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How to Estimate Your TSP Account Balance at Retirement

Businessman Analyzing Graph And Doing Financial Calculations

How can you estimate how much money you will have in the Thrift Savings Plan at the time you retire?  How can you estimate the amount of monthly income you will receive from the TSP?

The key word in both of the above questions is “estimate”, and the TSP calculators can help you with your estimation.  As with any estimate, the assumptions that you make will affect its accuracy as will the distance in time between when you make the estimate as will when the estimate is for.

The TSP has calculator features that can give you a hand in projecting TSP balances and the size of your TSP income stream on their website https://www.tsp.gov/PlanningTools/index.html.  These are not the most sophisticated calculators in the world, but they can give you an idea what the future might hold.  In the pre-retirement seminars that I do for federal agencies, I will go to the TSP website and do a quick demonstration of the first of the two calculators.  In this article, I will discuss the How Much Will My Savings Grow? calculator.  In another article I will cover the Retirement Income Calculator.

How Much Will My Savings Grow? is a calculator that can give you an idea of how much money you might have at a future date.  It asks you the following before it spits out its estimate:

I used the calculator making the following assumptions:

I ended up with a balance of $389,398.30 – close to double the amount that I started with.  This was due to:

Obviously, these are made-up numbers.  Why don’t you try the How Much Will My Savings Grow? calculator and find out how much your savings will grow.