Monthly Archives: December, 2009

Searching for a retirement calculator

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Q. I am having a hard time finding a retirement calculator for a federal retiree that can help me determine if my current retirement income (from 30 years under CSRS), plus my investments, will be sufficient for me and my wife. Most calculators assume one is still working, contributing to a 401(k) etc., and they want to sell you their investments products. Could you direct me to a calculator (if one exist) for a retired federal employee that allows one to input his yearly retirement benefit plus having allowances for adding inputs for investments with future returns so that I…

Rollover of TSP withdrawals to a Roth IRA

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Q: My 2010 “annual” required minimum distribution from my Thrift Savings Plan will be approximately $8,500 (about $710 per month). My “monthly” withdrawals will be $2,000.00. If I roll over to a Roth IRA that part of my withdrawal that exceeds my required minimum distribution, can I start deposits to my IRA of $1,290 in January and each month after that, or do I have to wait until May, at which time my entire “annual” required minimum distribution will be met before I can make deposits to my Roth IRA? A: The limits are annual limits, so what matters is…

Catch-up contributions plus traditional IRA

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Q: After contributing $22,000, including age 50 catch-up contributions, in calendar year 2009, may I also contribute $6,000 to a traditional (nondeductable) IRA, which includes the standard $5,000 plus $1,000 age 50 catch-up? A: Your participation in the Thrift Savings Plan should not prohibit you from making the maximum nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA in 2009.

Updated: Voluntary contribution transfer to TSP?

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Q: I regret that I can’t remember where, but I read that legislation or an amendment was being considered that would allow Voluntary Contribution Program funds to be transferred at retirement to a Thrift Savings Plan account. If this is the case, would there be a cap on what could be transferred? A: Currently, you may direct that the interest portion of your VC account be transferred to your TSP account, but not the principal. I can’t predict what may or may not be permitted in the future, or what limits might apply.

Conversion of voluntary contribution to Roth IRA

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Q: I will be retiring on Jan. 1. I recently contributed $50,000 to my Voluntary Contribution account. This is my first contribution to this account, and upon retirement I would like to transfer the entire balance directly to a Roth IRA. I have an existing Traditional IRA (never taxed and balance of approximately $65,000) and a Thrift Savings Plan account of approximately $245,000. My goal is to transfer the entire amount of my voluntary contibution directly to an existing Roth IRA upon retirement. My thought is that the only tax I would owe on this conversion would be the few…

TSP article clarification

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Q: In the article titled, “Make most of your TSP for 2010 retirement savings,” it is indicated that the maximum contribution for 2010 is $16,500. However, I thought the amount was lowered to $16,000 for 2010. Please clarify. A: On Dec. 1, the Thrift Savings Plan confirmed that the 2010 limit will be $16,500.

Make most of your TSP for 2010 retirement savings

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This is my last Money Matters column for 2009, so I’ll take the opportunity to remind those of you who are still active federal employees to carefully plan your retirement savings contributions for the coming year. Unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, I strongly recommend you first direct your retirement savings contributions into your Thrift Savings Plan account — before you contribute to any other accounts. You should contribute the maximum allowed to your TSP account — which in 2010 is $16,500 if you are under age 50, or $22,000 if age 50 or older — before…

Avoiding TSP withdrawal penalties

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Q: I am a postal worker for 23-plus years of service. I am 45 years old. Is there a way to withdraw all my Thrift Savings Plan funds without penalties? If I can do this, I can bring down my mortgage and not be in a foreclosure situation. I do remember that President Obama, in his campaigning days, promised we could withdraw from our retirement funds. What happened to that? A: As an active employee, you would only be able to withdraw funds from your TSP account under the financial hardship allowance. Your withdrawal will be subject to penalty, however,…

Rolling over VC account

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Q: I plan on retiring in 2010 under the Civil Service Retirement System. I have recently opened a voluntary contribution (VC) account but only have put $25 into the VC account. I plan on putting a large amount of money in the VC account once I retire and then roll over only the after-tax contributions in the VC account into a Roth IRA. Will conversion of the VC account into a Roth IRA require that I aggregate my other IRA balances for the purpose of figuring out the taxable amount of this conversion? A: This is really a question for…