Author Mike Miles

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 and view his blog at

Q. I am an active-duty service member and will be eligible for retirement in about seven years. I have contributed the maximum amount allowed to my TSP account but have only been contributing for roughly five years. I maintain a large amount of cash in my personal checking account because I’m not sure I know how to invest it properly. I feel like I could be getting a better return on it somewhere but just don’t know the best place to put it. I own a small condo that we pay mortgage on that I rent, but honestly I wish I could…

Q. I was born Jan. 21, 1980, so I’m currently 37. I turn 57 (my minimum retirement age) in 2037. I have 10 years of AD service, from June 1998-May 2008. I joined the civil service a week after leaving the military and now have roughly nine years of service. I have bought back all 10 years of military service but am still in the Air Guard. The Guard position is not linked to my FERS position. If I retire at age 57, do I suffer any penalties or taxes for pulling before age 59½? Or do I need to follow…

Q. I am a FERS employee with the U.S. Postal Service. I plan on leaving this summer when I’m 58. I have read that I can be less than 59½ years old to withdraw from TSP and not be penalized for early withdrawal, as long as I am completely separated from USPS. Is this true? Also, along with my pension, I plan on with drawing about $1,200 per month from my TSP. Will I be taxed less by taking out monthly amounts than if I took out the entire amount?

Q. My husband is retiring in April 2017. He is on FERS and has TSP and pension. Does he have to leave his money with the government to keep health insurance?

Q. I retired in 2011 under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA). I had 25 years of service and was 53 years old. I worked in the U.S. Postal Service’s sales and business development department. I was in an acting level 21 position at $83,000 a year. My normal level was 19 with $72,000 a year. It has been 5½ years. I am 59 and have been getting the supplement with my pension for 3 years. If I went back to my level 19 position at $72,000, what happens to my TSP?

Q. I have been investing for 10 years in the G Fund with minimal gains. I recently put 50 percent toward the S Fund and 50 percent toward the C Fund. Was that a smart move? I have to retire in 10 years (mandatory 57 years old).

Q. With interest rates likely to rise, driving the value of bond funds down, in the near term, doesn’t this impact the ability of the F Fund to ameliorate risk? Would you advise against new F Fund investments in these circumstances, or is there still a role for F Fund investments?

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