Q. I had an accident (on my time) this year. Since my injuries impede me from performing the type of physical work I used to do, they are not offering me light duty and my sick leave is almost depleted, so I may have to retire. I’m thinking of purchasing the basic single life annuity with MetLife. I’m 63 years old and have $140,000 in my TSP. I had been planning in putting more in my TSP til age 66, but without the option to continue work I need to decide. Is this the annuity that pays the most or can I move my money out of the TSP and purchase a better retirement annuity? If so, do you know which company offers the best annuity with the highest lifetime monthly payments?
A. While I have found that the annuity offered to TSP participants by MetLife to be competitive, you should shop around before making a commitment. You are free to use your TSP money, to the extent that it is available for withdrawal, to buy any annuity you like. The advantages of an immediate fixed annuity include:
1. Guaranteed income for your lifetime,
2. Relives you of the responsibility and risk of managing your money, yourself,
3. Protection against certain potential liabilities.
The negatives include:
1. An irreversible purchase,
2. The income may not keep pace with inflation,
3. Loss of access to the principal used to purchase the annuity.