About the TSP Counselor
Thank you for dedicating your career to protecting, defending, and otherwise serving the United States of America.
When my wife and I decided to do the same nearly 15 years ago, we could not have been more excited about our futures. The one thing that was missing then, and for which there remains a tremendous need today, is conflict-free education and coaching around saving and investing for the future using the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Whether you are entering federal service in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, or you are thinking of leaving service prior to, at, or after traditional retirement age, the decisions you make around saving and investing in the TSP will most certainly have a profound impact on your financial future and that of your loved ones.
While the number of business models for financial advisors continues to grow, virtually all of those models are still focused on the “traditional” domains of financial planning. The reality is that for a huge swath of Americans, federal employees included, their needs for financial advice are half about financial literacy, and half about behavior change and forming good financial habits – neither of which are part of the typical engagement with a financial advisor.
Although most everyone knows that saving diligently and investing prudently is important, very few recognize what prudent investing looks like, understand how crucial it is to have a plan in place to guide their financial journey, or appreciate the reality that the planning is never truly done. The TSP Counselor is your educator and coach around the TSP as you navigate the everchanging landscape that is life – be it changes in age, net worth, work-related and personal circumstances, or market turmoil. You must, and together we can, make important TSP-related decisions with unknowable and incomplete information, and then adjust as you go. Together, we will navigate uncertainty on the path to achieving your financial goals and freedom.
For me, money is “an issue.” By that I mean, money has shaped the way my wife and I live our lives in an incredibly meaningful way. It has forced us to set goals for ourselves and our family, and to make informed decisions as we inch closer to financial independence. In addition, our focus on money has forced us to serve as positive financial role models for our two young children. I am a self-taught investor (and self-professed personal finance nerd) who began learning the basics over 15 years ago from knowledgeable, experienced investors. Ever since then, I have immersed myself in the subject, developed a well-rounded knowledge of and perspective on personal finance-related matters, and applied all I have learned to saving and investing in my wife’s and my TSP accounts.
Although I have spent the past 18 years as a practicing attorney, Intelligence Analyst, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Peer with the US Department of Justice, I have found my passion is to provide our country’s finest individuals with the education and coaching they need to make informed financial decisions around their TSP accounts at times in their lives when doing so could completely transform their future. I love to teach and mentor, and coaching others allows me to dive into the emotional, behavioral, and educational side of money.
- Live on the East Coast with my wife, an attorney with the federal government, and young daughter and son.
- Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology from the University of Rochester.
- Management Certificates in Finance/Accounting and Personnel Management from the University of Rochester Simon Business School.
- Juris Doctor from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.
- Barred in the State of New York and Washington, DC.
What Others Have to Say
I was fortunate to have started seeking education and mentoring from Chad before he launched The TSP Counselor site and his coaching services took off on a much larger scale. Back then, he was thorough in his explanations, provided thoughtful guidance, and took my level of comfort into consideration. He does the exact same today. He’s talked me off the ledge numerous times when outside influences seemed to jeopardize my portfolio. I still seek his counsel today — he’s helped me maintain calmness in these especially rocky times. Chad is well-versed in personal finance and has the ability to explain concepts in ways that don’t go over your head. That’s the mark of true intelligence.
Rational thought, in its purest form, must be devoid of all emotion, an impossible standard for humans — especially when it comes to handling our money, our security. When Covid and an unstable market stirred the emotional pot, Chad, with calm and historically-grounded input, talked this “non-money guy” off the edge of the cliff; kept him from jumping into a “lock down and protect what you still have” posture. Now, just 10 months later, what was lost has been recovered . . . and increased. Retirement will be an option for me, and Chad remains the same calm presence he was during the storm. If you care about your financial future, I highly recommend that you chat with him and judge for yourself.
As a federal employee, I don’t feel like any agency does a great job of investment or retirement education and if they provide any training, it’s a ‘one size fits all approach’. Chad really opened my eyes today to everything that’s available to me. Not only is he so pleasant and easy to talk to- he spent the time really getting to know my retirement goals and personal financial situation. I learned more in my one hour spent with him than I ever have about TSP and investing. Not once did I feel spoken down to for not knowing something or having basic questions. He doesn’t try to push his agenda on to you, or sell you on any product or service- he made it clear that he was available as much or as little as needed going forward. I have nothing but great things to say about Chad and would encourage any federal employee- whether you’re 5 years or 15 years in to talk with him. His passion for helping people achieve financial success and making their money work for them was so evident. Thank you so much Chad and I can’t wait to keep working with you.
Dr. C. R.
I am in the healthcare field and finance has always been a foreign language to me. Chad took the time to help me understand what the best steps were for me to take to get my student loan debt under control while also preparing for a lucrative future. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about savings and investments, I felt in control and excited about my future goals. Chad truly has a passion for what he does and it shows in his dedication and the time he spends with you.
I have worked for the federal government for the past 17 years. From the beginning of my tenure with the government, I’ve always known the importance of contributing to my Thrift Savings Plan. Until recently, I thought that I was contributing the maximum allowable yearly amount. However, after reading helpful information I found on The TSP Counselor webpage, I learned that I was not. When I realized my mistake, I contacted Chad at The TSP Counselor to discuss this issue and several other TSP matters in depth. I found Chad to be very knowledgeable and helpful in explaining many of the financial intricacies the TSP system presents. Based on my experience, I highly recommend The TSP Counselor to all federal employees!
St. Louis, MO
I was just out of college when I entered federal service and didn’t have a strong sense of what I wanted my long-term relationship with money to look like. As long as I could cover my bills and put a little away, I was good, right? Then I met Chad, who helped me realize that without a defined financial strategy for my future, I was leaving too much to chance. With that in mind, Chad has helped me:
- Select TSP funds that better align with my unique retirement and financial goals, as well as personal risk tolerance.
- Eliminate mindless spending to be able to contribute the yearly TSP maximum years before I thought I’d be able to.
- Helped me navigate the first year of my child’s daycare with a DCSA account and showed me how to submit “Pay Me Back” claims when I failed to realize they weren’t automatic.
- Establish college savings accounts for my children.
- Create an emergency fund that was appropriate for our family’s unique needs and priorities.
- Identify strategies to capitalize on unexpected gains in cash, even in the short term.
- Continue my journey to financial literacy by identifying resources (books, blogs, etc) that offer more in-depth guidance on my unique goals.
He’s also simply there to help answer general questions and talk through things so that I make decisions feeling like I used all the information available to me to make the best choice for me.
Oklahoma City, OK
Dealing with work, family, and everything else in-between is a challenge that everyone can appreciate. But one of the more important “in-between” challenges is likely the one that causes the most strife – personal finances. I initially set it and forget it type with my TSP because I did not want to deal with another “thing.” Having known Chad in my work and personal life, I reached out to have a discussion regarding finances. I started the call by asking about allocations amongst the TSP funds but Chad opened my eyes to a host of other issues I should be thinking about. Best call I have ever made regarding finances. I highly recommend the TSP Counselor and wish all of you financial independence!