Pulling retirement and redepositing


Q. My wife and I pulled our retirement in about 1994 or later and invested. The market didn’t help it grow, given the lost decade and other downturns in the economy. I had previously converted mine to a Roth (bad idea).

Now I’m 63 and hoping to retire in three to five years unless something worse happens in the next two fiscal years. My wife is nine years younger. We deposited our retirement pulled from other employers into the Thrift Savings Plan, which in both cases is probably larger than if we had kept our federal retirement where it was. It is difficult to tell from the online calculators whether redepositing our TSP into CSRS (FERS for my wife) is better than leaving it where it is. Is it worthwhile to move our TSP into CSRS for the benefit of years worked being fully counted or is another way better? We both entered back into federal service Jan. 1, 2006.

A. You’re right. It is a complex question — too complex to be answered without a significant amount of careful analysis. In general, I consider CSRS retirement benefits to be an attractive investment option, but whether or not this is the best use of money for you is impossible to say without the proper analysis.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com and view his blog at money.federaltimes.com.

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