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. My wife is under CSRS Offset. She retired at age 61 and had her CSRS Offset benefit reduced last February when she turned 62; she turns 63 this month (January 2017). She has not applied for Social Security benefits. She is currently working at a job that is covered by Social Security. Her annual salary is $45,000. We don’t need the Social Security component of the CSRS Offset right now, approximately $800 per month. Is it to her advantage to apply for Social Security benefits now or should she wait until she turns 65? If she applies now, won’t her…

Q. I inherited part of a TSP account and got a check, with tax already withheld. Do I still have to pay state tax as well? I’m from Pennsylvania, and the TSP account is from my uncle who lived in Florida.

Q. I resigned from the federal government in 1989 and withdrew my retirement funds ( about $12,000 worth). I was reemployed in 2005 and am in CSRS Offset. I plan to retire in 2022. According the FHR Navigator benefit system, the redeposit I would owe as of Sept. 2, 2022, is $35,512 (withdraw amount plus accrued interest). Can I pay the amount of redeposit I owe (today, presumably less than $35,512) from a rolled over IRA with Vanguard?

Q. Retirees who remain in the TSP cannot make contributions into the various funds, but they can make interfund transfers (IFT) and redistribute their money into different funds. Are retirees subject to the same TSP rule that no more than two IFTs can be done per month, or are retirees subject to a different rule regarding the number of times they can make such transfers?

Q. Conventional wisdom says you should defer taking Social Security until at least your normal full-amount date, or age 70. Does that hold up if you don’t need the age 62 amount and invest it instead? I’m looking at a state municipal bond fund yielding 3.32 percent tax-free or an ETF of preferred stocks yielding at more than 6 percent.

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…

Q. I am in a position to buy back five years and nine months of service for just fewer than $5,000. At 63 years old, I have 26-plus years of service before the buyback. I wanted to take a TSP withdrawal to pay it back. If I withdraw that amount, do I have to pay it back? Would it make a significant difference for my retirement to buy that time back? What would the trade-off be concerning a withdrawal to the benefits received with the bought-back time?

1 2 3 237