Over the past several years, the number of federal workers with million-dollar Thrift Savings Plan accounts has jumped dramatically. And the surge is neither scandalous nor illegal. (This statement does not cover Congress).


In April, 2010 there were 75 federal workers with $1 million accounts. By August of this year, that number had jumped to 2,675. It is probably higher today because of the surging stock market.

cropped-lra-logo-blue.jpgBy mid 2014, there were 102,910 active and retired feds whose TSP balances were worth more than $500,000. The TSP has a total of 4.6 account holders.

Why the big jump in TSP millionaires? It defnitely wasn’t pay raises! Feds got a 1 percent pay raise in January after three years of federal pay freezes. They are currently in line to get another 1 percent in January 2015. Even with the miracle of compounding, a 1 percent per year pay raise is not the route to millionaire status.

felix mic indoorsFinancial experts say the boomlet in federal millionaires (outside of Congress) is the result of the post-recession rebound in the stock market and rollovers into the TSP from some high-income appointees who have joined the government. That includes people appointed to diplomatic posts and as federal judges.

To become U.S. Ambassador to some prestigious post, you don’t have to be a millionaire who donated to the winner’s political campaign. But it helps! If you doubt it, ask any career Foreign Service Officer. Some of them have seen some real losers, including a few disasters, appointed not for their knowledge of diplomacy and foreign affairs, but rather because of their ability to write big checks.

A growing number of feds became TSP millionaires the hard way. They invested in the C, S and I stock funds, never flinched when the markets plummeted and continued to buy shares at — as it turns out — bargain prices in 2007, 2008 and as the markets made their slow recovery.

In 2010, the Board that runs the TSP processed 2,700 checks of funds being moved into the TSP from outside retirement accounts. They were worth $66.4 million.

logo_emisora blanco R BamaOn Wednesday’s Your Turn radio show, we talked with financial planner and writer Allan Roth. (The show is archived on our home page, so you can listen anytime). He said the TSP is attractive for rollovers because of its low-fees and the super-safe Treasury securities G-fund option.

Despite the surge in rollovers into the TSP, nearly half the people leaving government (retirement, other jobs, etc.) in 2012 withdrew all their money from the TSP within a year. We’ve been asking people why they did it, and hope to have a report soon. Some of the reasons may surprise you.

Meantime, think seven figures!


Military Wallet Podcast for Veteran, Reservist & National Guard LEO’s

By: Felix A. Montelara

Source: The

Check out this podcast the Military Wallet. I am an U.S. Army Veteran and have used the VA lra logo  blueCertificate of Eligibility to purchase several homes. When I completed my obligation with the Army, I went back to my LEO job based on the VA military re-employment right.  This  podcast and its companion website is very helpful and full of information. I highly recommend you visit and listen.

I hope you enjoy this post but most importantly you put in practice what you have learned.

Military wallet
Click to see all Episodes

The Military Wallet Podcast by Ryan Guina a weekly podcast that was created to bring you the latest news and information in military and veterans benefits.  The blog has a wide range of topics covering benefits programs for active duty members, retirees, members of the Guard and Reserves, veterans, and their family members.  Some of the topics we cover include military pay and benefits, military retirement pensions, VA Disability claims, VA Loans, GI Bill, Thrift Savings Plan, and much more.

If you are a veteran or serve in the Reserves or National Guard this podcast is for you. Here is the website if you are like me and love to read.

The Military Wallet

Go to Website

Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career

Law enforcement officer are you pursuing your passion while doing your job. cropped-lra-logo-blue.jpgI surely have enjoyed my 32 years career in law enforcement. Is law enforcement your destiny? Is it your dream job? Are you afraid? Watch the video below, it will make think about your career. Go for it, just like I did. Do not be afraid to fail and you will have a great career.
Love it,
Felix A. Montelara
LEO, Author, Speaker, podcast and Radio Host

In this funny and blunt talk, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions. (Filmed at TEDxUW.)

Larry Smith, Professor of Economics, University of Waterloo
A professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Larry Smith coaches his students to find the careers that they will truly love.

0:16I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you’re going to fail to have a great career. (Laughter)

0:25I’m an economist. I do dismal. End of the day, it’s ready for dismal remarks. I only want to talk to those of you who want a great career. I know some of you have already decided you want a good career.You’re going to fail, too — (Laughter) — because — Goodness, you’re all cheery about failing. (Laughter) Canadian group, undoubtedly. (Laughter) Those trying to have good careers are going to fail,because, really, good jobs are now disappearing. There are great jobs and great careers, and then there are the high-workload, high-stress, bloodsucking, soul-destroying kinds of jobs, and practically nothing in between.

1:11So the people looking for good jobs are going to fail. I’m going to talk about those looking for great jobs, great careers, and why you’re going to, why you’re going to fail. First reason is that no matter how many times people tell you, “If you want a great career, you have to pursue your passion, you have to pursue your dreams, you have to pursue, the greatest fascination in your life,” you hear it again and again and then you decide not to do it. It doesn’t matter how many times you download Steven J.’s Stanford commencement address, you still look at it and decide not to do it.

1:50I’m not quite sure why you decide not to do it. You’re too lazy to do it. It’s too hard. You’re afraid if you look for your passion and don’t find it, you’ll feel like you’re an idiot, so then you make excuses about why you’re not going to look for your passion. And they are excuses, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to go through a whole long list, your creativity, and thinking of excuses not to do what you reallyneed to do if you want to have a great career.

2:13So, for example, one of your great excuses is, “Well, great careers are really and truly, for most people,just a matter of luck, so I’m going to stand around, I’m going to try to be lucky, and if I’m lucky, I’ll have a great career. If not, I’ll have a good career.” But a good career is an impossibility, so that’s not going to work.

2:37Then, your other excuse is, “Yes, there are special people who pursue their passions, but they are geniuses. They are Steven J. I’m not a genius. When I was five, I thought I was a genius, but my professors have beaten that idea out of my head long since.” (Laughter) Mm? “And now I know I am completely competent.” Now, you see, if this was 1950, being completely competent, that would have given you a great career. But guess what? This is almost 2012, and saying to the world, “I am totally, completely competent,” is damning yourself with the faintest of praise.

3:20And then, of course, another excuse: “Well, I would do this, I would do this, but, but, well, after all, I’m not weird. Everybody knows that people who pursue their passions are somewhat obsessive. A little strange? Mm? Mm? Okay? You know, a fine line between madness and genius. I’m not weird. I’ve read Steven J.’s biography. Oh my goodness. I am not that person. I am nice. I am normal. I’m a nice, normal person, and nice, normal people don’t have passion. Ah. But I still want a great career. I’m not prepared to pursue my passion, so I know what I’m going to do, because I have, I have a solution, I have a strategy. It’s the one Mommy and Daddy told me about. Mommy and Daddy told me that if I worked hard, I’d have a good career. So, if you work hard and have a good career, if you work really, really, really hard, you’ll have a great career. Doesn’t that, like, mathematically make sense?” Hmm. Not. (Laughter) But you’ve managed to talk yourself into that.

4:28You know what? Here’s a little secret. You want to work? You want to work really, really, really hard?You know what? You’ll succeed. The world will give you the opportunity to work really, really, really, really hard, but are you so sure that that’s going to give you a great career when all the evidence is to the contrary?

4:49So let’s assume, let’s deal with those of you who are trying to find your passion. You actually understand that you really had better do it, never mind the excuses. You’re trying to find your passion,and you’re so happy. You found something you’re interested in.

5:07I have an interest! I have an interest! You tell me. You say, “I have an interest!” I say, “That’s wonderful!And what, what are you trying to tell me? That you — ” “Well, I have an interest.” I say, “Do you have passion?” “I have an interest,” you say. Your interest is compared to what? “Well, I’m interested in this.”And what about the rest of humanity’s activities? “I’m not interested in them.” You’ve looked at them all, have you? “No. Not exactly.”

5:35Passion is your greatest love. Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent. Passion, interest — it’s not the same thing. Are you really going to go to your sweetie and say, “Marry me! You’re interesting.” (Laughter) Won’t happen. Won’t happen, and you will die alone. (Laughter)

6:02What you want, what you want, what you want, is passion. It is beyond interest. You need 20 interests, and then one of them, one of them might grab you, one of them might engage you more than anything else, and then you may have found your greatest love in comparison to all the other things that interest you, and that’s what passion is.

6:25I have a friend, proposed to his sweetie. He was an economically rational person. He said to his sweetie, “Let us marry. Let us merge our interests.”


6:40Yes he did. “I love you truly,” he said. “I love you deeply. I love you more than any other woman I’ve ever encountered. I love you more than Mary, Jane, Susie, Penelope, Ingrid, Gertrude, Gretel — I was on a German exchange program then.” (Laughter) “I love you more than — ” All right! She left the room halfway through his enumeration of his love for her. After he got over his surprise at being, you know,turned down, he concluded he’d had a narrow escape from marrying an irrational person, although he did make a note to himself that the next time he proposed, it was perhaps not necessary to enumerateall of the women he had auditioned for the part. (Laughter)

7:34But the point stands. You must look for alternatives so that you find your destiny, or are you afraid of the word “destiny”? Does the word “destiny” scare you? That’s what we’re talking about, and if you don’t find the highest expression of your talent, if you settle for “interesting,” what the hell ever that means, do you know what will happen at the end of your long life? Your friends and family will be gathered in the cemetery, and there, beside your gravesite will be a tombstone, and inscribed on that tombstone, it will say, “Here lies a distinguished engineer who invented Velcro.” But what that tombstone should have said, in an alternative lifetime, what it should have said if it was your highest expression of talent, was, “Here lies the last Nobel Laureate in Physics, who formulated the Grand Unified Field Theory and demonstrated the practicality of warp drive.”

8:36(Laughter) Velcro, indeed. (Laughter)

8:42One was a great career. One was a missed opportunity. But then, there are some of you, in spite of all these excuses, you will find, you will find your passion, and you’ll still fail.

9:03You’re going to fail, because, because you’re not going to do it, because you will have invented a new excuse, any excuse to fail to take action, and this excuse I’ve heard so many times. “Yes, I would pursue a great career, but I value human relationships more than accomplishment. I want to be a great friend. I want to be a great spouse. I want to be a great parent, and I will not sacrifice them on the altar of great accomplishment.”


9:52What do you want me to say? Now, do you really want me to say now, tell you, “Really, I swear I don’t kick children.” (Laughter) Hmm? Look at the worldview you’ve given yourself. You’re a hero no matter what, and I, by suggesting, ever so delicately, that you might want a great career, must hate children. I don’t hate children. I don’t kick them. Yes, there was a little kid wandering through this building when I came here, and no, I didn’t kick him. (Laughter)

10:23Course, I had to tell him that the building was for adults only and to get out. He mumbled something about his mother, and I told him she’d probably find him outside anyway. Last time I saw him, he was on the stairs crying. (Laughter) What a wimp. (Laughter)

10:39But what do you mean? That’s what you expect me to say. You really think, you really think it’s appropriate that you should actually take children and use them as a shield? You know what will happen someday, you, you ideal parent, you? The kid will come to you someday and say, “I know what I want to be. I know what I’m going to do with my life.” You are so happy. It’s the conversation a parent wants to hear, because your kid’s good in math, and you know you’re going to like what comes next.Says your kid, “I have decided I want to be a magician. I want to perform magic tricks on the stage.”(Laughter)

11:23And what do you say? You say, you say, “Umm … that’s risky, kid. Might fail, kid. Don’t make a lot of money at that, kid. You know, I don’t know, kid, you should think about that again, kid, you’re so good at math, why don’t you — ”

11:39And the kid interrupts you, and says, “But it is my dream. It is my dream to do this.” And what are you going to say? You know what you’re going to say? “Look kid. I had a dream once, too, but — but.” So how are you going to finish the sentence with your “but”? “… But. I had a dream too, once, kid, but I was afraid to pursue it.” Or, are you going to tell him this? “I had a dream once, kid. But then you were born.” (Laughter)

12:14(Laughter) (Applause)

12:16Do you, do you really want to use your family, do you really ever want to look at your spouse and your kid and see your jailers? There was something you could have said to your kid when he or she said, “I have a dream.” You could have said, looked the kid in the face, and said, “Go for it, kid, just like I did.”But you won’t be able to say that because you didn’t. So you can’t. (Laughter)

12:59And so the sins of the parents are visited on the poor children. Why will you seek refuge in human relationships as your excuse not to find and pursue your passion? You know why. In your heart of hearts, you know why, and I’m being deadly serious. You know why you would get all warm and fuzzyand wrap yourself up in human relationships. It is because you are — You know what you are.

13:37You’re afraid to pursue your passion. You’re afraid to look ridiculous. You’re afraid to try. You’re afraid you may fail. Great friend, great spouse, great parent, great career. Is that not a package? Is that not who you are? How can you be one without the other? But you’re afraid.

14:07And that’s why you’re not going to have a great career, unless — unless, that most evocative of all English words — unless. But the unless word is also attached to that other, most terrifying phrase, “If only I had … ” “If only I had … ” If you ever have that thought ricocheting in your brain, it will hurt a lot.

14:48So, those are the many reasons why you are going to fail to have a great career, unless …


15:04Thank you. (Applause)


Do you Know The Millionaire Next Door?

TBook Title Herehe Millionaire Next Door accumulates 100’s of interviews within wealth ranking neighborhoods and discovers the habit so many of these wealthy individuals share. *A must read for success. I’ve provided the full audio book of the novel for you to listen to.

You will need about 8:45 hour to listen to this audio. If you do complete the audio book it will lead you to succeed with money. The authors of  The Millionaire Next Door make it clear that high income does not equal wealth. Want to learn more? Enjoy the audio book below. If you can afford it buy the book. it has great information that will lead you to financial freedom.

Felix A. Montelara

LEO, Radio Host, Speaker,& Author

Bulletproof Finances (Release Spring Summer 2015)


Book Synopsis:

In this New York Times best-selling book, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy, Dr. Thomas J. Stanley uses over two decades worth of surveys, personal interviews with millionaires, and data to reveal the secrets for building wealth in America.Amonzon Book cover

In The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Stanley shattered the contemporary held beliefs about America’s rich – and how they got that way. It is seldom inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that builds fortunes in this country. Wealth in America is more often the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means. The Millionaire Next Door reveals the common denominators that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth.

Over 2 million copies of The Millionaire Next Door have been sold. And the book appeared on The New York Times best seller list for over three years. Based on interviews with Dr. Stanley, numerous articles about The Millionaire Next Door appeared in such publications as Fortune, Forbes, Money, U.S. News and World Report, The Limbaugh Letter, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and People Magazine. Dr. Stanley also profiled the typical millionaire next door while he was a featured guest on ABC’s 20/20, The Today Show, and The Opray Winfrey Show.



Police Salaries 80th to 90th percentile Income Paying Jobs

 The Most Common Jobs For The Rich, Middle Class And Poor

Comments by Felix A. Montelara:

Police work averages in the 20% of higher paying jobs, surpassed by Doctors, Lawyer, and Executives.cropped-lra-logo-blue.jpg Should we consider that being part of the middle class or among the rich.  Read the NPR article below and let know your opinion in the in the comment box.

Continue reading Police Salaries 80th to 90th percentile Income Paying Jobs


How Do I Build A Million Dollar TSP Account?

Mike Causey’s Federal Report

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Invest the maximum amount you are allowed (so you get the 5 percent government match) in the Thrift Savings Plan.
  2. Pick the right fund (or combination of funds). Stick with them, except when you need to change.
  3. Stir occassionaly for 20 to 30 years and wham, bam, you are a millionaire.

It’s been done. Seventy five current feds have TSP accounts worth a million or more, although most did it via the rollover route. .

So is the road to riches the stock market-index funds? It can be a bumpy ride taking you up and down depending on war, weather, economic conditions, the price of oil and even volcanoes in Iceland. Throw in the occasional asteroid strike to make it interesting.

Or do you get rich by playing it safe and sticking with the G-fund which invested in special U.S. Treasury securities that are not available to people outside the TSP? Its payoff is never heart-pounding exciting, but it has never had a loss.

Mike, an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs takes the slow-but-sure approach. “Becoming a TSP millionaire can be done with zero risk strictly through investing in the G fund,” he says. ” cropped-lra-logo-blue.jpgThere is no need to invest in the risky C, S, and I funds. Just contribute the max each year (currently $16,500) and over a 30 year career you will exceed a million.”

Over the last 10 years the G-fund and the much-neglected F-fund (bonds) have outperformed the stock-index C, S and I funds. But when the CSIs have a good year (like 30 percent returns) it can be avery good year.


Rethinking Retirement For Law Enforcement Officers

Rethinking Retirement

By Felix A. Montelara

Source: The

Law enforcement officers often retire after 20  to 25 or maybe 30 years on the job. If an officer starts a law enforcement job in early 20 he would be eligible to retire by the ages of 40  to 50 something.

 Retirement from law enforcement at this age needs to be planned. You most probably will have kids that are going to college. You will probably have a mortgage; therefore, your pension is likely not to be enough to cover all your living expenses.  And you will end up getting another and probably in some type of law enforcement capacity.

In the 1980’s, I spent seven years “State” type law enforcement agency and vested in the retirement system.  Years later after leaving the Puerto Rico Police Department, while working in a county Police department in Maryland in the mid 1990’s. I disregarded the reasons of vesting and pulled my money out of the Police of Puerto Rico retirement system and that was a mistake.

I later in the 2000’s I spent approximately 10 years with a county police department and vested in the retirement system taking a job in Federal law enforcement. This time I did not forget why I vested and left the retirement funds in the county police retirement system.  I made a decision of leaving the county police for new law enforcement job that would pay six figures plus for the next 20 years.  I figured, I would not have to deal with the stress of retirement and have to look for a new job at a lower rate of pay. making this part of my eventual exit strategy when the time arrived.

Well, here were are in close to 2015 and plan has generally worked out.

Montelara-Demick Family

Five out of my seven my children are adults and I have no mortgage.  As a matter of fact, I have no debt. As we all know the future is hard to predict. I do have two of my children that will be at college age at the time of my mandatory retirement.  I have developed a plan to cover those expenses through a 429 education fund for each child.

Today, I receive a reduced pension from the Maryland county police department an even have the option health care benefits.  I would have had a second partial retirement from the Police of Puerto Rico , but I took the money out of the retirement system.  The good  news, I never made the second mistake of cashing out the funds from the county police retirement system.  I am still employed as a law enforcement officer with about five years to mandatory retirement.

Many of my county law enforcement counterparts have retired from the county police department (PD) and many without a plan.

FormerChief Hilton, PGPD

Some have taken jobs with other local PDs. I know that some have even began to climb the promotional latter again.  Some have stated over has Chief of Police in local PDs, educational institutions and Hospitals. Some have gone into private industry with fairly good paying salaries. Not bad for someone that may or may not have had a  plan. However, I do know that most must have the second job due to the lack of a retirement exit strategy.  Some of these folks would like to stay retired but financially are not able.

Now there are a few counterparts that planned their exits from law enforcement and have become entrepreneurs owning their business in areas where they showed passion, while working the job they loved as law enforcement officers.  As one of county PD retiree told me, “I do what like and it does not feel like work.  I can quick; whenever, I want but Why?”

If you start over in another law enforcement career, private industry, or become a business owner the reality is that you have rethink retirement.  You have rethink what will retirement look like for you.

I ask you.  Do you have a plan for retirement?  Are you planning at least fives years ahead? If not begin planning your retirement today.  What does this plan look like?  lra logo  blue Everyone has an ideal retirement vision.   Define an area in your life for which you have a passion and begin the pursuing of it before retirement. This will allow you time  to see if your passion can become profitable.  Start networking with colleagues and friends to see if there any work that you want to do while in retirement.

At minimum get financially educated.  Start your process of becoming debt free. It will lead you to becoming financial free and you can live the life in retirement you envisioned.

If you have a retirement story and want to share it with this community for other to learn and grow. If you want to learn more feel free to reply to this post and sign up for future posts. You may change someones future. If you want to contact me here is my contact information: or text me 334 357 6410.

Best regards,

Felix A. Montelara

Author, Speaker, Radio host and Blogger








Side Hustle! Why my “normal” Law Enforcement Officer job isn’t cutting it anymore?

Side Hustle! Why my “normal” Law Enforcement Officer job isn’t cutting it anymore?

Brian Cain Law Enforcement Officer from Officer DadBrian Caine and Felix A. Montelara Law Enforcement Officer from  The Potential Millionaire two law enforcement officers discuss how your passion can lead to a side hustle that can be rewarding.  Brian tells us about his love for the coffee through is involvement in the Georgia Bean Roasters Company. He also explained how a failed Kickstater® campaign thought him new life lessons.  Brian has also found success being persistent and patient doing what he loves.  Brian tells us that law enforcement officers blog as a side hustle but make every attempt to keep their identity private.  I explain what should we do with the money we earn and how we should make it work for us.

I hope you enjoy the interview with Brian. If you want to learn more feel free to view English blog or you can contact me at, 334 357 6410.

Ninja Pillow KickStarter Campaign
Ninja Pillow KickStarter Campaign

Felix A. Montelara

LEO, Author, Radio Host, Podcaster, & Blogger