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Retiring from NASA: A Guide to Financial Planning


Retiring from NASA is a significant milestone that requires careful planning to ensure a smooth and financially secure transition. In this white paper, we delve into the retirement options available to NASA employees, with a focus on the 401(k) matching program, retirement benefits, and stock purchasing plans. 

NASA Retirement Benefits

NASA offers a robust retirement benefits package designed to support employees during their post-career years. Key features include:

1. Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS):

NASA employees contribute to FERS, which includes three components: a basic annuity, Social Security benefits, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

2. Thrift Savings Plan (TSP):

The TSP is a vital part of retirement planning, offering various investment options and low administrative fees. NASA employees can contribute to the TSP through pre-tax or Roth contributions, and the agency provides a generous matching program.

  • As of 2023, NASA matches the first 5% of employee contributions to TSP, effectively doubling the growth potential of your retirement savings.

3. Social Security Benefits

Employees may be eligible for Social Security benefits, which provide additional income during retirement.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

The TSP is a cornerstone of NASA's retirement offerings, enabling employees to build substantial retirement savings. Key insights include:

1. Contributions and Matching:

NASA matches a portion of your TSP contributions, offering an excellent opportunity to maximize your retirement savings. Contribute at least enough to take full advantage of this generous matching program.

2. Investment Options:

The TSP provides a range of investment funds catering to different risk tolerances and investment goals. Diversifying your portfolio across these funds can help manage risk and enhance growth potential.

3. Lifecycle Funds:

 If you prefer a hands-off approach, consider the TSP Lifecycle (L) Funds, which automatically adjust your asset allocation based on your expected retirement date.

Steps Toward a Successful Retirement

As you prepare to retire from NASA, consider these essential steps:

1. Financial Assessment:

Evaluate your current financial situation, including assets, liabilities, and projected retirement expenses.

2. Retirement Income Planning:

Develop a comprehensive retirement income strategy that leverages NASA's retirement benefits, TSP, and any other available sources of income.

3. Investment Strategy:

Review and adjust your investment portfolio to align with your risk tolerance and retirement goals.

4. Healthcare Planning:

Explore healthcare options, including Medicare, to ensure comprehensive coverage during retirement.

5. Estate Planning:

Create or update your estate plan, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are carried out.


Retiring from NASA is an exciting chapter that requires thorough planning to achieve a secure and fulfilling retirement. By understanding NASA's retirement benefits, maximizing the 401(k) matching program, utilizing stock purchasing plans, and following a strategic retirement roadmap, you can embark on this journey with confidence. Seek guidance from financial professionals to tailor a retirement plan that aligns with your unique goals and aspirations. We hope that your years of dedication to NASA will pave the way for a rewarding and prosperous retirement.


This information is based on information deemed to be factual and reliable.