Are you approaching millionaire territory?

Whether you get a pay raise or not next January, chances are you are worth more than you think — literally.

Whether you get a pay raise or not next January, chances are you are worth more than you think — literally.

If you been investing regularly in the C and S funds of the Thrift Savings Plan for a long time, and you’ve taken advantage of the 5 percent government match, you should have quite a stash by now. A growing number of feds who rode out the Great Recession are now in the million-dollar-plus TSP club.

If you bought a house decades ago, it is probably worth a lot more than you paid for it. If you remained single, or if you have limited yourself to one spouse and haven’t divorced, that is also a good move.

And it means you have an estate that’s probably more valuable than you think, which is where Tom O’Rourke comes in. He’s a tax and estate attorney in the D.C. area with lots of clients who are current or former federal workers. And he says most of us are worth more than we think.

In addition to maybe owning a paid up home, you will have an annuity — pension — for life.

“For all federal retirees, the starting point is the fact that they are entitled to an annuity for life that is indexed for inflation,” he said.

Thanks to steady investing, a growing number of feds and federal couples now have 401(k) balances exceeding $1 million. The vast majority did it the hard way. They started investing from day one, maxed out their contributions and rode out the market in good and bad times. The average TSP millionaire is not a fat cat, but rather somebody who invested wisely and steadily for an average of 27.8 years.

Whatever you have, you may be worth a lot more than you think. So do you have an estate plan? Does it include beneficiary designations and property ownership arrangements? Do you know the difference between a will and a trust? And which is best for you? How about powers of attorney? There are several kinds and you may need all of them. How to find out?

Listen to today’s Your Turn show with Tom O’Rourke, which airs 10 a.m. EDT on and on on 1500 AM in the D.C. area. All Your Turn shows are archived on the Your Turn homepage, so if you miss it today you can listen later.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

The elevation gain and loss of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 16 times. The summit of Mount Everest sits at 29,029 feet, while the elevation changes hikers traverse along the AT is approximately 464,464 feet.

Source: The Trek

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