she commented that she puts in the max. I’m impressed, but I’m not sure that’s the plan for me. Right now, I want to keep setting aside money for a house, though I do put in 5% (enough to get the full match). I’m considering putting in up to another 5%, but haven’t made a final decision yet. I’m not sure what’s holding me back, as I can change it anytime, and it’s a pretty quick switch – I can decide to put in 10% for a month and then decide that no, I’d rather put in only 8%, and that change is easy enough to make.
Over the weekend, I started to look into the historical data of the funds I invest in. I use a Target Retirement Date plan for my TSP, mainly because I’ve had trouble researching the individual funds to my satisfaction. Personally, I just want to stick it all into the “G Fund.” The G Fund is simply government securities, with no risk of loss, but not a whole lot of gain either. I know that’s not the best way to look at my retirement, which is at least 30 years off.
In 2008, my TSP account tanked. In actuality, I’m still doing okay, since I’ve been getting a match on all my contributions, so my account is worth more than the money I personally put into it. But it’s starting to look better, which makes the idea of investing more kind of appealing.
In 2008, the fund lost 31%. In 2009, it’s down another 2%. I know, that doesn’t sound good. But March and April have shown positive returns. It’s going to take a while to get all those percents back, but I’m not going to think about that. (Plus buying low isn’t a bad thing.) I just like that the little graph is moving in a good direction. Sure, it might not stay this way, but I’ll take my positive signs where I can find them.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
Samuel Hernandez says
i am saving money for my retirement because i want to enjoy most of my time as an old man.”;,