TIP: The Average Growth of the Stock Market for 100 Years has been 6%!
Some research shows 7% and some research even shows 10%, when dividends are factored in. But most of the research points to 6%. That means that even with destabilizing events like the Depression in the 1930s and the Recession in 2008, and all the other financial events, like the great inflation period of the 1970s, and two World Wars, the stock market has been doing pretty well for almost 100 years to reach a 6% average.
That means that you have to think long-term for retirement and investment in the TSP. It is not about just a career that may span 20 or 30 years. That is just the pre-retirement period. It also means you have to plan for an additional 30 - 40 years after your retirement date. Federal Retirement is not about making fast money or a killing in the stock market. We are not day traders, stock brokers, or people with insider information.
Don't let con men or some slick talking sales person talk you into double digit returns if you invest in their products. If it was that easy to invest and get a 15%, 20%, or 25% return, then everybody would be getting that. You don't get double digit returns for free. There is a lot of risk attached to those returns.
This is about a slow and steady growth that averages at 6% over those first 20 - 30, years, and then about 5% over the next 30 - 40 years. It will also include regular and consistent contributions to max out your TSP and can yield a tremendous payday for your retirement. The goal is to get to $1,000,000 plus. You should plan for $500,000 minimum but you really need to get to $1,000,000 so you will have financial control of your life on your terms.
You need to focus. You need to pay attention to your contributions every year. You need to decide what are you prepared to do to make it to $1,000,000. I will show you.