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 know with a traditional IRA if I don’t take my required minimum distributions by 12/31 of the calendar year I turn 70 1/2, I am subject to a steep penalty. However, in reviewing the TSP information, it seems like I can wait until April 1 of the following year, without penalty. Do I understand that right?

Q. I read your “Best Dates to Retire” in 2017. While I did not retire in 2017, I am planning to retire in 2018. Based on everything that you recommended for 2017 retirement planning, I am using this as my guidance for 2018 retirement planning. I am a FERS status employee. I will have 26 years of FTE service as of August 3, 2018. I have a base of 240 hours carryover annual leave and 1,500 hours of sick leave. I intend to accrue my max leaves for both AL and SL. I will use my accrued AL toward a…

Q. I am 56 with 30 years of federal service, planning to retire in 2020. Currently I invest in L2020. I don’t know if it’s too late to attempt higher returns, maybe moving to L2030. What do you advise?

Q. I am planning to separate from the U.S. Postal Service and would prefer a full withdrawal of my TSP balance. I have an outstanding loan that I cannot pay off and would prefer to just pay the taxes and any penalty. Do I have to wait the full 90 days for this loan to go into default, or can I request that an immediate taxable distribution be declared and have the loan closed? When the loan is closed, do I need to pay the taxes/penalties then or would I just declare them when I file my taxes at year…

Q. Besides the $18,500 and $5,000 “catch-up” (if at least age 50) 2018 contribution maximums to the TSP 403(b), can one contribute money beyond these two amounts in the form of after-tax non-matched contributions? At the TSP website it states as follows for the “Annual Addition Limit” of $55,000 per IRC Section 415(c): “An additional limit imposed on the total amount of all contributions made on behalf of an employee in a calendar year. This limit is per employer and includes employee contributions (tax-deferred, after-tax, and tax-exempt), Agency/Service Automatic (1%) Contributions, and Matching Contributions. For 415(c) purposes, working for multiple Federal agencies or…

Q. I am considering taking a position where I would be a re-employed annuitant and covered under a dual comp wavier. As my income looks like it would be over the limit for an IRA, what are the best ways I could continue to save for retirement while I am a reemployed annuitant and then roll those savings into the TSP?

Q. I am 57 years old and plan to retire from the federal civil service in 4-5 years with 23 years. About a year ago I significantly reduced the amount going to the G Fund and significantly increased the amount going into the C Fund. The changes have resulted in a current balance of 50 percent G Fund and 50 percent C Fund. Previous to the changes, I had a much larger percentage in the G Fund. I realize I am not diversified as I probably should be. Any recommendations for reallocating my TSP?

1 2 3 260