70 1/2 and survivor benefits


Q. I have about $260,000 in my Thrift Savings Plan account and just turned 67. We don’t need extra income right now. I’ve read your advice to others concerning leaving the money in TSP and withdrawing the minimum to satisfy requirements. Assuming nothing changes between now and then, is that still your recommendation concerning the requirement for withdrawal at 70½? Second, must I take action beyond designating order of precedence to ensure the appropriate next of kin receive the account balance when I die?

A. My recommendation is simple: Delay drawing down your TSP for as long as possible. It’s not a matter of designating precedence. The law does that for you if you don’t designate the beneficiaries for your account.


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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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