Author Topic: How would you transfer TSP funds into firecalc? (and other firecalc questions)  (Read 1279 times)

sparkytheop

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I'm looking for some help with deciphering my portfolio for entry into firecalc.  Being TSP, it's not as straight forward as I'd like.

TSP funds (and short description)-- (ETA: updated with a little more detailed info below to hopefully help narrow it down)
G Fund   Government Securities   
F Fund   Fixed Income Index   
C Fund   Common Stock Index
S Fund   Small Cap Stock Index
I Fund   International Stock Index   

A link to more description if needed: https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/FundsOverview/comparisonMatrix.html

Firecalc categories

US Micro Cap   
US Small   
US Small Value   
S&P 500   
US Large Value   
US LT Treasury   
LT Corporate Bond   
1 Month Treasury   

What category would you put the given TSP funds into?

I'm getting insane numbers of growth in firecalc (starting retirement savings at 21 apparently did really help that compounding interest!)  I've done both the "couch potato"  and the preset "mixed portfolio" options to see how the two vary, and they vary quite a bit (especially when my graph goes out 60 years).  I'd like to more closely input my current contributions/allocations to see how my investments would have performed in the past.

I do have some lifecycle funds that would throw a bit of a wrench in the works, since they change as I get closer to retirement, but I can work around that. 

ETA: found a few more "clues" to what each fund is, but still not sure where to put them in firecalc...
https://www.tsp.gov/InvestmentFunds/FundOptions/fundPerformance_S.html

G fund = short term us treasury security = 1 month treasury?
F fund = Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index = LT Corporate Bond?
C fund = S&P 500 = S&P 500
S fund = "The S Fund's investment objective is to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index, a broad market index made up of stocks of U.S. companies not included in the S&P 500 Index." = ??
I fund = match performance of the MSCI EAFE Index = ??
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 02:12:16 PM by sparkytheop »

sparkytheop

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Other questions, to make sure I have my entries correct (just started trying firecalc this weekend)...  Numbers made nice and round to simplify.

Start Here tab:
  Spending-- I can play with this number to see how it changes things on my graph. 
     My assumptions (please correct me if I'm wrong!)
                 This money is not taken out of my portfolio until my retirement date. 
                 The spending money is pre-tax.  So, if I were to put $100k, I'm assuming it would be $25k in taxes and $75k

  Portfolio-- This is the balance I have in my portfolio right now, in today's dollars. 
 
  Years-- This is the number of years I expect to remain alive and need to see on the graph, from today, not from my retirement date.  (I expect to live into my 90's, I am in my 30s, so I put "60" in the years spot)

Other income/spending tab:

  Social Security-- leave blank if I am skeptical that it will be around when I retire.  Play with numbers up to $24k if I want to be optimistic and see how it changes my graph.

  Pension-- input my expected yearly pension as pension income, starting the year I retire.  The keep up with inflation part-- is that trying to make sure today's numbers continue to rise now (with raises), or that it will keep up with inflation after retirement?  I'm assuming the first since it says "today's dollars".  I will probably leave it unchecked and do my own calculations on my retirement then input low guess and high guess to compare.  We've had years of decent raises, and years of pay freeze, so I tend to calculate my raises at 1% and hope they will actually be better than that.  (I have decided I'm ok being a wage slave to age 57 if things at work continue to go well.  I like my job, schedule, it allows some down time, not stressful, I can spend 99% of most of my shifts completely by myself if wanted, so no real coworker drama, etc.  I might change my mind, but for now, the benefits of a pension, lower health care costs, etc, outweigh getting out a few years earlier.  However, if they offered "early outs" where you don't have to lose the benefits?  I'd jump on it in a heartbeat.  I'll be eligible for that at age 46, but it would be exceedingly rare to be offered in my current field.)

Not retired tab:

Pretty straightforward... year I plan to retire (at age 57), and my tsp contributions + match (currently 22% including match, thinking of lowering to 10% so that I have more "now" funds to split between a Roth and building a house).  I compare the two different numbers and am satisfied with the results of the lower number (and it would still give me the out if I want early retirement)

Spending models tab:

Which inflation model do you tend to use?  I've just left it on the default ("CPI").  Should I change this?

I look at both constant spending and the Bernicke's plan.  In reality, I will not be buying an annuity, so I will have the options to change my withdrawal amount once/year.  I will need to withdraw more than I need to avoid RMDs.  This is where I wish there was a little more flexibility on the spending side, although the one-time withdrawal does help me see how it would change if I cashed out a chunk at retirement (mortgage should be paid off, so a big chunk, if pulled, would be to spend on fun stuff--a toy, woodshop, well-equipped quilt room with a fancy long arm, or outrageous vacation).

Your portfolio

See OP for my questions.  This is where I see insane differences at the end of my graph depending on how funds are invested.  That last 10 years goes up.  Way, way up.  I wish there was a way to set "portfolio pre-retirement" when you tend to be more aggressive, and then "portfolio close to/post-retirement" where you want to be safe enough that you don't want to run out, but are still ok with a little risk on some of the money.

Portfolio Changes tab:

This is where I can take a one-time withdrawal at retirement (Fun! Toys! Travel!)  I can play with this number, but need to be okay with the number being 0.  Whether or not I take a chunk out will depend on a lot of factors, needing the money not necessarily being one of them.  The true factors being "how did my portfolio grow?"  "If I blow this money, would I have enough to still get me through?", "If I move this money to invest differently, and give myself better access to it, will I still be ok with what is in there?"





sparkytheop

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Did some more digging to see if I could get some better ideas for how to put in firecalc.  It will be a week before I have access to the guy who answers questions related to our retirement.  In the meantime, I updated the OP to see if this sparks anything for anyone as far as which category would match.

DirtDiva

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It's not going to be perfect, but...

G Fund- closest is probably long term Treasury. 
F Fund- closest is LT corporate bond
C Fund - S&P 500
S Fund - US Small value
I Fund- I don't see anything on Firecalc that matches an International index fund

The G Fund is unique and is very valuable to have access to! This is not to say that you should overload it while you're in the accumulation phase.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/G_Fund

sparkytheop

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It's not going to be perfect, but...

G Fund- closest is probably long term Treasury. 
F Fund- closest is LT corporate bond
C Fund - S&P 500
S Fund - US Small value
I Fund- I don't see anything on Firecalc that matches an International index fund

The G Fund is unique and is very valuable to have access to! This is not to say that you should overload it while you're in the accumulation phase.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/G_Fund

Thank you!  I'll try putting my numbers in those areas and see what happens.

I agree about the G fund, it's a very nice option to have, especially as you get close to retirement.  I'm hoping to have enough in TSP at retirement to keep a good portion "safe" in the G fund, but still let a good portion stay out there accumulating.  If only there was a crystal ball...!