Ask The Experts: Money Matters

By Mike Miles

TSP vs. Roth

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Q. I contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan where you don’t invest the money. What is the difference between the Roth IRA and TSP? Would you recommend that I look into the Roth IRA?

A. The TSP is funded with pretax money, but when withdrawn, the money is taxed as ordinary income. The Roth TSP is funded with after-tax money, but the money is exempt from income when it is withdrawn. Everyone who is eligible to participate should consider the costs and benefits of both options, although it can be difficult or impossible to know in advance that one or the other will be best for you. In the end. it’s more important that you save the money, than whether it is saved to the TSP or Roth TSP accounts.

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