Q. I was under the impression that I could make monthly withdrawals from the Thrift Savings Plan and change that amount every year. When I try to calculate how long my chosen amount will last, I get a message saying the amount I have chosen is less than the interest I will accrue. Why is this? Am I forced to choose an amount that is greater than what I want?
A. The calculator won’t work unless the amount of your withdrawals exceeds the amount of interest that will accrue each month based on the interest assumption you entered. This is because the payments will never end if your account earns more than you withdraw. This calculator is useless, more or less, since you can’t possibly predict how much your account will earn, and it won’t be earned at a constant rate over time. You should not rely on this calculator for planning purposes.