Q. I will be eligible for retirement on July 7, 2017. I will be age 56 and have 30 years in. I came in under FERS. I’ve been told I would fall within the exception, meaning I would not be penalized an additional 10 percent if I take my money from my TSP before age 59½. As you know, when someone gets close to retirement, there are a lot of financial advisers showing up to guide you. The problem I have is they are telling me I can’t take my TSP until age 59½, and I know this is not true. Can you advise me as to where to seek an honest counselor with nothing to gain by giving me their financial expertise?
A. The exception to the early withdrawal penalty that you will qualify for applies to any employer-sponsored retirement plan. It is not unique to the TSP, and any competent financial adviser should know this rule inside and out.
Your mission is to find an adviser who is competent, free from conflict of interest and cost effective. In short, you are looking for an adviser who is trustworthy. Sadly, this is hard to find. I suggest that you start your search at www.paladinregistry.com and limit your consideration to Paladin’s certified 5 Star advisers.